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Canada: Montreal the old city - Part 1 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

Montreal is one of the few major North American cities to have preserved its historic centre where most others have given way to development.

You will find in the historic district narrow winding streets dating back to the French colony when it was a walled city. There are superb public squares, beautiful Victorian buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, and finally, the very first skyscraper in Canada. At the heart of what was then the Downtown of the Country’s metropolis there are still quaint sidewalks cafes, restaurants among the best in the city and trendy bars. You’ll find all these just a few steps from the shores of St. Lawrence River and all in a very unique atmosphere.

Montreal was established on May 17, 1642; 173 years ago. It started with only a handful of settlers; these were made up of soldiers, artisans and farmers. Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance established on the Pointe a Galliere the small settlement which they called Ville Marie, their goal was actually to start a mission centre. However the name was changed later and it became the current day Montreal.

Most people who are visiting the area are often surprised by the exception bustle of Old Montreal. It always seems to be lively day or night, and in all seasons. This might be because in addition to welcoming millions of visitors each year the historic district is also a living place. Montrealers do not treat this as just a tourist area but as a neighbourhood where they live, work and enjoy themselves.

Old Montreal has nearly 500 shops and more than 1, 500 business offices. More than 40, 000 people go to work there every day. It is also a much sought after residential area, and the number of local residents is now over 6, 000 people.

It has of course the famous boutique hotels, signature restaurants and trendy bars. Old Montreal, in my opinion, is a must see destination for visitors and tourists. If there is one thing Montreal is well known for besides the food culture, it’s the mix of European and North American cultures which seem to work side by side very well in this part of the world.

There are many places in the world where you would be crazy to use a car and Old Montreal is one of them. While you are driving it will be impossible to see everything around and you will not be able to stop driving. Why? Well there is just nowhere to park anywhere near where you want to be.

If you really want to take in the 17th century charm of the place then you need to do it on foot. Just take the métro and get off at Place d’Armes station and you are in the heart of the district.

Continued in part 2

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