Weekend Getaways to Montreal
Gare du Palais
Places des Arts Sculpture
Photos credit to www.old.montreal.qc.ca.)
The "joie de
vivre" is palpable and contagious in this vibrant, culturally diverse
and cosmopolitan city of two million inhabitants. Whether sipping a cappuccino
at an outdoor cafe, gambling at the huge Casino de Montreal complex or
exploring historic Old Montreal, you can't escape without experiencing the
excitement and energy that pervade the entire city. Montreal draws tourists
year-round; even a series of cold winter days (and it does get frigid) can be
avoided in the vast Underground City with its restaurants, stores, walkways and
subway, or enjoyed through the broad array of winter sports. The truly
international flavor here is evident in the numerous fine restaurants, with
cuisine from around the world, and in the self-contained ethnic communities,
like Little Italy, a lively area of espresso bars and delectable cuisine. For
sizzling nightlife, check out the Rue Crescent's myriad clubs,
bars and restaurants. The historical division between the French and English
influence has significantly lessened, but distinctive sections still remain.
Place d'Armes (photos
credit to www.old.montreal.qc.ca.)
(514) 285-1600 (Telephone)
(514) 285-4019 (Fax)
/ Peel - Metro Station
At the heart of the city's
cultural life, the Museum Quarter radiates out from the Montreal Museum of Fine
Arts. The Museum Quarter's historical and architectural richness, spilling over
into surrounding streets, creates a special ambiance that leaves a lasting
impression on visitors. Crescent, de
la Montagne and Sherbrooke Streets are
the hub of the district's vibrant business life. High-end, designer fashion and
decor boutiques, international shops, art galleries, jewelers and exquisite
fine dining never fail to win visitors over.
Place Ville Marie
Corner of McGill College Avenue and Cathcart Stre et
(514) 861-9393 (Telephone)
(514) 861-4560 (Fax)
Monday to Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
Thursday and Friday,
9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.;
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Ideally situated at the heart
of downtown and its famous underground
city, the Place Ville Marie shopping
centre has been offering an array of 80 elegant boutiques, restaurants and
services for more than 40 years.
underground" They're actually
referring to the vast network of pedestrian walkways spread out below the city.
To put a number on it, there are 30 kilometres of connecting areas, passageways
and hubs beneath the downtown.
More than 500,000 people pass
through the underground city every day, on their way to work, university or to
scope out bargains at the over 1,700 boutiques and businesses. The many
passageways also serve a more leisurely purpose; connecting certain metro
stations, the underground provides access to about 40 theatres, cinemas and other entertainment venues, as well as restaurants,
tourist attractions and museums.
Construction of this daring
complex began in the late 1950s, introducing modern architecture to Montreal
and marking the start of the underground city. Consisting of several towers,
Place Ville Marie features a cruciform design that recalls the city's religious
heritage when it was originally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. On the
esplanade, take a moment to admire the view back up McGill College Avenue and
McGill's University campus at the foot of Mount Royal.
"Quartier international de
(514) 841-7766 (Telephone)
(514) 841-7755 (Fax)
- Metro Station
Linking the bustling, modern
downtown to the tranquil streets of the old city, the Quartier international is
host to some of Montreal's finest design, architecture and cultural activities.
A pedestrian circuit allows visitors to discover the Quartier's hidden cultural
treasures. Facing the newly-renovated and expanded Palais des congres is Place
Jean-Paul Riopelle, a new public space created in honour of the celebrated
artist. In its centre stands La Joute, one of Riopelle's creations. In
accordance with the late artist's wishes, a ring of fire circles this magnificent
Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal
3800 Queen-Mary Road
(514) 733-8211 (Telephone)
(514) 733-9735 (Fax)
- Metro Station
Saint Joseph's Oratory atop Mount Royal is one of the world's most
visited shrines. The basilica's huge dome reaches 97 metres and is second only
in height to Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. The sheer size of it contrasts
sharply with its frail founder, Brother Andre, the humble doorkeeper who had
initiated its construction in 1904. The shrine devoted to Saint Joseph consists
of a primitive chapel, a votive chapel, a crypt and a basilica large enough to
accommodate 10,000 worshippers. Relics of Brother Andre and many ex-voto of
miraculously cured pilgrims are exhibited. The basilica's great organs and 52
bell chimes will occasionally rekindle solemn works of great composers.
A higher space of the spiritual meeting in the world
Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal is recognized as one of the
great temples of the world. Like many sacred places in various countries, the
Oratory attracts visitors who seek a haven of peace, a spiritual encounter, or
the opportunity to visit an important tourist attraction. There are many such
temples in the Christian world of the Occident. Only three are found at the
heart of important cities: Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Sanctuary of
Montmartre in Paris and Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal.
The upper church seen on top of Mount-Royal
is known as the Basilica. It was built between 1924 and 1967. It is a very
impressive building 105 meters long, 65 meters wide in the transepts and 60
meters high inside under the dome. However, outside it rises 97 meters from the
ground to the tip of the cross standing high on top of the lantern crowning the
dome. The seating capacity of the Basilica is 2,200. On most Sundays, the
Oratory's Boys Choir and the grand organ accompany the services. The
architectural design is simple and the decoration minimal to create an
atmosphere of peace conducive to prayer and reflection for all those who come
to pray and undertake a spiritual journey.
Because Brother Andre, the
humble doorkeeper of a boy's college, realized his dream.
In a short time, this place
of prayer became known internationally. During almost thirty years, Brother
Andre received pilgrims. Thousands of people claimed that they had obtained
physical, moral or spiritual favors because of his intercession. So much so,
that soon, he became known in America as the miracle-worker of Mount Royal.