Believe or not but up until recently, I have never been to Montreal! Being a Torontonian, this is kind of unheard of considering both cities are so close to each other. But alas, Montreal was not at the top of my priority list when it came traveling. I never felt a rush to visit the city and I figured it will always be there. Well, with Canada’s 150 celebration, I thought what better time to visit Montreal and spend my vacation time in my home country.
After visiting Amsterdam this past summer, I began to realize that aside from school trips, I have never had a vacation within Canada. Although, I am so grateful for all of my European vacations which you can read about here, here and, here I became curious about the parts of Canada that I haven’t explored. I have taken many Canadian history and literature courses in school but I haven’t actually seen much of Canada and I thought that Montreal would be a great start to venture out into my home and native land.
My first visit to Montreal took place over the course of a long weekend in September. I booked my trip through Expedia which is my favourite travel booking site because you can book your flight and hotel conveniently together. Expedia.ca is user-friendly so it makes comparing flight and hotel options easy because it lays everything out very nicely. This is not a sponsored post for Expedia, I just love using them to book my travel. Flying from Toronto to Montreal only takes an hour so we took an early flight in order to maximize our time. Once we arrived and settled into our hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown (which was fabulous by the way!) it was time to embark on our Montreal vacation!
This vacation was with my family and every time I travel with my family, my mother always likes to take a tour of whichever city that we are visiting so that we get to have a nice overview of everything that the city has to offer – this Montreal vacation was no exception. As we enjoyed our tour we got to see the famous lookout point on Mont Royal, we drove through Parc Jean Drapeau and the site of Expo ’67 and, the Old Port. One of the benefits of going on a travel tour is that you are able to learn things about the place you are visiting that you may not be able to learn if you were to spend your time walking around the entire time for example, I learned that the bricks in Montreal have a natural grey colour which explains why there are so many older buildings in Montreal are grey. The abundance of grey buildings in Montreal gave everything a nice light wash which contrasted beautifully with the bright blue sky. Isn’t architecture and nature something?
On the second day of my Montreal long weekend, we ventured out to Old Montreal which was the one place that everyone that I know that has been to Montreal has insisted that I visit. Known for its old architecture and European feel, Old Montreal was most certainly a treat! I loved the narrow, cobblestone streets, character-filled buildings and the lovely view of the Old Port. There were many musical street performers in Old Montreal that played lovely music like Brazilian jazz which is a personal favourite of mine and listening to it as a walked down the scenic streets added a blissful feeling to my day. Midday we stopped at the picturesque Tommy Café to enjoy some iced coffee and chocolate cronuts. I have never tried a cronut before and I must say this one was delish thanks to the creamy Nutella on top. After our coffee stop, we continued our walk through Old Montreal and passed by two weddings. It was lovely seeing the brides, grooms, bridal party and guests enjoy the beautiful day.
On my third day in Montreal and sadly my last (I can’t wait to visit again!), we visited Boulevard Saint Catherine and did some shopping. Whenever I visit a new city, I love to purchase something that is unique to the place that I am visiting. In this case, I decided to shop at Simon’s which is a Canadian department store based in Quebec. Simon’s was very reminiscent of Hudson’s Bay and had a wonderful selection of cashmere scarves, leather gloves and faux fur winter hats. Since Montreal is known for its frigidly cold winters, I knew that purchasing a winter accessory from Simon’s would be a good bet. I decided to purchase a red and grey square patterned scarf (that can also function as a shawl) with fur pom poms and black leather gloves with a fur trim. Both purchases felt soft and cozy in the store so I am sure they will keep me feeling toasty once the temperature drops.
There you have it! My Montreal long weekend travel diary. I had a wonderful time and I am looking forward to visiting again. The city had a nice, calm energy and the weather was fresh and crisp. Stay tuned for my next post that discusses how I packed for my long weekend.
Have you ever traveled to Montreal? If so, what was your favourite part?
Thank you so much for reading and have a lovely day!