Montreal Activities in 3 Days

Old Aug 22nd, 2012, 06:31 AM
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Montreal Activities in 3 Days

Montreal Father/daughter trip Sept 1 - 5, 2012! Could use help with plans for 3 days, what are the must do activities and sites?

We arrive late on the 1st of September and will be staying at the Queen Elizabeth Fairmont leaving on the morning on September 5th. My daughter is a 16 year old 4th year French student who I am taking for the experience and to practice the language in a conversational way. This is a first time visit to Montreal so we could use assistance with a trip plan, activities and sites for Sept 2nd, 3rd and 4th. What are the suggestions for 2 very active people? We don't mind walking, biking, to most anything.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2012, 05:09 PM
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Your daughter will love Montreal - a very hip, Euro feeling city. Although French is the most common language, most Montrealers are bi-lingual. The 'usual' must do's for first time visitors would include Notre Dame basilica, walking Old Montreal and the waterfront, exploring the cafes & funky shops in the Plateau area, the view from the top of Mt. Royal, the sprawling Jean Talon and Atwater markets, the big department stores downtown, the lively street scene on Prince Arthur Street. If you enjoy bicycling, you will be in nirvana - Montreal is cris-crossed with wonderful, safe biking lanes. Perhaps the most popular route is Parc Lafontaine, down to the waterfront, and along the Lachine canal. There are bike rental stations everywhere, and the Montreal tourist map shows all the bike trails.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2012, 10:56 AM
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If your looking for adventure, try the Lachine Canal rafting. There are various ways to get down the river, Saute Mouton is a multi person ride with guide, lots of rollercoaster action on the water, or you can opt for single person rafts ,not sure of names but if you look up Rafting St Laurent you should find outfits that take you out. that you can use to get down the rapids, this last one is for in shape people only.
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Old Aug 25th, 2012, 11:43 AM
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You should be aware that Sept.3rd is Labour Day and most places will be closed. One of the things I love to do when I visit Montreal is to walk up Mount Royal The views from the top are spectacular. I also love Jean Talon market. It is a fabulous place and it makes you realise how productive Quebec farmers are.The Metro will take you there. The Biosphere is another place of enormous interest. Enjoy.
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Old Aug 27th, 2012, 07:38 AM
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Great suggestions thus far from zootsi, Valerie and almcd; I'd add the Botanical Gardens to the list and Ile Ste Helene (metro: Jean Drapeau) is fun to explore where the Biosphere is.

Practicing one's French as an English-speaking outsider here does come with its challenges. Especially downtown and in the west, there are chances you will come upon an anglophone or an immigrant whose better language is English. One oft runs across a francophone who speaks English well or likes practicing their English. So, people may just switch to English right away.

And even when one does run across someone who seems happy to speak in French with you, the Quebec accent and vocabulary can be different enough for a learner of standard school French so as to render comprehension a challenge (this depends however on the speaker; some Quebeckers speak naturally more standard French than others). All this can be discouraging for the French language learner who wishes to practice here. Nevertheless, I recommend not being discouraged but being persistent with practicing; rewards will be reaped!
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Old Aug 28th, 2012, 12:23 PM
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The analogy I like to use is, the Quebecois style of French is to Parisien French what Australian English is to American English - it's the same language, but with a different accent and some subtle differences in terms of slang/regional words. It's still French, however.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 09:17 PM
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Ditto the suggestions for the view from the top of Mont Royal and Jean Talon market. My mother, sister, and I took the metro/bus combo to Mont Royal, and enjoyed walking down to the bottom, which led us to the streets around McGill University. And Jean Talon was extremely fun. It's such a huge market and it's very enjoyable walking through it and seeing the amazing producer and other vendors. It really was one of my favorite spots to see!

If your daughter's an art lover, I'd also highly recommend the Museum of Fine Arts. The main collection is free and well worth a visit.
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