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A city of 1.7 million people, Montreal boasts more than an impressive international diversity. With more than 100 music, dance, and art festivals a year, including the world-renowned jazz festival, Canada’s second-largest city exudes cultural richness. Its wide array of cultural activities extends to the city’s ambiance: whether meandering down the Old Town’s historic alleys, eating a late-night poutine after sampling the city’s nightlife, or gazing upon the Notre-Dame, Montreal hooks you in its rhythm.
The two towers that adorn St. Sulpice Street in Montreal beckon during the day, and shimmer at night. An object d’art of Gothic Revival architecture, the Notre Dame de Montreal was finished in 1829, its interior filled with meticulous carvings, stained glass windows, and statues. The stately organ in the centre, encircled by glistening blue and golden lights, will remind you why Notre Dame is one of the most unmissable monuments in North America.
It would be an injustice to miss out on the mountain from which Montreal inherited its name. At Mount Royal, an immense network of wooded areas, walking paths, and nooks and crannies cede to viewing platforms that offer sweeping views of Montreal. Affectionately called “the backyard of Montreal,” this immense park offers the perfect respite from the city’s vivacious downtown.
Designed by French architect Roger Tallibert, the Olympic Stadium is more than a great place to watch a sports match. Nearby nature museums, open-air events, and winter activities make the Stadium worth the trek. Adjacent to the stadium is the Montreal Tower, the tallest inclined tower in the world, as well as the perfect place to take a view of the city from afar.
Walking down the cobblestone streets in Old Montreal may remind you of the last time you were in southern France. That’s because this 17th century settlement is one of the North America’s oldest neighbourhoods, and evokes a European sensibility rare in the continent. Head down Rue Saint-Urbain to see the beckoning Notre-Dame before having a glass of wine in the Art Nouveau buildings on the St. Lawrence waterfront.
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