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LIVING IT LARGE AT THE QUEEN ELIZABETH HOTEL

As a Montrealer, it’s rare that I get to experience the city’s high profile hotels. Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth ranks amongst our downtown’s top addresses for a deluxe stay near some of Montreal’s major attractions, including Sainte-Catherine Street’s shopping strip, the Underground city, the Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral and the Bell Center, home of the Canadien hockey team. I was lucky enough to see for myself if the hotel is up to its high-class reputation and I can assure you it is. Known for its modern charm and flawless service, the hotel’s motto echoes what makes Montreal unique in the eyes of locals and visitors alike: “Where Joie de Vivre Comes to Life”. Here are ten facts you need to know about Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, should you decide to enjoy one of its 1,037 guest rooms and suites while visiting Montreal.

BOUTIQUE HOTELS : WHERE TO STAY FOR YOUR GIRLS GETAWAY

Montreal is known for her sassy collection of boutique hotels. And I’m often asked, “Which one should I book?” Since each one has a distinctive personality, it’s an important question, because where you check in can set the tone and pace of your ladies’ night out. Here’s a little cheat sheet to guide you in the right direction.

John Fox Retrospective at Klinkhoff

Chair of Concordia’s Painting Department,  Montreal artist John Fox, RCA, (1927-2008)  is honoured with retrospective at Klinkhoff Gallery. I love to visit a certain graceful brownstone building on Montreal’s Golden Mile. The Klinkhoff Gallery is an elegantly quiet space. Therein lies Canadian art from the 19, 20 and 21st centuries. Here you will find no art hanging from the walls or blaring videos.  For almost 60 years this prestigious gallery has advised private and corporate collectors in amassing fine art.  Celebrating a long tradition of hosting retrospectives, this fall the gallery will honour the legacy of John Fox, the renowned Montreal artist and much-loved teacher.  The exhibition will feature works from private collections, as well as paintings owned by Fox’s widow, art historian Sandra Paikowsky.

MONTREAL STREET PROFILE: MAISONNEUVE

After starting out the Montreal Street Profile series with a look at Rue Bleury and following it north on winding, eclectic path up Avenue du Parc, we decided to head back to the downtown core and explore Boulevard De Maisonneuve, a busy stretch of street that has some sophisticated gems nestled on its blocks….

TIME TRAVEL AT THE REDPATH MUSEUM

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Well, at least their ancestors. See fabulous fossils of dinosaurs, including T Rex (not the band!) the 7-ton monster that lived 64 million years ago at McGill university’s Redpath Museum.

FLICKR PHOTO OF THE WEEK

The downtown core of every city is usually packed with characters. In Montreal, we certainly have our share of iconic individuals that help create our unique urban identity, and the famous spoon guy in front of Ogilvy would be one of the most notable. Our ‘Photo of the Week’ comes from radiatingeye, who seems to have a stellar eye for capturing Montreal, and all its diverse inhabitants. Check out his/her comprehensive gallery of shots from around the city, including such Montreal sites as the Mont-Royal cemetery, Old Montreal, the Plateau and some great shots of urban art. Kudos! —————————————————————————————————————— Submit your Montréal pictures to our MONTRÉAL BUZZ FLICKR GROUP. And see our previous PHOTOS OF THE WEEK.

JAZZ FESTIVAL: BASIA BULAT

The entirely enchanting Basia Bulat is one of the Montreal Jazz Fest’s busiest performers. On Friday night she played the first of three performances at the MACM before jumping up on stage during the Plants and Animals show at Metropolis. We met up early Saturday morning after I may or may not have drank a lot of whiskey with members of Plants & Animals and The Besnard Lakes at Casa del Popolo …

LIVE AT THE JAZZ FESTIVAL: EMILIE SIMON

Emilie Simon, the French songstress that is taking the american indie music scene by storm is back in town. Before her Jazz Fest show on Saturday, June 26 as part of the fest’s late night series (show starts at 11:59 PM), I spoke to Emilie Simon, who has a musical background as eclectic and intriguing as her live show …

THE MONTREAL JAZZ FESTIVAL: WHERE TO DRINK

The Montreal Jazz Festival is the largest jazz festival in the world. Musical giants such as Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald and James Brown have all captivated crowds since the festival’s debut edition in 1980. Today, more than 2 million people attend the Montreal Jazz Festival yearly. But the Jazz Fest is not just about music – it’s about life’s pleasures. And truth is, there’s nothing like a bit of jazz to awake my yearning for a glass – or two – of lilac wine. As famous saxophonist Steve Lacy once said: “Jazz is like wine. When it is new, it is only for the experts, but when it gets older, everybody wants it”. Well, the popular Montreal Jazz Festival is now 31 years-old and well above Quebec’s drinking age. Here are some cool places near the festivites to get your sip on!