• Photo: meunierd / Shutterstock
  • Photo: meunierd / Shutterstock

The Islands

The two islands just east of the city in the St. Lawrence River—Île Ste-Hélène, formed by nature, and Île Notre-Dame, created with the stone rubble excavated from the construction of Montréal's métro—are now used for Montréal's indoor-outdoor playground, Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Expo ’67, which the World's Fair staged to celebrate the centennial of the Canadian federation, was brought here by the city's mayor, Jean Drapeau. It was the biggest party in Montréal's history, and it marked a defining moment in its evolution as a modern metropolis.

The spirit of coming here for excitement and thrills lives on. La Ronde, a major amusement park that has the world’s highest double wooden roller coaster, is on Île Ste-Hélène. On Île Notre-Dame, there's Casino de Montréal, which includes gaming tables and more than 3,200 slot machines.

For a completely different kind of fun, however, there's much to learn about the Islands' history. At the Stewart Museum at the Old Fort, kids will love watching soldiers in colonial uniforms hold flag-raising ceremonies twice a day, rehearse maneuvers, and even practice drills and fire muskets.

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