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10 Montréal “Musts” For First-Time Visitors

A first-time visit to any city can be overwhelming. What to see? What to do? And most importantly — how to prioritize it all?  To simplify your initial Montréal visit, we’ve compiled a simple list of crowd-pleasin’ attractions. Think of it as a “greatest hits” list of what to see and do in a diverse and exciting city. In no particular order, here are ten activities and attractions that first-time Montréal visitors might want to put on their “must see” list. Climb Mount Royal (The Lookout) Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (the same landscape architect who crafted New York’s Central Park), the “mountain” park at the heart of the city is the city’s most iconic landmark — and the most popular place to snap a Montréal selfie. Reach the viewpoint at the top of Mount Royal Park by walking up the stairs or with a guided tour. In the chalet at the summit, visitors will find washrooms and a small canteen for refreshments. Give yourself a breezy two hours. Spree on St-Catherine As one of the longest commercial strips in Canada, Sainte-Catherine Street is the perfect place for retail rehabilitation. You’ll find international fashion mainstays such as Gap, Victoria’s Secret… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Thierry-Maxime Loriot

Since its inauguration at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2011, the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit has toured the world, attracting more than 2 million visitors on three continents. Now at the tenth stop on its tour, the exhibit is on display at the Grand Palais in Paris—the fashion designer’s hometown—where it will remain until August 3, when it will pack up and head to Munich for the fall.  To mark this symbolic milestone, we met with Thierry-Maxime Loriot, former international supermodel and the exhibit’s curator, to discuss this extraordinary experience and ask about his favourite spots in Montréal. Here’s the interview. Why were you interested in being appointed as curator of the Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit? This is the first exhibit that I’ve curated on my own. I had already done two other exhibits for the Museum of Fine Arts. There was Imagine: A Ballad for Peace from John and Yoko as well as Expanding Horizons: Painting and Photography of American and Canadian Landscape 1860-1918. But fashion has always been my main area of expertise, since I spent 10 years in the field and still have strong ties to this industry I love. I find it really exciting to make… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Michel Rabagliati

Michel Rabagliati is the man behind Paul, the character of his graphic novels based in Montréal and famous worldwide for quiet adventures in which Paul explores the countryside, the metro system and the fishing pond. Translated from their original French (Les Éditions de la Pastèque) into many languages (including English by Montréal comic publisher Drawn and Quarterly), Rabagliati’s work is boundless in its charm. He told us about his Montréal. Job: Graphic novelist Favourite pastime: Singing in a choir. It’s something I love, first of all because it gives me a reason to leave my house (I’d probably stay chained to my drawing table for months without noticing otherwise), and second, because it’s hugely satisfying. Working in harmony and bringing human voices together in concert is truly a unique experience. Who knows, maybe song is the solution to war! How long have you been a Montrealer? I was born here, in Rosemont, in the 1960s. I had a delightful and worry-free childhood. I’ve never envied those who grew up in the countryside. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? I think that would be going on set during the shooting of the film based on my work,… / Read More →

My top 10 favourite places to photograph in Montréal

When asked to write a guest blog post for Tourisme Montréal on my top 10 favourite places to photograph in Montréal, I was torn with what to include. Montréal offers a multitude of great places to shoot and keeping the list to just 10 was quite a challenge. One of my top reasons for loving Montréal is the wide variation in seasons that provides the photographer an ever-changing canvas. In putting together my list, I tried to incorporate places that provide a different atmosphere depending on the season. 1. Bonsecours Basin I included the Bonsecours Basin for a number of reasons. First, it’s a great place to visit pretty much anytime of the year. In summer you will find people enjoying the pedal boats, in winter you have the ice rink and in autumn the trees are bursting with colour. The basin also provides a great spot to photograph the city skyline at sunset. 2. Place d’Armes Recently renovated, Place d’Armes in the heart of Old Montréal is a key stopping point for anyone visiting Montréal. In the centre of the small square is the monument to Paul de Chomedey and with the backdrop of the Notre-Dame Basilica, the art-deco… / Read More →

