What to do in Montreal?

May 29th, 2002, 12:00 PM
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What to do in Montreal?

Hi my friend and I are in our twenties, planning on visiting montreal for 6 days at the beginning of july. we are not really bar and club type people. what are some things we shouldn't miss seeing? where should we eat? we have reservations at the fairmont queen elizabeth. also, does anyone know why the flight is so expensive from nyc to montreal? thank you in advance for your help. :0) joanna
May 29th, 2002, 02:12 PM
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First, the price of airline tickets.
Perhaps your guide book has not told you, but Canada is a dictatorship where the croonies of the the ruling Liberal Party get kick-backs and monopoly market power over large sectors of the economy. Air travel is one of these sectors. Air Canada has a monopoly over the New York-Montreal route. The American airlines such as Delta and American just match the price of Air Canada, the grossly inefficient state-sanctioned monopoly. Where do you think Air Canada puts the money it earns from this monopoly? In the hands of the travelling public? No! In the hands of its shareholders? No! In the hands of its rank-and-file employees? No! In the pockets of its obscenely paid upper management and Board members. You think Enron is bad??? Canada is Enron enshrined as a constitutional right.

OK, now for the sights in Montreal. Fortunately Montrealers have a unique "live-and-let-live" attitude that gives them resiliency, and an incomparable "je-m'en foutisme" that helps them ignore that they actually live in Canbada.
Must sees:
- Old Montreal: nice mix of French colonial, British/Scottish colonial, Art Deco and Chicago School architecture. Lots of restaurants/shops.
- Downtown: outstanding shopping, very low prices compared to U.S. (close to Queen E.)
- Le Plateau: very, very hip area. Funky shops and restaurants. Good streets: Mont-Royal, Laurier, St-Laurent,St-Denis, Prince Arthur, Duluth, Rachel.
-Botanical Garden: Chinese and Japanese gardens are just like the real thing.
- Are you into churches? We have lots of those: Notre-Dame Basilica, Notre-Dame-du-Bonsecours, Marie-Reine-du-Monde Cathedral, Oratoire Saint-Joseph. etc, etc, etc.

Hope this helps
P.S. Don't watch Canadian TV, its right up there amongst the worst in the world. It's a scam like air travel.
May 29th, 2002, 02:54 PM
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thanks so much for your help. i didnt realize there was so much controversy about airline prices, i didnt mean to stir up angry feelings :0) any way around the high prices at all? how about restaurants to eat in? and where is the jazz festival and is it all free? thanks.
May 29th, 2002, 04:44 PM
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With six days, you may want to start with a half-day bus tour - excellent for an overview of the city, the sights and attractions. Having done this, you'll know where you'd like to spend your time. The concierge can arrange this for you. From the Queen Elizabeth, a walk west on Ste-Catherine is fabulous, lots of shopping, boutiques, dining, movies, wonderful architecture. If the weather is nasty, you can always head for the underground. There's an entrance from the hotel. Take a map of the underground, though, you still may get lost. A walk northwest on St-Denis from the Sherbrooke metro station is also interesting. More shopping, cafes, etc., but a different ambience. Not to be missed, of course, is Notre Dame (inluded on a bus tour) and wandering all about Vieux Montreal and the waterfront. The Botanical Gardens, Insectarium and Biodome, all at the same metro stop, are well worth visiting. You may want to consider a one-day bus tour to Quebec City. It's more "vintage" than Montreal and well worth a visit, if only for future reference. The International Jazz Festival runs through 7/7. Do a search for the official website for event listings and maps. You'll be able to walk to most venues from the QE. And, check the International Fireworks Festival schedule. Head for Pont Jacques Cartier or the waterfront nearby for a spectacular show! Try to get near someone with a radio, as they're sychronized to music. The bests seats, though, are the bleacher seats at La Ronde (an amusement park on an island in the river, with one of the largest wooden roller coasters in North America, along with a brand new hi-tech roller coaster). Tickets for those seats include all-day admission to the park, where the food is actually very good and quite reasonably priced.
May 29th, 2002, 06:58 PM
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Joanna, what are these high prices you keep mentioning???
Like any airline flight, the price you get depends on any promotions available as well as basic things like what day, time and season you are travelling as well as how far in advance you are booking the trip and on what airline.

