After three months spent living in the Canadian metropolis of Montreal, Jürgen and I came away with some unforgettable memories. We’ve now collected our experiences into an e-book, with all of our articles and over 200 full-color photographs.
Montreal has a man-made underground city, through which millions of people pass every day. But there’s also a place you can see a more natural underground setting. In the northern neighborhood of Saint Leonard is a set of small caves which long ago opened up in the earth.
In 1912, the Canadian Northern Railroad Line bought a swath of undeveloped land to the north of Mont Royal. Architects and urban planners were hired to design a new model community, which would become known as the Town of Mont-Royal. In its hundred-plus years of existence, this suburb has remained a green, affluent, English-speaking oasis in the middle of Montreal.
We showed up in Saint-Henri with the intention of visiting the Emile Berliner Musée des Ondes, a museum dedicated to the world of audio. But since the museum was closed, we instead spent the day wandering around the neighborhood. Working-class Saint-Henri hasn’t traditionally been the kind of place which draws tourists, but it’s recently come into fashion, and gentrification is well underway.
In 1759, on a field outside the walled city of Quebec, the future of Canada was decided. At the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, the forces of England decisively defeated those of France, and Quebec City fell under the British crown. Today, the battlefield has become an urban park, and a venue for summertime concerts.
As luck would have it, Jürgen and I arrived during what everyone swears is one of the worst Quebec springs in recent memory. For every sunny day, we’ve had six that were rainy and cold. But luckily Montreal has plenty of fun things to do indoors, and we still have a couple months to get outside and experience the city’s famous street life. Here are our first impressions, after one month.
Set inside an imposing art deco building on the waterfront near the Lachine Canal, the Atwater Market is home to a wide variety of butchers, bakers and produce stands. The market was too far away from our apartment in Old Montreal, but this was probably a good thing. If we had shopped there every day, we might have been healthier and happier, but we’d also have gone broke.