Known formerly as Ville-Marie, Montreal is the second-largest city in Canada in terms of population. In our article on the “Top Rated Attractions of Montreal – we will discuss the top attractions of the exquisite city of Montreal is known for its resemblance to European style architecture, ear-pleasing music and experiencing the essence of Europe. Covering almost seventy-five percent of the Montreal island, this city which derives its name from Mount Royal is a place that must not be left unexplored. Due to the fact that details are found everywhere, this feature makes sure that the reader receives A to Z knowledge about Montreal right here. If you are a culture-explorer or are looking for a serene vacation, this city in the Quebec province is your place!
Montreal was visited by many, from Jaques Cartier, in the year 1635 to the troop whose torchbearer was Paul De Chomedey in the year 1642, not to forget the exploration commenced by the British in the year 1760, but the actual emergence of the city, was in the year 1832. Prior to this, in the year 1817, the Bank of Montreal was created followed by the opening of Lachine Canal in the year 1825. 19th century was when Montreal as a city improved overall. From the formation of the Police Department in the year 1843, the development of connecting Montreal with Lachine by tracks in the year 1847 to the establishment of Christ Church Cathedral in the year 1850 and the opening of Victoria Bridge in the year 1860, the city kept growing at a fast pace. Began from merely 5000, the population of Montreal in the year 1852 was 58000 followed by the addition of 442000, which in total became the number of city residents in the year 1914.
Post the 1920s, the flourishment of Montreal was immense. From the establishment of the Montreal Botanical garden in the year 1931, the welcoming of the Atwater Market in the year 1933, to the development of Place Bonaventure in the year 1960 and the commencement of the Olympic games in the year 1976, not to forget the emergence of Palais des Congres de Montreal in the year 1983 and World Trade Centre in the year 1992, Montreal is simply beautiful.
Where the two rivers, the Saint Lawrence and the Ottawa meeting, the city of Montreal begins. Positioned in the southwest of the Quebec province, what defines Montreal is its gateway to the Riviere des Prairies through the north of the city and to the Saint Lawrence River through the south. Being christened after the most popular tourist attraction, a three-faced hill known as Mount Royal, the city is situated right in midst of the Montréal Metropolitan Community, to the north of which is the city of Laval, encircling the south of the city are the Brossard, Saint-Lambert and many other towns, not to forget the city’s west is surrounded by the West Island towns whereas the town of Repentigny has got the city’s east covered.
Since it is situated exactly in the middle of the Pole and the Equator, the climate of Montreal can be defined as continental meaning that it is a mixture of cold winters and warm summers. Distributed equally among all the seasons, it has been recorded that the precipitation rate in this city of Quebec is about 1000 millimeters.
Not only experiencing thunderstorms in the afternoons but the season of summer witnesses the same amount of rains as the season of autumn. Talking about winters, which lasts from November to April, the city encounters rains in the same amount that is considered of snow. If visitors are in a mood to witness the city in lush, white layers, November to March is the time.
Temperatures hitting negative ten Celsius, is how cold the winters are in this city that lasts from the month of November till the month of March. Since Spring begins from March and ends in May, the city experiences dual temperatures that are cool in March and the warmth in May. From the month of June to the month of August, it is summertime in Montreal. However, due to the presence of rivers such as the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa, the air can be moist. To experience the best of Montreal, one must book their tickets between May and September because the time period is neither burning hot nor freezing cold.
Over ten thousand years ago, formerly a water body, the champlain sea located at the south of St.Lawrence is now shaped in a funnel like structure which gets thinner towards the Quebec city and comparatively broader when heading up to Montreal. Due to the physical characteristics of this once-upon-a-time river, the settlement rate around Quebec and Montreal increased in multi-folds.
The reason Montreal became a hub for trade, was due to the city being surrounded by numerous water bodies. Acting as a perfect transportation pathway, the St.Lawrence river was a water body that ran to the core of North America, making the fur trade, which Montreal was known for, absolutely a piece of cake.
Being New France’s favorite destination, Montreal which was highly dominated by the French Canadian Catholics began to witness a competition when the English speaking protestants came into existence in the year 1760. It was later seen that Montreal was overpowered by the people originating from Britain in the year the 1860s due to the acceptance of the Treaty of Paris in the year 1763.
Labor requirements were at its peak when Montreal started developing as a center for manufacturing goods which led to clashes as it was Europeans versus the French Canadians. To avoid the unrequired tension between the two linguistic classes, the St. Lawrence Street also known then as Boulevard Saint Laurent came into existence, to the west of which was covered by the English and the east, by the French. Courtesy of the second world war, Montreal was transformed into a city with several diverse cultures. Occupied by the Asians, Europeans, Africans, and Americans now, it was no threat to the French as they still besieged half of Montreal.
Now that we have understood the core of Montreal, it is time to explore what the city offers to its visitors. Below are the top ten attractions that will make you want to head to this city in Quebec right this second!
The first and the highlight of Montreal is the Mont-Royal. One can touch the clouds because this aesthetic and the most unique park is placed two thirty-three meters above the ground! From checking out the carefully carved monuments of Jacques Cartier and King George the sixth to witnessing the aesthetic panorama of the Ile de Montreal which stretches for about fifty-one kilometres, this historic attraction must not be missed at any cost.
