Need help with Montreal

Aug 29th, 2001, 12:38 PM
Posts: n/a
Need help with Montreal


Me and my husband will be going to Montreal next January (yes, I know there's plenty of time... but I'm already anxious to go!), and I would like to know some information about the city, the weather, the hotels, beautiful places to see, day trips, where to eat, how to use the subway, etc.
We are intending to use the subway; do bus tours around the city and far away; want to stay in a nice hotel paying until U$160 (around $250 CAD) per night; do some shop; and take lots of pictures.
Any special reccomendation about the weather/cold?
Thanks in advance!

Aug 29th, 2001, 01:11 PM
Daniel Williams
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I love Montreal and lived there for 5 years, and have been back a number of times since I left (including 2 weeks ago).

That said, January WILL be COLD. We're talking -10C with little wind as a NICE day, meteorologists saying "today it will be a balmy -6C". At worst, it could be blowing snow, with icy roads and beware the almost frozen puddles, for if you step in them you will be walking in cold wet socks until you get home to change them. Or it could be -35C EXCLUDING wind chill factor and you will FEEL the cold through the longjohns, through the gloves in your pockets, through the tiny crack between your scarf and your hat so you can see, your nosehairs may freeze, and if you wear glasses, they will feel unbearably cold against your face. Also, there will be rocks/salt on the sidewalks, so protect your shoes accordingly. Don't say you weren't warned.

HOWEVER, while some people leave their apts only for work, there is still life in the city in wintertime. Restaurants, nightclubs and entertainment venues are still well-attended. You can skate on Parc Lafontaine's lake or Beaver Lake. You could take a day trip to Mont Tremblant for skiing or cross-country on Mont-Royal itself. Old Montreal will be pretty although far more deserted than in summer, however with some tech companies moving in there, it may not be SO deserted.

Crazy though this may sound, I miss Montreal winters in some ways...not the worst days, but the days with clear blue sky, brisk tempteratures, not too much wind, well-bundled and enjoying the crispness of the air.

I think you could have fun if you like museums, nightlife, restaurants, shopping, winter outdoors activity. But be prepared with mittens, hat, longjohns, scarf AND mentally for Montreal winters are nothing to sneeze at.
Aug 29th, 2001, 01:34 PM
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Can I change the topic and tap into your wealth of Montreal knowledge? I will be travelling solo on business in late Sept/early Oct to Montreal and Quebec City (read your recent post!). Can you suggest any restaurants (French, seafood, Belgian, Steakhouses) that would be accomodaing for a solo diner ( not a "romantic" or "stuffy" atmosphere). Price is not a concern, but good dining is a requirement. Thanks for any thoughts you may have.
Aug 29th, 2001, 05:23 PM
Daniel Williams
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My friend Tara who still lives in Montreal will walk into ANY restaurant on her own, from high glamour to romantic...if she wants to eat there and she's hungry, she's going to eat there! My friend Jorge (in Montreal) on the other hand feels like a friendless loser even when he's sitting alone in a crowded food court, and thinks everyone else is laughing at/talking about him, thinking he's a loser. So it really all depends on your level of comfortability; I'm somewhere between the two of them.

One point from Tara's example is you can go wherever you please really. And despite Jorge's paranoia, most fellow patrons in my experience really don't care and waiters/staff will not make you feel uncomfortable dining alone.

For Belgian, try Witloof on Saint Denis just north of Sherbrooke...delicious mussels and steak tartare; one of my coworkers went there alone regularly. There's another place that serves great mussels on Ave des Pins between Saint Laurent and Saint Denis, but the name I've forgotten. French restaurant...hmmm, it's tricky to find one of those that is NOT romantic--French and romance go hand in hand; I rarely ate at one in Montreal believe it or not.

Steak--I'm not a big fan. Moishes is supposedly the place, I've never been. Might be stuffy from what I've gathered, but I could be wrong. I'll bet Tara would go in there though!

Seafood--I can help with sushi. Wakamono on Mont-Royal near Lanaudiere (metro Mont Royal) is great. Soto downtown and on St. Laurent is good also. If you want shellfish, I'm afraid AGAIN to be at a loss...not being my first choice dish

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Believe me there are tons of places you'll feel perfectly comfortable eating on your own in Montreal of high quality--I know far more vegetarian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Lebanese, etc... than the varieties you asked about. Particularly budget places since I was a grad student

Have a great time in Montreal & Q.C.
Sep 2nd, 2001, 08:32 PM
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Thanks for the information. I am still in need of more information regarding to hotels, etc. Any inputs?

Sep 5th, 2001, 07:53 AM
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For hotels, try the Fairmont Queen Elizabether. Upscale hotel, centrally located and accessible via the underground mall system
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