30 May A Perfect Day in Montreal
Montréal is as historically traditional as it is cutting-edge innovative, as cosmopolitan dynamic as it is small-town friendly. A city of many faces and many languages: French is the city’s official language and is also the language spoken at home by 56.9% of the population, followed by English at 18.6% and 19.8% other languages (as of the 2006 census). 56% of the population is able to speak both English and French, making Montreal one of the most bilingual cities in Canada and the second largest mainly French-speaking city in the world, after Paris.
Taking a trip to Montreal in August, when the weather is warmer, gives you the exciting opportunity of exploring the city by foot. The stunning views, friendly people and the mouthwatering mix of food made the overall experience nothing short of memorable. Montreal is renowned for its churches, and Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal holds the title of Canada’s largest church. As the church was located just a few meters away from our hotel, we strolled there to explore the site and we were certainly not disappointed.
Next on the list of things to do was a trip to Downtown Montreal. What a contrast! Skyscrapers, buzzing streets, and fashion stores created a lively atmosphere. In close proximity lies the historical area of Montreal known as ‘Old Montreal’. Ancient and interesting buildings, cobblestone streets, and cozy cafes create an exciting European vibe. Whilst strolling the streets of ‘Old Montreal’, we took short breaks to admire the architecture and catch a glimpse of the very entertaining street performers. At a corner café, for the first time we tried ‘Poutine’, a popular Canadian dish, originating from Quebec. Consisting of homemade fries, covered in gravy and topped with cheese curds, the dish wins the prize for being one of the best comfort foods!
We then made our way to the famous Notre-Dame Basilica located in Old Montreal. Known for being one of the most intricately designed churches in the world, its breathtaking interiors can captivate you for hours. It is also the place where the famous Canadian singer Celine Dion was married.
With our busy schedule, we knew we had to make time to visit the peak of Mount Royal, after which the city is named. We made our way by car and stopped at one of the most popular viewing spots. It was a clear day, which gave us the perfect opportunity to admire the city’s skyline.
Poutine – Homemade fries, covered in gravy and topped with cheese curds
Haitian Tassot – Tassot is a classic Haitian dish, made with jerked goat or beef, marinated in citrus juice
Smoked Meat – Salted and cured beef brisket with savory spices then smoked and steamed. It’s then hand-sliced and thickly piled onto rye bread and served with yellow mustard.
Montreal’s Flag: Montreal’s flag has five symbols on it
- The cross which represents the Christian principles on which the city was founded.
- The fleur-de-lis for the French
- The Lancastrian rose for the English
- The shamrock for the Irish
- The thistle for the Scottish