10 Things that Make Montréal Shine

We’ve been telling you for years: Montréal is an amazing place to visit. With world-class dining, accommodations, festivals, museums and heritage sites, enhanced with four distinct seasons and sexy French charm, our city consistently ranks among the world’s best. Naming all our successes could take a while, so we’ve narrowed down the list to a cool round-up of 10 media nominations that rank Montréal among the world’s hottest travel destinations. Since we’ve come out on top in such a diverse range of categories—including some that will surprise you (check out #7!)—we know that Montréal offers something for everyone. See which features will tickle your fancy, then go ahead and book your ticket. Here are just 10 things that put Montréal in the limelight: 1.  Best Winter Destinations National Geographic, December 2014 “Montréal is at its most magical blanketed in snow. Bundle up, get outside, and celebrate winter at the 16th MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, the city’s biggest winter arts, music, and food festival. Save some energy for the final night’s Nuit Blanche à Montréal, a dusk-to-dawn party packed with more than 200 indoor and outdoor activities. Most events are free, and some are held under the stars or, if you’re lucky, the lightly falling snow.” 2. Best Music… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Raphaël Gaspard, owner of Garçon fleur

Garçon fleur, a.k.a. Raphaël Gaspard, has been delivering happiness on a bike for over a year. With the wind in his hair, he rides the streets of Montréal, distributing beautiful bouquets of wild flowers, which he creates himself with great attention and discernment. This expanding bucolic and environmental project has been hugely successful in reviving the image of florists. Two years ago, Raphaël also co-founded Gaspard & Roy with Félix Roy (singer for the Montréal rock group Human Human and head barman at Bouillon Bilk), a chic bar service that offers custom-made cocktails and showcases fine alcohols with market-fresh products. For Mother’s Day, this thriving young man, born in Germany but a Montréaler for 20 years now, shares his favourite go-to spots on where to smell the first blooms of spring and spend a perfect day with mom. What’s new with Garçon fleur in 2015? This year, we’re opening a wildflower atelier-boutique at 337 Castelnau Street East in Villeray. It’s a great way to connect with people! We’ll be featuring, among others, Sunday workshops and music nights. Garçon fleur is expanding too, with three new delivery bikes that will be bombing around the streets of Montréal selling bouquets to passers-by—a… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: John Zeppetelli

John Zeppetelli had lived in many places and curated for some of the most renowned contemporary art establishments before becoming Director and Chief Curator of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC). The avid runner has breathed new life into the institution, thanks to an infectious passion for art and an ability to speak about it in simple, human terms. This is how he experiences Montréal. Job: Director and Chief Curator of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Favourite pastime: Watching dark, Scandinavian TV dramas. The Bridge, The Killing… I had just travelled to Copenhagen a couple of months before watching The Bridge, and I became obsessed! I also love reading. How long have you been a Montrealer? I am a born and bred Montrealer. I’ve also lived in Italy, Scotland, England, and in the United States. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? I’m very happy with my collection show, “New Discoveries and Other Obsessions,” which just opened on February 28. My first exhibition as Director of the MAC was at another museum, oddly enough, the “1+1” exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, so this is the first I’ve done in our space. I… / Read More →

Holiday Nightlife in Montreal

The magic of the season always shines a little more brightly at night, and Montreal evenings are virtually (and is some cases, almost literally) on fire with family friendly happenings this year. And a couple of choice holiday offerings for grown-ups only, as well…

Montreal Fall Sports Roundup

It doesn’t get more exciting than the fall months for Montreal sports aficionados: not only are all three of the city’s professional sports franchises – the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes and Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact – in full regular season swing, fans hungry for all forms of competition have a varied plate to dine on

Things to Do in Montreal: March 21-27

Now that it’s officially spring, Montreal is warming up to the idea with seasonal sugar shack menus, a few final ice skates and snowshoe adventures, hints of new life at Botanical Garden, fresh theatre, dance, art and film and enlivening music…