Montreal, off-the beaten path

Aug 30th, 2007, 10:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 256
Montreal, off-the beaten path

Montreal, off-the beaten path

I am visiting Montreal for the month of September. I am searching for MUST-do's in the city. Please share your favourite Montreal spots according to the following interest criteria. Thanks.

-the nicest thing to do?
-memorable/dramatic scenery & landscape photography (i.e. viewpoints, panoramas, sunsets)
-nature, the outdoors, hikes/mountaintops, and amazing views...
-lovely/charming streets
-non-typical/exciting/interesting/unique EXPERIENCES (full of original character), and local only to the area.
-specialty/unique local cuisine
sandy456 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,472
Wow, as a long time Montreal visitor, this could be tricky to answer, everyone has their own tastes and likes and dislikes. For me, a perfect day in Montreal would be staying at a comfortable b&b on the plateau, having some good conversation at breakfast with other world travelers. We would then head off on a long bike ride, perhaps doing the Lachine Canal & stopping at Atwater market for lunch. On the way back we might stop off downtown or near St. Denis and stroll around for a while. Then back to the room, rest, shower and head out for dinner. Pick up an interesting wine at the SAQ on St. Denis, then stroll the streets of the Plateau to seek out an interesting BYOB restaurant. After a long and leisurely dinner (preferably outdoors), walking the lively streets of St. Denis, St. Laurent, etc, perhaps stopping off to hear some music, or watching sidewalk
performenrs on Prince Arthur Street.
As for scenery, Montreal is not the most scenic city (go to Quebec City for this!), but there are nice views from the top of Mt. Royal park. There are some very nice (and virtually untouristed) walks and bike paths thru woodlands along the northern edge of the island, with views if the river.
There are nice streets nearly everywhere in the city - my favorites are on the Plateau near Sq. St Louis, and behind Mt. Royal park.
Some of the best experiences are totally unplanned - such as when we were invited to ride a 30 man bike in the Canada Day parade, or the time we came across a Dominican Republic festival on Mt. Royal.
For good tips on off the beaten path, pick up a copy of 'Romantic Days and Nights in Montreal'. Also, the free guidebook to the city that is found in most hotels is very useful and chuck full of attractions, walking tours, etc.
zootsi is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Hey Sandy,

Montreal has sooo much to offer! One of my FAVOURITE things to do with my boyfriend (which may not interest you at all) is to pack a picnic and take a drive through upper westmount and look at all the mansions. Some of the homes are just spectacular! We loooove one street in particular, I believe it is called Oakwood or Oakwood Crescent, at the end of the street, the top of St Joseph's Oratory is literally right in front of you, and you are on a beautiful dead end street with mansions and can have a spectacular look at the dome of the oratory and you will most probably be completely alone as very few people ever pass by here.

After we have enjoyed dreaming about mansions, we take our picnic lunch or dinner to Westmount park, which is on Sherbrooke W in westmount. Its a great park, it has a library, greenhouse, pond, playground and lots of greenspace to plant yourself and enjoy the day.

This is off the beaten path as most tourists to Montreal don't really venture out of the core of the city, even though Westmount is directly adjacent to the downtown core.

As a native Montrealer, I can guarantee you that you will leave the tourist crowds behind if you take this little excursion, but you would need a car as it would be too much to walk.

If you don't rent a car (which would be fun even just for one day if you wanted to explore other areas of the city) you could hop on the 24 bus and go along Sherbrooke W in Westmount and then transfer to the 105 (heading west) and you could take a look at NDG and the bus even goes to Montreal West terminus and you could walk along Westminster Ave, which is a cute little street which is the main drag of the Montreal West area.

Enjoy the city! Feel free to email me if you have any other questions.
[email protected]

aucho53 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 16,097
for speciality foods "of the area" I would try Schwartz's deli on St. Laurent for smoked meat. Also Montreal style bagels at the St. Viateur or Fairmount bagel bakeries in the Plateau area.
You're on your own for poutine--I am not a fan. A friend told me that the poutine at the snack bar at St. Joseph's Oratory is good. St. Joseph's is an interesting place to visit and has impressive views of the city but is hardly off the beaten track since it is a major pilgrimage church.
Vttraveler is online now  
Sep 6th, 2007, 07:42 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 479
Here are some ideas :

When in the Plateau, don't stay on St-Denis and Mont-Royal. Explore side streets (Laval street for example). Typical Montréal architecture.

On Mont-Royal, stop by La Binerie (near St-Denis). The last authentic "binerie" left (beans). mothing has changed in years. Best for breakfast.

For nice walks : Canal Lachine, top of Mont Royal is a must, Quartier Italien (stop at the marché Jean-Talon, best coffee on st-Laurent at Caffe Italia, great cheap armenian food at Petit Alep). I also love love love the Parc des îles de Boucherville for picnics/bike rides. A great way to see the city from another perspective (

For a nice view, top of the Nelligan Hotel in Old Montreal. Expensive to eat,but great place for a drink at sunset.

If I think of something else, will add details.

Have fun!
Jojonana is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 07:43 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 479
Oh, and BEST poutine by far on Rachel street near Parc Lafontaine at La Banquise. Perfect location since you can walk the calories away at the gorgeous park afterwards!
Jojonana is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 595
Best (and sometimes most bizarre) sandwiches at Le Santropol From there you can walk the McGill ghetto or take a walk on the Mont-Royal.

If you find yourself around Le Plateau and le Parc Jeanne-Mance for lunch time, try La Chilenita (64 Marie-Anne ). For true latino sandwiches and lunch fares. Following that lunch, take a walk up north and within around 40 minutes, you will end up near Cafe Olympico..

For lattes like you never tasted (unless you visited Italy), try Café Olympico (also called Open da Night by an older crowd) located on 124 St-Viateur West, corner of Waverly in the Mile-end district.
travelingmad is offline  
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