Go on a trip to Montreal
Montreal was founded in 1642 as Ville-Marie by devotees who came to evangelize the Amerindians. It quickly became the economic center of New France and then of British North America from 1760 on. Today, Montreal is the economic and cultural metropolis of the of province of Quebec and the largest francophone city in North America. People come for its history and stay for its vibrant and inventive gastronomy. Thanks to young and dynamic chefs, our city is becoming the gastronomy capital of North America!
It should be noted that Montreal and Quebec City are the only two cities on the continent that require an educational background before a tour guide license can be obtained.
Tour guides in Montreal
Five Ideas for Guided Tours in Montreal
A must-see during a stay in Montreal. Declared a “historic district” by the Quebec Ministry of Cultural Affairs in 1964, Old Montreal is the jewel of our city. Around the Place d’Armes, you will discover the Old Seminary of the Sulpicians, one of the rare buildings in Montreal dating from the French Regime, as well as the superb Notre-Dame Basilica – a must-see. Around this square is also the magnificent Bank of Montreal building -inspired by the Commercial Bank of Scotland. On St. James Street, you’ll stroll through the former financial center of Canada. You won’t want to miss a coffee at the Crew Café, in the former headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada (1928). You can discover the founding site of Ville-Marie in 1642 at Pointe-à-Caillière. The archaeology museum, located at this site, will help you discover the different stages of Montreal’s evolution. Founded in 1992, the year of our city’s 350th anniversary, it is a perfect example of the liveliness of the historic district, which is far from being frozen in time: this museum is totally in tune with its time. A new pavilion was inaugurated in 2017, as part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary festivities.
You won’t want to miss strolling through Place Jacques-Cartier with its terraces, street entertainers, and musicians. A little further east is the magnificent Bonsecours Market building, built in the 1840s in the neo-classical style that was in vogue throughout Canada at the time for public buildings. Right next door is the Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel, a place of prayer originally reserved (1650s) for pilgrimages to the Virgin Mary. The 17th century chapel was rebuilt in 1771 after the fire of 1754.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA)
Housed in this beautiful Beaux-Arts style building for just over a century (1912), the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts offers its collections in 13,000 square meters, spread over five buildings, the most recent of which was inaugurated in 2017 (the “Michal and Renata Hornstein Peace Pavilion”). The MBAM’s collections range from antiquity to the twenty-first century. Over the years, the museum has mounted exhibitions that have gained international recognition.
Mount Royal Park
Occupying part of a ten square kilometer hill, Mount Royal Park was inaugurated in 1876. It is the work of landscape architect Frederic Law Olmsted, who a few years earlier created New York’s Central Park. In this magnificent urban park, you can come and admire Montreal from its two lookouts, one of which overlooks downtown. You will come across Montrealers who come here to jog at any time of the year, to ride their bikes in the summer, to cross-country ski on Olmsted Road or to skate on the surface of an artificial lake in winter. You won’t be able to resist photographing the many squirrels that inhabit the natural forest of this urban park.
“Space for Life”: Botanical Garden, Planetarium and the Olympic Stadium Observatory
The Montreal Botanical Garden, which covers 75 hectares, is one of the largest in the world. It has a superb collection of bonsais and a magnificent rose garden. The Japanese garden, the Chinese garden and the First Nations garden are must-sees. These gardens are only a few examples of the thirty or so thematic gardens that can be found there. Depending on the time of year, you can participate in thematic activities according to the seasons, such as the “Magic of the Lanterns” which takes place every year in September and October. Many lanterns designed in Montreal but handcrafted in China embellish the China Garden during this time of the year.
Montreal’s new planetarium (opened in 2013 to replace the 1967 planetarium, whose technology had become obsolete) offers year-round exhibitions and animated shows.
The 1976 Summer Olympics Stadium Tower is the tallest inclined tower in the world at 165 meters. A funicular will allow you to admire the panorama of Montreal from the top: at your feet you will see the Maisonneuve district up to the St. Lawrence River spanned by the Jacques-Cartier bridge; further away you will see Mount Royal (and, beyond Montreal, the other hills of the Monteregian chain of which Mount Royal is a part) as well as the downtown area which flanks it.
The Plateau Mont-Royal
This borough with its typical vernacular architecture will enchant you. Montreal is well known for its “plexes” (duplexes, triplexes and multiplexes) and their exterior staircases. Come and walk on Saint-Denis Street with its boutiques and terraces; on Duluth Street with its “Bring Your Own Wine” restaurants; on Saint-Laurent Boulevard with its trendy boutiques, bars and dozens of murals on both sides of this artery (and even on the parallel streets); in the Mile-End sector of the Plateau Mont-Royal, you will find Fairmont and Saint-Viateur Streets with their bagel bakeries that have made our city famous. The Mile-End district is where many of Montreal’s multimedia companies are concentrated. One of the most important employers in the neighborhood is the French company Ubisoft, which has been responsible for the neighborhood’s resurgence since its establishment. It is a young and immensely trendy neighborhood in which you will find many of the most popular restaurants in Montreal.
Thanks to Louis Poirier Montreal Tour Guide