Vieux-Montreal (Old Montreal)
Structures that were built in between the seventeenth and the nineteenth century is what the Old Montreal is comprised of. This Parisian styled complex of the building falls right in between the corporate hub and the waterfront. From visiting the Pointe-A-Calliere which is a museum of archaeology to wandering the twin towers called Notre-Dame Basilica, not to forget the Place Jaques-Cartier which is an open ground for people to gather, this ancient, culturally strong attraction can only be explored to the fullest when on foot!
Jardin Botanique (Botanical Garden)
Jardin Botanique is known as Botanical Garden and it is an attraction that must be seen. This high above the ground attraction consists of 30 specifically crafted gardens accompanied by 10 exhibition greenhouses thus a variety of plants are grown in several different climate ranges. From Japanese, Chinese gardens to specifically themed ones such as medicinal, aquatic, useful and toxic, the outdoor gardens are one of a kind and cannot be missed. Complimenting this is the greenhouses that not only comprise of tropical rain forests but also orchids, bonsais, ferns, etc. The trip isn’t complete if not visited the Insectarium and the numerous ponds that houses a wide range of birds.
Built-in 1656, the Notre-Dame Basilica is the oldest church in Montreal. This twin tower that looks over the Place D’ames has interiors finely carved by the renowned Victor Bourgeau. From pulpit carved by Louis-Phillipe, Casavant Freres’s 7000 pipe-organ to the beautifully shown scenes of early Montreal via stained window glasses, one can enjoy a complete 20-minute tour of the attraction in peace.
Oratoire Saint-Joseph (St. Joseph’s Oratory)
The domed basilica that was built in the year 1924, is located right off the exit from the Mount Royal Park. This Renaissance-style structure’s inspiration was the patron saint of Canada and is a beauty that must be captured. The way moths are attracted to fire, in the same way, pilgrims are drawn towards this magnificent attraction that is known as Oratoire Saint-Joseph.
A part of this poised sanctuary is the chapel of Oratoire Saint-Joseph where the tomb of Brother Andre of the Congregation can be witnessed. Known his miraculous healing techniques, he was declared as a saint post his death in the year 1982. From the second chapel which displays the gifts of vows, to the walkway leading up to Mont-Royal, not forgetting the observatory from where the complete view of Montreal and Lac Saint-Louis can be captured, this attraction is a hundred percent must visit.
Parc Jean Drapeau
An artificial Notre-Dame island which was previously known as Ille Sainte Helene is now called Parc Jean Drapeau and is a major mecca for all tourists. This attraction, which was a location of the 1967 Expo, is now filled with attractions that cater to people of all ages and for families or groups. The Biosphere which is a museum now that spreads awareness about the ecology is a souvenir of the World Fair that was the highlight of the year 1967. This structure is not only considered the largest building in the world but comprises of numerous tourist attractions such as La Ronde Amusement Park, Stewart Museum, Bassin Olympique and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine Arts Museum)
The oldest museum in Canada, the Musee des Beaux-Arts is a must-see. Home to several magnificent paintings and sculptures, this museum is known for its variety of collections. From world cultures, Mediterranean archaeology to African, Asian, and Islamic masterpieces, this attraction has more than 1400 representations of art that comprise of creations by Mantegna, Poussin, Canaletto, El Greco and many more. If one is an art enthusiast and wants to know deeply about the secrets and history of these magnificent pieces, then this is the place.
Located at 350 Place Royale, is another mecca for museum lovers, the Pointe-a-Calliere. A structure that comprises of archaeological and historical knowledge, is one attraction that has to be visited when exploring Montreal. This place was a hub not only for shopping in the early days of Montreal but also for having parades, however the government structures took over the place later.
Not only the backstory of this city, but one can as well explore the essence of the old Montreal when visiting this spectacular museum. Unlike other historical foundations, this attraction gives a real-life experience of the old city. From walking through the then-built streets to checking out the designs of the buildings that came into existence in the 17th century, the visitor can visualize the whole scene of Montreal with the supporting maps and other artifacts as one escalates to the core of the museum.
Place des Arts
When visiting a town, it is highly essential to witness the cultural performances thus Place des Arts is one such place which is a hub for performing arts. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Les Grands Ballets Canadians, and the Opéra de Montréal, are three such magnificent organizations, specializing in cultural activities that makes this attraction the largest in all of Canada. From dance, music to films, theatre and high-end events, this location is vehemently aesthetic with grand fountains, and classy arts. The annual festival called International de Jazz de Montréal, the core of which is Jazz, can be attended in the month of June and July and it is a must visit so book your tickets to Montreal in between these summer months!
Atwater and Jean Talon Markets
Souvenir shopping or want to check out the local eatery? Well the Atwater and Jean Talon markets are your go to. Representing the warehouses of Montreal, these busiest markets are known for its exquisite culture-depicting surroundings and their yummy food delicacies along with Montreal’s unique selling products. From vegetables, fruits, flowers to maple syrup, candies, home-made jams, not to forget the mouth-watering pastries and the city’s cheese collections, these markets are not to be missed at any cost.
Knowledge, Aesthetics, Calm are the words that describe the city of Quebec, Montreal. Catering to ages of all kind, this place is suitable for everyone who are either travelling with family/groups or individually. With its magnificent history and beautiful present, this city is an absolute delight to explore, so wait no more, and book your tickets to this city of Quebec right away!