Old Montreal vs. Downtown Montreal

Old Mar 13th, 2006, 05:38 AM
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Old Montreal vs. Downtown Montreal

I will be in Montreal for an extended weekend. I am thinking it will be a mostly shopping, walking around, and dining kind of holiday. I am uncertain if I should stay in Old Montreal or Downtown. I am leaning towards Old Montreal, as it seems like it has more atmosphere than Downtown. Any thoughts? I am looking at either the Marriott Residence Inn Downtown or the Spring Hill Suites in Old Montreal.

Also, do you have any suggestions on what to do in the area?
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 09:21 AM
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It depends on what you want. Old Montreal is much more scenic, and for a day or two might be a better choice. The downtown is only about a 15 minute walk (uphill) from the old city.
The downtown has much more shopping and dining options however. To get you even more confused, I would choose the Plateau area over both the downtown or the Old city - it's more European feeling, with lots of cafes and shops.
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 03:46 PM
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Try St. Denis St. Only a 20 minute wal to Old Montreal but lots happening!
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 12:03 AM
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Hi zootsi!!

I love Montreal and we like to stay downtown..on or close to rue Sherbrook.
I would suggest you do that too, or as zootsi says, on the Plateau..you don't want to waste time getting back and forth from Old Montreal to the good shopping and eating spots in town..
Not sure of prices but I will name places we have stayed or almost stayed
Le Germain
Omni
Chateau Versailles..this might suit you, it is two townhouses converted into a charming hotel..close to the museum..
You want to be closer to rue St Denis, shopping mecca!
Have fun..

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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 02:42 AM
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Either way, you'll be close enough to shopping or dining; it's 8$ cdn cab ride from downtown to old montreal. Are you going in the summer ?
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 06:01 AM
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I will be going in late April/early May, so I know the weather could be dicey. I am just looking for a long weekend of shopping, walking around, eating, going out for drinks... basically just a leisure holiday.

I am finding it hard to find information on what exactly is in Old Montreal. From what I gather, there is beautiful architecture, which I always appreciate, but what would be the draw to stay there over Downtown?

I was trying to be well educated on this area before I asked questions, but for some reason I am finding it hard to find information!
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 07:38 AM
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Mazey,

My short answer is that between Old Montreal and Downtown, that it doesn't really matter too much which of these two you stay in. They're around 20-25 minute walk between each other (and the Plateau).

The longer answer is, if having a certain ambience on your doorstep is important to you, pick which of the below appeals to you more.

Old Montreal has relatively few residents and is the focal point of a lot of tourists' visits. There are narrow streets, some cobblestone, lovely old buildings and one super cathedral; there's sometimes entertainment on Place Jacques Cartier. Prices tend to reflect the tourist presence around here. There are some excellent restaurants (Gandhi is my favourite Indian in the city) and a few good places to shop. I wouldn't call it a "tourist trap" though per se as a number of companies moved down here in the 1990s, so you'll see everyday Montrealers mingling in your midst.

Downtown. Hustle-and-bustle, a lot of chain stores and underground shopping malls. Nightlife options on Crescent and adjacent streets. You'll see a lot of the business set here. I would not call most of it charming (although there are some lovely churches/ buildings sprinkled here & there and I am a fan of Dorchester Square). Advantages vs. Old Montreal are proximity to Musee des Beaux Arts, more (especially chain store) shopping, McGill campus & the mountain is closer. Similar to Midtown New York City (not Chelsea) if that means anything to you.

The Plateau has a charm all its own, very Bohemian, uniquely Montreal, very charming residential, Parc Lafontaine is one of my favourite places in the city. Many excellent locally-owned and operated stores, restaurants and nightlife establishments. Most interesting people-watching in the city.

Enjoy whatever you decide.

DAN
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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Very flattered with all the praises given to my neighbourhood, the Plateau

One thing wasn't mentioned, you can take the bus or metro to get around. They're reliable and affordable. One ticket costs C$2.50. More info on the tariff: http://www.stcum.qc.ca/english/info/a-tarif.htm

I would stay in a boutique hotel (not a Marriott!!) if I were you. There are tons, and around this time they always have specials. They would probably cost the same as the generic Marriott.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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Why go to Old Montreal? You can go downtown in any city, but there is only one place in the world where you can go to the world recognized Old Montreal. So go there and forget Down Town entirely if need be.
I say actually stay in old Montreal.(we did)
You absorb the flavor immediately when you go out rather than have to go get it.
Also unplanned events make it handier if you are sightseeing in the old town. Like spending all the cash on subway passes cuz they don't take CC's, no big deal walk and re-supply. Also if feminine issues crop up or other stuff (my daughter got a cold shower and was good for the rest of the day. 90 degree far.- Celsius =?)
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 10:26 PM
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Can one of you please tell me what streets encompass the area you call the Plateau? I loved Montreal and am planning my next visit - even if it won't be for a year or so. We did dine on St Denis (I think - Toque before it moved) and that was a great street for strolling in the evening.
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 05:33 AM
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I would say roughly the area east of st Laurent, and uphill of Sherbrooke, extending east to Papineau and north to Mt Royal. St. Denis, which is in the heart of it (even though some of it is below Sherbrooke), is probably the most interesting street, but there are plenty of others, like St. Laurent, Rue Rachael, Mt Royal, Duluth, Prince Arthur, etc. One of our favorite evening strolls when we dine in the Duluth area is down St. Denis, thru Sq. St. Louis and Prince Arthur, down St Laurent, and then along Sherbrooke back to our room.
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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Thanks for the info on the Plateau. My husband is from Montreal but left so many years ago that everything has changed. It's like Vancouver - when I was a kid growing up there areas that are touristy now are areas you wouldn't dream of going to then. Gastown was a slum, Granville Island was industrial, Lonsdale Quay was old shipyards etc. (now I am giving my age away) I had never been to Montreal and I made a reservation in Old Montreal. My husband couldn't believe that I had done that - he said it was a terrible area etc - I knew it was great from reading the travel boards. When he saw what had been done in the Old port he was amazed and really impressed. Also when we went to Toque he was very concerned about St Denis for walking. Now he can't wait to go back. If it weren't for the winters he would like to live there again.
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