October brings some colour on the streets, many shops start selling the typical stuff that decorates homes and, often, street gardens and department stores. Just be careful not to become one of that smiling "man" like me on the picture :)))
Oratoire St Joseph
Located at 3800 Chemin Queen Mary, it is one of the largest religious shrines in North America and the second largest dome in the world just after San Pedro in Vatican City. This structure is daunting and imposing at first glance. Built by Brother Andre (locals are requesting to make him a saint), this oratory has an incredible dome and is imposing because of its location and placement within the grounds. The outside is much more impressive than the interior which is really not even worth visiting.
Molson Bank Building (1866)
Molson Bank was founded in Montreal by two brothers who made a fortune in brewing and later diversified into high finance. Their institution became one of the most respected in Canada before being folded into the Bank of Montreal early in the 20th century. The Headquarters of the bank was located in the heart of the city's financial district, in what was known as the Canadian Wall Street, "old St. James Street".
When it was built, it was the first structure in the "French Empire" style in Montreal - and it is still one of the most impressive!
RESO - Montreal's Underground City
During the building of the Montreal Metro in the early 60's the Montreal City Authorities accepted a radical piece of design by an urban planner named Vincent Ponte who proposed the idea of developing not only the above ground plots freed up by the construction but also those below ground, the no-man's land of space which had never really been considered as having any value.
Ponte's plan was to have a multi-level city separating pedestrians, urban traffic and public transit with each having their own space. To quote Ponte himself: "Everybody benefits, developers get more rent. Citizens not only have a new convenience of moving around, but the city becomes a richer, more diverse place. Tax revenues go up; the towns get a new image." By offering emphyteutic leases (whereby the City offered potential developers the real estate at relatively cheap rates with the proviso that the developments would involve value-added infrastructure projects at their own expense) the City of Montreal's downtown was able to expand not only upwards and laterally but downwards as well with most of the bill being picked up by private enterprise!
The first underground project was the shopping complex in the area under Place Ville-Marie and Central Station, built in 1962, and by the time the first stages of the Metro were completed in 1966 there were 10 buildings connected directly to the original Metro stations providing the foundations of the network to be.
Over the next 40 or so years the initially disparate developments became linked as several more major underground shopping malls were constructed, along with residential space; entertainments such as cinemas, bars and restaurants; services including barbers, dry-cleaners, shoe-repairers and even internet Wi-Fi zones. The present-day complex has over 32 kilometres of tunnels, underlying most of downtown, with more than 120 overground access points, signposted RESO (from the French Reseau, meaning network) with the final O containing the downward pointing arrow of the Metro symbol. It is possible to walk almost the whole breadth of downtown Montreal (about 2 miles in total) and never have to surface.
This mole-like existence may sound like a bit of a futuristic nightmare but in fact the underground areas are spacious and well lit and considering that Montreal has harshly cold winters and uncomfortably hot summers the practicality of having an underground city within the city has proven understandably popular with the locals who can now work, shop, eat-out, socialise and generally get around without having to endure the extremeties of the elements nor the chaotic city traffic. The RESO is estimated to be used by over half-a-million people daily and the different sections have evolved their own characters much in the same way as the aboveground city has its own distinct neighbourhoods.
This really is a rather fascinating and unique aspect of the City and one that is well worth further investigation at some future date.
Wikipedia link has some useful facts, history and a a couple of really good links to maps.
"Apportez votre vin" :Bring your own wine
In a lot of restaurants, you can bring your wine bottle, it is less expensive and the choice is better. The wine is really popular in Montreal and you have a lot of choice in Grocery or Convenience store (dont buy this kind of wine, it is disgusting) but for great wines, you have to go to SAQ (Société des alcools du Québec)