Rue St-Paul | Rue Bonsecours | Place Jacques-Cartier | Notre-Dame Basilica | Mont Royal
Old Montreal is European in character with it’s cobblestone streets, quaint cafes, & 17th – 18th century architecture (The oldest buildings date back to the 1600’s)! It sits between the St. Lawrence River and Downtown Montreal. The best way to get around is definitely by foot since the entire area only covers about 0.4 sq miles. Rue St-Paul is Montreal’s oldest street. It runs parallel to the port. This area is full of art galleries, shops, and restaurants.
My favorite strolling place. Although somewhat “off the beaten path,” this quiet, graceful area seemed to have a story of it’s own. & the charming Chapel at the end of the road was ravishing. To the right of the chapel is Bonsecours Market (not pictured). Bonsecours Market was the city’s main agricultural marketplace for over a century. But for me, this was the first place I was able to try Canadian Famous Maple Syrup! & it was delicious!
Flowers, cafes, pubs, & entertainment. If you are looking for a place to relax, you have found it! Jacques Cartier Square is located in the middle of Old Montreal & is the main entrance to the Old Port of Montreal. It is a car-free zone with lots of street artists, tourists, and locals alike. Here, I was able to friend a local artist & purchase one of his Notre-Dame Basilica watercolors. I treasure it.
In 1641, 50 french settlers set sail for “New France.” They landed next to the St. Lawrence River & founded Ville-Marie, now known as Montreal. They came with the hopes of converting the natives & creating a model Catholic Community. By 1800 the original church became too small & the ornate church pictured, became – THANK YOU FOR THIS WORK OF ART. Our trip to Canada was full of chapels & churches, but I have never seen an alter as detailed as this. Everyone must see Notre-Dame Basilica. Everyone must hear the sound of the organs. Everyone must say a prayer here for their loved ones.
Did you know? Celine Dion was married at Notre-Dame Basilica in 1994
Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or the Empire State Building in NYC, Mont Royal acts as a natural landmark & a way to orient yourself in Montreal. Although we had to leave Vieux Montreal & head downtown (we still walked) to experience the view, it was well worth it. Approximately 263 stairs later – might not sound too bad, think again – we made it to the top. Greenery, music, space… I may not have mentioned the street pianos, but this was one of my most loved parts of the city. Don’t be surprised to stumble upon a beautifully aged, painted piano on any of this city’s street corners. Painted by local artists, these pianos encourage community dialogue as well as a unique spirit. While atop Mont Royal, a young man was playing children songs next to the ice cream truck. Can we bring this concept to Columbus, or what? LOVE IT.