In parallel to the different things we had to do when we arrived, we were able to visit the city of Montreal. First step of our journey in Canada.
Our first discoveries of Montreal were thanks to the different things we had to do. For the bank as well as the telephone service, we strolled around in the famous St. Catherine Street. It offers many large retailers and several shopping malls, which allow you to join the underground Montreal.
On our first evening, we went on Crescent Street to drink a beer and eat a poutine.
We did a little tour of the Old Montreal according to a 2-km itinerary indicated in our Lonely Planet guide. We visited the beautiful Basilica of Notre-Dame. Then, we walked around Youville Square and on St. Paul Street.
We also visited the Old Port via Jacques Cartier Square and the Bonsecours market.
Mount Royal and St. Joseph’s Oratory
We went to visit St. Joseph’s Oratory with the Couchsurfer who hosted us. On the way, we stopped at a great view point of the city of Montreal.
St. Joseph’s Oratory is the largest church in North America; it is gigantic. It is very modern compared to what we are used to seeing in Europe. Its dome is the second largest dome in the world, after the one of the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
We went to explore the famous Mount Royal park during the day and at night.
Shores of the St. Lawrence
We had a cold walk in the Rapids Park on the shores of the St. Laurent. A frozen walk, as the ground was like an ice rink. At this area on the shore, the St. Laurent is quite agitated and offers rapids. Surfers come to practice on continuous waves in the summer.
Little Burgundy and Saint-Henri
During our first week, we stayed with friends in the Little Burgundy district, then at a couchsurfer’s in Saint-Henri. These two neighborhoods are very nice, with the shopping street Notre-Dame nearby. You can also stroll around the Atwater market and the Lachine Canal. We were able to walk along the snowy canal with a warm coffee, a very pleasant moment.
The Plateau is a select area of Montreal. We were able to stay there for 2 nights when we were staying with a friend. On the first night, we strolled through the snow in La Fontaine park, and we even walked on frozen water. Part of the same body of water was turned into an ice rink.
During the day, we strolled through the main arteries of the Plateau: St. Denis Street, Mount-Royal Avenue and St. Laurent Boulevard.
Snow removal from the streets of Montreal
We arrived in Montreal just after a big snowfall of more than 50 cm. And about 20 cm of snow fell during our first two weeks in Montreal. We were fascinated by the huge snow-clearing machines on roads and sidewalks in the middle of the city. We are like kids every time we see them go by.
Outside the island of Montreal
We went to Oka near a national park. It is a First Nations reserve, a very charming village. We did the Oka-Hudson crossing by car on the frozen Ottawa River. An experience we did not think we would live so soon! 🙂
You can see all our pictures on the facebook album.