YOu could also look at taking the Amtrak Montrealer from NYC instead of a plane. It takes about 8 hours.
Besides,some people might think NYC to MOntreal is expensive at $150 US, otrhers might think $500 is a bargain...
May 30th, 2002, 03:42 AM
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Hello Joanna
You could also rent a car and drive to Montreal. It takes only 6 hours, more-less, from NYC. Or it can take all day if you wish to stop in Lake Geaorge or Lake Placid on the way. Driving on the Northway I-87 through the Adirondacks section is very scenic. Check continental.com sometimes Continental has great bargains for EWR-YUL travel. We use them often and sometimes it gets low to about US $120.00
May 31st, 2002, 06:34 AM
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the high prices that i am referring to are $460 and up, i searched everywhere and can find nothing lower. we are going to go for it anyway because the train is not 8 hours, its more like 11 or 12.
any information about the jazz fest? are there free concerts every night, are they anywhere near the queen elizabeth hotel? any restaurant musts?
May 31st, 2002, 07:57 AM
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Glad to here that you're coming anyways!
(You know driving NYC-MTL is more like 8 hours, not 6.)
Jazz Fest info:

Yes, there are many free concerts every afternoon and nights. The free concerts schedule has not yet been released. It is usually published two weeks prior.

see: www.montrealjazzfest.com

The Festival main venue, where all the outdoor stages are, is a 10 minute walk from the Queen E.


A good and inexpensive meal can be had almost anywhere in Montreal. There are hundreds of good restautaurants.

You said that you are in your 20's, and seems like you're budget minded, so here's some of my favorites where the crowd is generally younger:

Moe's (De la Montagne, near La Gauchetière): Gourmet Deli Sandwiches & Burgers, Pasta.

McGibbin's (Bishop near de Maisonneuve): Irish Pub.

L'entrecôte St-Jean (Peel near de Maisonneuve): French-style steak-frites.

Baton Rouge (Ste-Catherine and Jeanne-Mance, right in the middle of the Jazzfest): Cajun & Ribs

Alexandre (Peel near de Maisonneuve): Parisian café downstairs, British Pub upstairs.

Le grand comptoir (Phillips Square): Unpretentious french restaurant, but really good and cheap.

Tokyo (St-Paul & St-François Xavier): Sushi.

Taverne MagnanSt-Patrick and Charlevoix): Steak, Roast Beef and inexpensive daily specials. French-canadian home cooking at its best.

Le petit extra (Ontario & Papineau): French bistro. A little out of the way, but well worth it.

Chez Cora Déjeuners: (Stanley, near Ste-Caterine): good breakfast place.

By the way, you might find that having breakfast at the numerous coffee places downtown will be much cheaper and fun than at at the Queen E. Van Houtte is a local chain, kind of like Starbuck's but with a breakfast & lunch menu. One on almost every street corner.

Have fun!

May 31st, 2002, 09:42 AM
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If you take the train to Montreal and don't leave on July 4th and use a MastrerCard to pay for it. You can travel for about $100 roundtrip per person.

May 31st, 2002, 10:03 AM
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Hey Joanna:

I also reccommend you rent a car and drive if coming from the NorthEast. I drove up from Fairfield, CT in 6 hours and plan on doing the same during the 4th of July weekend.

Good Luck.

May 31st, 2002, 10:13 AM
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I should point out that the usual driving time is between 7-8 hours from New York . My 6 hours was done between 7pm-1pm in November.

May 31st, 2002, 10:24 AM
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Louis - have you tried some anger management sessions. Where is you're 'Je m'en foutisme'?
May 31st, 2002, 10:43 AM
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As long as nobody brings up the subject of air travel (or cable TV) in Canada, I'm a pretty cool guy. These really gets me going.
Jun 3rd, 2002, 11:20 AM
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ok, so the fireworks festival is only on weekends right? ill be in montreal monday to saturday, so i guess i will miss it.
can anyone tell me what canada day is and what happens on canada day? anything good in montreal?
thanks everyone :0)
Jun 3rd, 2002, 11:30 AM
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Correct. Fireworks festival is on Saturday nights.

However, there usually are fireworks on Canada Day at the Old Port Esplanade.(July 1st, kinda like your 4th of July). Other than that, Canada Day celebrations tend to be rather subdued in Montreal...I won't start a political discussion here.
Jun 3rd, 2002, 06:29 PM
Iowa Tom
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Fireworks at La Ronde: five Saturdays, two Sunday's and two Wednesday's. Here is the link to fireworks dates at La Ronde - http://www.lemondialsaq.com/english/index1.htm Or you can link to this site from www.leronde.com then lemondialsag in the lower left corner.

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