Montreal, the city of a hundred bell towers, rang out its call for us, and we rocked the Ville in stupendous style. Montreal is Canada’s second oldest and second most populous city, perhaps the most prominent city until the turn of the 20th century. Since Ville-Marie (City of Mary) was establish in 1642, it has built up a reputation of tradition, culture and identity. Montreal is a city with a funk and European twist. Montreal is a ‘colonial child’ of both French and English empires; and the city reflects that.
First, you must start off the trip by getting your orientation… Head up to the view on Mont Royal! The city’s three humped hill in the heart of the city give you full view of the land. A 15 minute ride from the downtown shore and you can see for kilometers. Many people come here for the view but also to have a picnic in the park, run in circles around the hills or learn about the history of Mont Royal. In 1535, the first European to scale its height was Jacques Cartier, guided their by the local people of the village of Hochelega; long before De Masionneuve founded the city. Just beware! Some people come here because it’s their home!
While energies are high, why not go out of the city into open space, away from the noise and busyness, and explore an outdoor adventure park. This tree adventure and zip-lining (petit tarzan), in a magnificent setting, are a great addition to any visit to Montreal. With several levels and dozens of varied hurdles throughout the course, there is something for everyone in any size group.
After some fun activities it’s time to hit the city centre and check out the sites and museums! Check out Montreal’s Museum of Fine Art and its thousands of paintings, sculptures, graphic arts, photographs and decorative art objects displayed. There is multitude of things to observe, interact with, read or watch. In larger groups, the museum boasts a rich program for students. These educational activities help encouraging mental and spiritual growth through exploring art, history and culture. It is a great way to expose and immerse yourself in Montreal’s taste and colours. Just make sure to check the special exhibit! You could be taken back in time to wander the streets of Rome’s Pompeii village.
Another crowd favourite is Montreal’s Science Centre. The centre is located in the bay of Montreal and is filled with many workshops and interactive exhibits. In workshops, work together or individually to solve scientific questions in a speed race to get to the finish. Build a machine that will be powered by wind energy! But beware, it must stop in a specific place or else it’s going off the cliff!
The room next door is an exhibit that encourages youth and elders to activate their curiosity. Science 26, is equipped to guide participants down the right path to genuine discovery and tangible results that they can understand. Explore how gravity works or how sound waves are different from brain waves. Figure out why magnets attract and repel and find out what your face looks like through… this.
Now time to learn a bit more about the history of the city and the stories behind each door. A great place to do this is the Museum of Archaeology, also located in the bay of Montreal. The museum opened in 1992 and showcase major archaeological discoveries made on the site since the start of excavation in the 1980s. The site is evidence of over 1,000 years of human activity in the area and leads visitors through centuries of human history.
Before the trip ends, it’s great to cap it off by visiting another jew of the city, the Notre-Dame Basilica! Located in Old Montreal it is situated perfectly to many soueviner shopes, cafes and restaurants and historical sites. The inside of the Basilica is breath taking as the illuminated alter take center stage. The wood carvings and painted windows depict the story of Montreal from the creation of the city to when the Basilica was born.