53 Chapters
Medium 9781628871906

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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Medium 9781628872484

3 SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

Darcy Rhyno FrommerMedia ePub

3

Suggested Itineraries

The eastern provinces of Canada are big, yet intimate. You can be a long way between major destinations only to find yourself suddenly overwhelmed with wonder when you happen upon a small wooden church, a wharf full of boats, sandy beach, or roadside market—and you end up staying longer than you intended. It happens often.

So here are two pieces of advice. First, leave a bit of flexibility in your itinerary; these provinces are full of unexpected surprises. Second, allow time for the long drives. Except when on Prince Edward Island, you’ll log a few hours on the road to complete these tours. The provinces are big, and multilane highways rarely offer views. As much as you can, stick to the scenic routes—you’ll be rewarded with lovely vistas, unique attractions, and encounters with friendly people.

The range of possible itineraries in Eastern Canada is practically endless. Even a month is not enough to see all of the Maritime Provinces, but these four itineraries taking you through the best of each province should get you started.

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Medium 9781628871081

The Best of Vancouver & Victoria

Joanne Sasvari FrommerMedia ePub

1

THE BEST OF VANCOUVER & VICTORIA

The jagged, snowcapped peaks of the Coastal Mountains plunge down through hushed forests to sandy beaches. Idyllic islands float dreamily in the calm waters of the Georgia Strait. Lush gardens bloom even when the rest of Canada is still buried under snow. There’s no question the southwest corner of British Columbia is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places on the planet. And amid all this stunning natural beauty lie Vancouver and Victoria, two cities that may be physically close together but are miles apart when it comes to style and personality.

On the Mainland is Vancouver, the biggest metropolitan area in Western Canada. It is young and vibrant and bristling with the shiny modern towers that led hometown writer Douglas Coupland to label it the “City of Glass.” Also known as Lotusland (as in Homer’s “Odyssey,” a land where the locals are befuddled by the narcotic lotus plant), Terminal City (for its place at the end of the transco ntinental railroad), and Hongcouver (for its huge ex-pat Chinese population), Vancouver is famously a city where you can snowboard in the morning, sail in the afternoon, and dine at a sophisticated restaurant in the evening. It consistently tops the lists of the world’s most livable cities and is also the province’s business hub, Canada’s busiest port, and a center for creative industries such as film and animation.

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5 WHERE TO STAY IN MONTRÉAL

Matthew Barber FrommerMedia ePub

5

Where to Stay in Montréal

Montréal’s boutique hotels are the superstars of the city’s accommodations. In Vieux-Montréal, historical buildings have been transformed into chic modern getaways—it’s hard to top the ambience of old stone walls while you cozy up in crisp white sheets. Decor ranges from Asian minimalist to country luxury.

On the flip side, familiar hotel chains, many of which were built for Expo 67, may have time against them, but their central location downtown is key, particularly for festival-goers. Recent renovations at several addresses have put some back in the stylish category, often with the added bonus of a pool. For some travelers, they will hold more appeal.

The province tourist authorities have their own rating system (zero to five stars) for establishments that host travelers. A shield bearing the assigned rating is posted near the entrance to most hotels. The Québec system is based on quantitative measures such as the range of services and amenities.

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Medium 9781628872880

5 THE CANADIAN ROCKIES

Christie Pashby FrommerMedia ePub

Hiking at beautiful Lake O’Hara.

Kananaskis Country

Kananaskis Country is a vast area of rugged mountain wilderness that contains four Alberta provincial parks and “multiple-use” land where forestry, cattle-grazing, and petroleum development are permitted. Roads and trails are quiet here compared to Banff, drawing mainly weekenders from Calgary. Kananaskis is named for a Cree native who was reportedly struck by an axe but survived, and there’s a good variety of outdoor activities, gorgeous scenery, and excellent infrastructure.

From Banff, take the Trans-Canada Highway west 55km (34 miles). Turn south on Hwy. 40, the Kananaskis Trail.

❶ Barrier Lake Visitors Centre. This is a good first stop, at the entrance to Kananaskis Country on Hwy. 40. Pick up brochures and maps.  15 min. Hwy. 40, 8km (5 miles) south of Trans-Canada Hwy. 1. ☎ 403/673-3985. May 12–June 28 Mon–Fri 9:30am–4pm, Sat–Sun 9am–5pm; June 29–Sept 3 Fri 8:30am–6pm, Sat–Thurs 8:30am–5pm; Sept 4 to mid-May 9:30am–4pm.

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