For a good day trip, visit the...
For a good day trip, visit the Olympic Stadium complex. It's right on the Metro, which is very clean and fast. The Olympic Stadium, site of the '76 Olympics, is well-known for its futuristic design and space-age dome support structure. Take the tram to the top to a surprisingly spacious lounge for a nice view of the city from above.
The Jardin Botanique (Botanical Garden) is just minutes' walk away from the Olympic Stadium. The creepy, crawly house, otherwise known as the Insectarium, the orchid greenhouse, and the bonsai garden are notable. The Jardin Botanique is very large and may require you to take advantage one of the trams that circumnavigate the resort. There is also a very large rose garden with hundreds, if not thousands, of plants.
If you're tired of walking, visit Old Montreal. The cobblestone streets here are a pleasant surprise. Sit in one of the corner cafes and watch the street performers or take a leisurely walk down to the quay by the St. Lawrence. There's a lighthouse at the end of the quay. Climb the long flight of stairs to reach the top of the lighthouse and you'll be rewarded with an expansive view of the city. Climb back down and consider taking a boat tour, the Bateau-Mouche, on the St. Lawrence. This will give you a look at the city from the river. Don't miss the remarkable apartments building consisting of stacked cubical blocks. We visited St. Joseph's Oratory on Mt. Royal. It is inspired by Basilique Sacre-Coeur in Paris and the resemblance is there. You can even catch penitents trying to walk up the hundreds of steps on their knees. The church is very large and inspiring. Also stop for a promenade on Mt. Royal. You can get a very nice view of the city from the top of the mountain.
Mount Royal (Parc Du Mont-Royal)
An extinct volcano from which the city takes its name (Mont-Real), presides over the south center of the island and is the city’s dominant physical feature. The best way to experience the area is to hike the walking paths that lead from the foot of the mountain through Mont-Royal Park. They offer fine views of downtown and the river. The park’s Beaver Lake (no beavers) functions as an ice-skating rink in the winter and as a nice place for picnicking in the summer (swimming is not allowed). Mount Royal is also the site of the 100-ft/30-m steel cross that, when lit at night, is visible for miles. On the northern slope of the mountain is St. Joseph’s Oratory, a massive basilica with a copper dome. The site has many of the qualities of Old World Catholicism: Pilgrims go there seeking cures and inspiration, and the heart of Brother Andre, a healer who first proposed the basilica, is on display in the museum.
St. Joseph's Oratory~Canes and Crutches
You will find tribute to Brother Andre, a monk said to have healing powers. The wooden canes and crutches on display are a testament to this belief. Brother Andre's heart is on display here, as well as a wax figure and his room.
This tip isn't meant for North American natives, as you all know what garage sales are... but actually for Europeans, Asians, etc.: we have this tradition throughout North America to put up garage sales, from the few first "warm enough" Spring days to the last "not too cool" Fall days. They consists in taking everything you don't need or don't want anymore, out of your house and onto your driveway of lawn and selling it, after advertising your own personal sale a little here and there on internet sites, newspapers and on handwritten boards aroung your neighbourhood, a little like organizing your own flea market! A lot of people are actually big amateurs of garage sales; one needs to hunt, be ready to bargain and deal with owners to get what you want. You'll find less of them in the hot summer months, as they happen on week-ends (usually for both Saturday & Sunday) from 9h00 to 17h00. Look for them advertised in newspapers, internet free classified adds and on telephone poles thoughout communities. Have fun hunting...
Would you mind standing to the right!
One very strange thing I have noticed since I moved here is that people do not stand to the right when they are on escalators. This is particularily odd as Montrealers cue up for the buses on the streets in a very orderly fashion. I never understood this custom...even if you try to pass someone on the left they will generally not move over. I now laugh it off and RELAX. I mean, who is really in that much of a hurry :-)