Montreal is one of the biggest cities in Canada and boasts a unique culture with its mixture of French and English.
Montreal is the largest city in the province of Quebec and was built next to “Mont Real” (Mount Royal in English). The city is right next to the Saint Lawrence River and it was one of the earliest settlements in Canada. French settlers began living in the area in the 17th Century and the francophone influence has remained there ever since. Although Montreal is part of the French-speaking part of Canada, it houses one of the largest English-speaking universities in the country, McGill University.
Many places in Canada are predominantly English-speaking but Montreal is different. It is a city with a strong French influence which is visible in the language heard on the street and in bars and restaurants. The French spoken in Montreal is often referred to Quebecoise after the name of the province where it is situated (Quebec).
One of the unique Canadian dishes that can be consumed in Montreal is poutine which is chips with melted cheese curds, soaked in hot gravy. Poutine is the perfect snack and different bars and restaurants around Montreal offer poutine with different types of cheese and gravies.
Quebec is the home of maple syrup which is derived from the sap of maple trees. This sweet treat is especially popular with pancakes and waffles but can also be found in different pastries and hard-candies.
Montreal is a great city to enjoy music and theatre. Every year there is an important summer jazz festival and there are lots of concerts and shows around town. On Sundays, weather permitting, there is a drum festival celebrated in Mount Royal Park where people of all ages dance to the beat of bongos and different percussion instruments.
Things to see
Old Montreal or ‘Vieux Montreal’ is a spectacular part of the city. It is situated near the harbour where the city was founded. At the weekend, the old town is filled with markets, street performers and food carts. On the other side of Mount Royal there is an area called Outremont where there is an original mix of cultures and traditions.
Montreal also boasts numerous galleries, museums and some trendy shops. There is something for everyone!
Keep in mind that winters in Montreal tend to be extremely harsh so if you visit this fine city during winter months make sure to take warm clothes and bundle up.
What do you think? Would you like to visit Montreal one day?