— words by Philippa Macken
Christened Ville Marie de Mont-Réal by the founding French missionary colony in 1642, the island city of Montreal in the Canadian province of Quebec has evolved both in name and culture into an exciting metropolis where old and new is woven together into a colourful urban tapestry.
From its French colonial roots to the famous Battle of the Plains of Abraham, when the region surrendered to the British army, every significant historical event adds a cultural element still evident in the city’s landmarks and lifestyle today.
The second largest French-speaking city in the world, Montreal’s European architecture, magnificent old churches, and cobblestone roads, exist in happy harmony with cosmopolitan cafes, the modern subway system, and Underground City.
The true spirit of Montreal is found in the people who dwell here; a multicultural mix of artists, providores, families, and the young uber-chic, reflected in the colourful street art, food markets, and diverse festivals.
Cycle the enormous network of pathways that criss-cross the city like a cobweb. Shop for hours on Rue Saint Catherine, or people-watch over a warm bagel and coffee in a funky Mile-End café. However you choose to explore Montreal, the exultant pulse of the city draws you in and makes you feel at home.