One of the buildings which makes up Montreal’s “Space for Life” is the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. It opened in 2013, and features two full-dome theaters which allow visitors to tour the universe.
If you follow St. Laurent north, past the train tracks and Rosemont Boulevard, you end up in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which has long been home to Montreal’s Italian expat community. With espresso cafes, pizzerias, upscale restaurants, and pastry shops, Little Italy is a place you should visit when you’re hungry, and not leave until you’re stuffed as full as a cannoli.
Opened in 1933, the Marché Jean-Talon is one of North America’s largest public markets, with dozens of stands selling fresh fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses and more. For those lucky enough to live nearby, the Jean-Talon is a daily part of life. For the rest of us, it inspires fits of jealousy. Why isn’t there a market like this in my neighborhood? It’s a valid question, so somebody answer it!
Montreal’s largest religious complex, and certainly the largest we’ve seen in North America, the Oratory of St. Joseph is located in the heights of Mont Royal, and enjoys commanding views over the city. With multiple chapels, an underground church, a museum, and of course the crowning basilica, the Oratory is stunning in scale, impressive even to non-Catholic visitors.
As we approached the Marché Maisonneuve, our excitement grew. We love visiting markets, especially when they’re set inside buildings as beautiful as this one. But within seconds of stepping inside, our enthusiasm disappeared. The market which once graced its interior is gone, and the building is now used as a community center. Today, there was an amateur arts and crafts show.
In 2012, Major League Soccer expanded to Montreal, finally giving the city another top-tier team to follow besides the Canadiens. The Montreal Impact play in the Stade Saputo, within the Olympic Park, and we decided to check them out for a Saturday match against the Colorado Rapids.
This came as a surprise to me, but Montreal is apparently famous for its bagels. It makes sense, given the city’s strong Jewish community, but still: when I think “bagels,” New York is what comes to mind, not Montreal. That unconscious mental association might have changed forever, though, now that I’ve been introduced to the bagels of St-Viateur.
Constructed in 1844, the Bonsecours Market borders the old port of Montreal and the Notre Dame de Bon Secours church for which it’s named. For most of its life, Marché Bonsecours was the city’s main produce market. Today, you’ll find clothing stores, restaurants and craft shops inside, as well as a textile museum.