Montreal is a beautiful yet edgy city that is easy to walk around and see the sights in only a couple of days.
I started out in Centre-Ville near UQAM on Sherbrooke Ave. (505 Sherbrooke East, to be exact, at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel). I walked west down Sherbrooke, past some quaint houses, until I came to Boulevard St.-Laurent and made a left.
Along St.-Laurent I passed the famous “Just for Laughs” club or Studio Juste Pour Rire. Also along this street were some great graffiti and shops.
Along St. Laurent I passed “Chinatown” or Quartier Chinois. It was not very large, but the pedestrian side streets were lively.
Past Chinatown, I made my way towards “Old Montreal” or Vieux Montreal. This area of the city has more visually pleasing sights and attracts the most tourists. The center of Old Montreal is the Notre Dame cathedral. Tour buses park out front to allow the hoards of tourists view the massive and ornate building.
Old Montreal boasts pedestrian squares with numerous restaurants and street performers; quaint, cobble-stoned side streets; and a waterfront with boat tours and magnificent views of the St. Lawrence River.
The views along the river, as I walked down the Rue de la Commune, were amazing. I passed all sizes of boats and ships, parks, shops, and museums, and past various Quays–Quai King Edward being the largest –before I turned right past the last quay back towards Old Montreal.
I wandered through Old Montreal on Rue St. Paul and made a left on Rue St. Suplice, back past Notre Dame. I walked past the Centre Commerce Mondial de Montreal (Convention Center) and snuck into an underground shopping mall as it started to rain. The mall was beautiful, and in the center was a piece of the Berlin Wall on display.
By this time I was about 2 miles away from my hotel and the skies were still threatening rain, so I wanted to head back while I could stay dry. I walked up Rue de Bleury and made a left on Rue Ste. Catherine–the Walnut Street of Philadelphia, only many blocks longer. I wanted to check out Crescent Street, which is one block of concentrated clubs, pubs, and where you go to see and be seen. It was just as I remembered it, only luckily I was there in the daylight this time and it hadn’t become thronged with clubbers yet.
After catching a bite and a pint at Sir Winston Churchill’s pub (fish and chips–not too bad), I headed back to my hotel, walking up Crescent to Sherbrooke, and taking a right after noticing the Museum of Fine Arts across the street. Since it was closed, I walked the 2 miles along Sherbrooke back to my hotel, soaked by the time I got back, but excited about the parts of the city I had discovered in one day.
Check out these blogs for more information on Montreal: