Designated as a UNESCO City of Design, Montréal is a city of cutting edge architecture and style, a city of arts and festivals, a city of diversity and cultural richness, an historic city that keeps reinventing itself.
Montréal is a vibrant destination where the French and English worlds coexist and thrive, where outdoor living is celebrated to the fullest and where the old and the new intertwine. A great travel destination.
STROLL THE CITY STREETS
Start your visit in Old Montréal on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. Stroll along Rue St. Paul, a cobblestone pedestrian alley lined with art galleries, shops, and restaurants. Meander along the winding streets, take in the historic architecture, sip a café au lait and check out the street performers at Place Jaques-Cartier. Stop by Marché Bonsecours and browse the local fashion and crafts boutiques.
Next, visit the Quartier des Spectacles, the cultural hub of the city, an area of expansive plazas, water fountains, and sprawling lawns that surround the Opera, Ballet, and Symphony halls, and the Museum of Contemporary Arts. The Quartier serves as the main stage for the city’s outdoor events including the renowned Jazz Festival, the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival as well as movies, plays, art displays, and installations throughout the year. Check their website for performances during your visit.
Also check the programs of the celebrated Cirque Du Soleil.
The best way to explore the city is to walk through its various neighborhoods and take in the sights. Montréal is dotted with visual works of art from classical sculpture to avant-garde installations. These artistic displays are the result of a city mandate that requires all construction projects to dedicate 1% of their budgets to artistic creations. The city keeps its streets clean of any “visual pollution” such as sidewalk vendors and newspaper boxes.
The city is proud of its own designers, artists, and artisans. Stores that feature local fashion, décor, and art are marked with a special symbol to differentiate them from multinational brands that are prevalent throughout the world.
EXPLORE MUSEUMS AND ART
Start at the Museum of Fine Arts, a showcase of paintings, sculpture, film, fashion, and design. Stop by the Museum of Contemporary Art and explore Québec’s creative talent in current painting, drawing, engraving, photography, installations, and electronic arts.
Continue to the McCord Museum for a glimpse into Montreal’s past and present as viewed through its people, artisans, and communities. Explore the Inuit Modern exhibit, one of the most comprehensive collections of Inuit art in the world.
Check out Montréal’s early days at the archeological museum, Pointe-à-Callière, built atop the city’s ancient remains.
Your art tour wouldn’t be complete without a brief visit to LHotel, a boutique hotel home to a multimillion dollar, privately owned art collection. The entrance to the lobby is flanked by a larger than life Voluptuous Man on Horse by Botero, and a huge, iconic LOVE statue by Robert Indiana. The lounge area and the corridors feature artworks by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Chagall, Rauchenberg, and many other prominent artists. All the hotel’s rooms and suites are also decorated with fine art from the vast collection.
The city’s restaurant scene is a melting pot of international cuisines, French accents, and trendy, fusion style offerings. I
Montréal is an exciting and vibrant destination, ideal for a mini vacation.
With the recent strength of the U.S. Dollar, the city is also a bargain hunter’s paradise. Shoppers enjoy browsing the trendy boutiques along Rue Sainte-Catherine and the designer shops on Rue Saint Paul in the old city. During the winter months, the major shopping and dining activities move to Montréal’s underground city, a network of multi storied malls seamlessly connected by subway lines.
For more information visit www.tourisme-montreal.org. ∆