What City is most like Paris?

Apr 16th, 2004, 07:50 AM
  #1  
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What City is most like Paris?

Which city in Canada is most like Paris or feels the most like France? We are interested in art, history, old buildings, small shops, bookstores, sidewalk cafes, and scenic walks. Would also like to be able to visit without having to rent a car.

Like to use a short, inexpensive trip to Canada this summer to "hold us over" until going for an extended stay in Paris next year.
CafeBatavia is offline  
Apr 16th, 2004, 08:02 AM
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I don't know that there is any city in Canada that is "like Paris", but if it is the French experience that you want, visit the province of Quebec (Montreal and Quebec City). New Brunswick also has some French influence.
The rest of Canada is very similar to the US.
Borealis is offline  
Apr 16th, 2004, 08:14 AM
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Yes, its very, very hard to realistically compare any city to Paris. It's a french-like experience we are after.

If you could visit only one, which one would it be?
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Apr 16th, 2004, 08:15 AM
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At least as of a few years ago, people are much less likely to speak English in Quebec City than they are in Montreal. Many small towns in Quebec are very francophone.
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Apr 16th, 2004, 08:23 AM
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Paris is a large and busy city, which Quebec City isn't. Therefore, I'd say that Montreal is the most "Paris-like". But if you're asking about smaller French towns, then there are other Canadian alternatives.
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Apr 16th, 2004, 08:23 AM
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French Canadians are as different from The French of France as Americans are from the English. In Montreal you will find a very cosmopolitan blend of Francaphone, Anglophone and Allophone, (a hodgepodge of neither French nor English immigrants). This combination makes Montreal quite unique in the world and although the infamous language laws have made Montreal seem totally French speaking at first glance - in fact it is very North American and quite bilingual at it's heart. That said there is still a wealth of history in Old Montreal and fantastic eateries, shopping and cultural venues.

Outside of Montreal Quebecers are more provincial and overwhelmingly Francophone. Even in Quebec City, which probably most fits your requirements, the pace and ambiance is more that of Brittany or Normandy than Paris or Marseilles. But Quebec, being the oldest walled city in North America, has all the history, art, small shops and quaint but excellant eateries that I believe you are looking for. If you want to feel that it is 'European', feel free, but in fact it is distinctly Qubecois.
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Apr 16th, 2004, 08:41 AM
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Thanks for all the feedback. Looks like I've got alot to learn about Canada. Still have much research to do, but leaning toward Quebec City.
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Apr 16th, 2004, 10:03 AM
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If I had to pick one city it would be Quebec City. The history is wonderful, the people were very friendly and the food was divine. Stayed at the Frontenac (March, off season) and it was beautiful. We do not speak French but everyone switched quickly to English when they realized we weren't bilingual. Can't wait to return in the summer when it's greener and the artists line the streets.
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Apr 16th, 2004, 11:33 AM
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What about Brandon, Manitoba? It's called the Paris of the Prairies. Just kidding!
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Apr 16th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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There is no city that compares with Paris, or should be.
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Apr 16th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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True, but the second part of CafeBatavia's question was "feels the most like France"?

In any event, Quebecois French is rather different from Parisian French. Also, immigrants to Quebec of French descent are mostly from the Normandy area and many came several hundred years ago. Thus (so I've been told), Quebecois French is sort of like the French spoken at that time. Of course Quebec is now a very multicultural society with new immigrants from all over the globe, as well as the descendants of previous waves of immigrants from Ireland, eastern Europe, and elsewhere.
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Apr 16th, 2004, 01:14 PM
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Well you could always go to Miquelon
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Apr 16th, 2004, 01:40 PM
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Having been to Paris, Montreal and Quebec, I think Montreal is a good choice. QC is French but never gave me thoughts of Paris, while Montreal with it's city atmosphere and culture, does.
We always drove to Montreal, but never used the car once we were there. I will be flying in now-it will not matter, you can get anywhere in Montreal by train or cab.
Hope this helps~
*you have email*
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Apr 16th, 2004, 03:01 PM
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We were told that Quebec City was like Paris w/o leaving N. America...not really. A big difference is that the old city in Quebec City was at one time either abandoned or fell into disrepair don't remember which), then re-developed, so no one lives there, and as far as I can tell, locals don't eat or shop there. Strictly for tourists. But cool street entertainment and maple syrup to die for!
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Apr 16th, 2004, 10:20 PM
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Ah Yes the 'Paris of The Prairies'-as immortalized in that sad song by the Tragically Hip.
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Apr 17th, 2004, 07:18 AM
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bob brown, did you have any helpful info to provide or did you just want to make that forceful comment about Paris?
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Apr 17th, 2004, 10:12 AM
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Just to correct Missypie...

Plenty of people still live in Quebec City proper, including a few friends of mine. Plenty of people do their shopping along Saint-Jean or in la Basse Ville at traditional mainstays such as J.A. Moisan. Quebeckers party and brunch on la Grande-Allee (Cosmos is quite popular amongst denizens), as well as on rue Cartier. Quebec City residents enjoy their Plaines d'Abraham as much as the visitors.

I'm not sure where you got the idea that the city's only for tourists; this is false in my experience.
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Apr 17th, 2004, 12:44 PM
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You're right Daniel except that 90% of the residents of Quebec call the Plains of Abraham "Le Champs de Battaille" or in English - the Battlefield.
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Apr 17th, 2004, 08:14 PM
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I'm from Quebec City and I've never heard anyone calling the Abraham Plains "Champs de bataille". People call it "Les Plaines". "Parc des Champs de Bataille" is a specific area on the plains.

What Missypie is talking about is only true for Place Royale, which is a very small area of old Quebec.

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May 5th, 2004, 10:41 PM
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There is no city in the world like Paris. Period.
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