29 Chapters
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9 MONTRÉAL WALKING TOURS

Matthew Barber FrommerMedia ePub

9

Montréal Walking Tours

Cities best reveal themselves on foot, and Montréal is one of North America’s most pedestrian-friendly locales. The concentrated neighborhoods have much to see—cobblestoned Vieux-Montréal, downtown and its luxurious “Golden Square Mile,” and Mont Royal itself—and this chapter describes strolls that will take you through the highlights of all of them.

The city’s layout is mostly straightforward and simple to navigate, and the extensive Métro system gets you to and from neighborhoods with ease. These strolls will give you a taste of what’s best about old and new Montréal, and send you off to discover highlights of your own.

Walking Tour 1: Vieux-Montréal

Getting there:

If you’re coming from outside Vieux-Montréal, take the Métro to the Place d’Armes station, which lets off next to the Palais des Congrès, the convention center. Follow the signs up the short hill 2 blocks toward Vieux-Montréal (Old Montréal). You’ll find yourself in a central outdoor plaza.

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16 QUÉBEC CITY WALKING TOURS

Matthew Barber FrommerMedia ePub

16

Québec City Walking Tours

The many pleasures of walking in picturesque French Québec are easily comparable to walking in similar quartiers in northern European cities. Stone houses rub shoulders with each other, carriage wheels creak behind muscular horses, sunlight filters through leafy canopies, drinkers and diners lounge in sidewalk cafes, childish shrieks of laughter echo down cobblestone streets. Not common to other cities, however, is the bewitching vista of river and mountains that the higher elevations bestow.

In winter especially, Vieux-Québec takes on a Dickensian quality, with a lamp glow flickering behind curtains of falling snow. The man who should know—Charles Dickens himself—described the city as having “splendid views which burst upon the eye at every turn.”

Walking Tour 1: Upper Town (Vieux-Québec: Haute-Ville)

Start:

Château Frontenac, the castlelike hotel that dominates the city

Finish:

Hôtel du Parlement, on Grande-Allée, just outside the walls

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3 MONTRÉAL & QUÉBEC CITY IN CONTEXT

Matthew Barber FrommerMedia ePub

3

Montréal & Québec City in Context

Montréal and Québec City, the twin cities of the province of Québec, have a stronger European flavor than Canada’s other municipalities. French is the first language of most residents and the official language of the province, and a strong affiliation with France continues to be a central facet of the region’s personality.

The defining dialectics of Canadian life are culture and language, and both are thorny issues that have long threatened to tear the country apart. Many Québécois have long believed that making Québec a separate, independent state is the only way to maintain their rich French culture in the face of the Anglophone—English speaking—ocean that surrounds them. On the other hand, the popularity of the political party that represents this point of view, Parti Québécois, waxes and wanes, and today is viewed by many as too extreme to be taken seriously. Even though secession is nearly completely unlikely, as Montréal celebrates its 375 birthday (in 2017), Québec’s role within the Canadian federation continues to be one of the most debated and volatile topics of conversation in Canadian politics.

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14 EXPLORING QUÉBEC CITY

Matthew Barber FrommerMedia ePub

14

Exploring QuÉbec City

Wandering the streets of Vieux-Québec is a singular pleasure, comparable to exploring a provincial capital in Europe. You might happen upon an ancient convent, gabled houses with steeply pitched roofs, a battery of 18th-century cannons in a leafy park, or a bistro with a blazing fireplace on a wintry day.

Vieux-Québec (or the Old City) is so compact that it’s hardly necessary to plan precise sightseeing itineraries. Most of the historic sights are within the city walls of Haute-Ville (Upper Town) and Basse-Ville (Lower Town). Start at Terrasse Dufferin alongside the Château Frontenac and go off on a whim, down L’Escalier du Casse-Cou (Breakneck Stairs) to the Quartier du Petit-Champlain and Place-Royale, or out of the walls to the military fortress of the Citadelle that overlooks the mighty St. Lawrence River and onto the Plains of Abraham, where generals James Wolfe of Britain and Louis-Joseph, marquis de Montcalm of France, fought to their mutual deaths in a 20-minute battle that changed the continent’s destiny.

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Medium 9781628872965

5 THE BEST DINING

Matthew Barber FrommerMedia ePub

Mouthwatering baked goods at Olive + Gourmando in Vieux-Montréal.

Dining Best Bets

Best Restaurant in a Glass Box

★★★ Brasserie T $$ 1425 rue Jeanne-Mance (p 98)

Best Fancy White Tablecloth Experience

★★★ Europea $$$ 1227 rue de la Montagne (p 99)

Best Parisian-Style Bistro

★ L’Express $$ 3927 rue St-Denis (p 101)

Best Contemporary Québécois

★★★ Le Club Chasse et Pêche $$$ 423 rue St-Claude (p 101)

Best Cocktails

★★ Hôtel Herman $$ 5171 blvd. St-Laurent (p 100)

Best Seafood

★★★ Ferreira Café $$$ 1446 rue Peel (p 99)

Best Modern Italian

★★★ Graziella $$$ 116 rue McGill (p 100)

Best Slabs of Pork

★ Au Pied de Cochon $$$ 536 rue Duluth (p 98)

Best Vegetarian Buffet

★ Resto Vego $$ 1204 av. McGill College (p 103)

Best Vegan

★ Aux Vivres $ 4631 bd. St-Laurent (p 98)

Best Bakery

★ Première Moisson $ 1490 rue Sherbrooke ouest (p 102)

Best Creative Cuisine

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