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Spend a Sunday at Montreal’s Tam-Tams

The rhythm will draw you in from blocks away. You’re strolling after Sunday brunch, heading for a walk up Mount Royal, when suddenly, faintly, you’ll hear the beckoning beat. Drums, tam tams, tablas and wooden sticks striking the back of park benches all mesh together to announce the official, bona fide, arrival of summer in Montreal…

21 Swings brings music to the Quartier des spectacles

The 21 Swings public art installation, outside at the Quartier des Spectacles in the heart of downtown, is the kind of instrument anyone can play – and everyone is, no matter what their musical ability, age or whether they find themselves next to friends or strangers on the swings…

THE PEOPLE OF POP MONTREAL: PHOTO GALLERY BY RICHMOND LAM

There’s no way you’d ever confuse the Montreal Jazz Fest audience with that of Pop Montreal, but let’s just drop the overused “hipster” descriptor and move on. It’s about as accurate as calling Pop Montreal an “indie” music festival. We enlisted the wonderful Montreal photographer Richmond Lam to help document that the people who attend Pop Montreal are as diverse as the fest itself…

BAR HOPPING ON AVENUE MONT ROYAL

Mont Royal Avenue starts from Avenue du Parc and crosses the Plateau borough from west to east all the way to Frontenac and beyond. The stretch centred around St. Denis and Mont Royal Metro Station is my favourite part, filled with boutiques, bars, and restaurants. On these still warm fall afternoons, what a great place to relax on a terrace and have a cocktail or two after work…

MEET A MONTREALER: JACQUES VILLENEUVE

Montreal’s Jacques Villeneuve is a hometown hero: only the third motorsport driver in history to have won championship races in CART, the Indy 500 and F1. The Montreal Buzz caught up with him to talk racing, his role in the French version of the Pixar movie, Cars 2, and where he spends his time in Montreal…

COME-AS-YOU-ARE BAR AND NIGHTCLUB

I love that when I go out in Montreal I can get Mad Men fancy and dress up to the nines (look for my earlier post “Get dolled up at Bleu Blow Dry and Rouge Nail Bar”) – or just tie my hair up in a ponytail, dress down, and nevertheless go out and have a good time. When I feel like doing the latter, which is most of the time, there are two new spots on my radar.

STREET PROFILE: MONT-ROYAL AVENUE

2010 has been a busy year for the Montreal Street Profile series. We started with Bleury, Parc, Maisonneuve, Saint-Paul and Saint-Zotique. We visited Crescent, Greene Avenue, Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Denis. For our final installment of the year (hint: make sure to come back in 2011!), we thought a stroll down Mount-Royal was in order, in no small part because it offers some very “a la Montreal” shopping that is perfect for the holiday season… Given that it starts at Mount Royal, it’s not hard to figure out where Mount-Royal Avenue gets its name. Of all the streets we’ve profiled, this one has perhaps the most iconic landmarks of them all: you can look down from its mountainous starting point and see the Big O, where it ends. (Our exploration will a bit shorter than that.) It is a totally charming street, as “Montreal” as they come, especially in the summer when a large portion of it is blocked off from traffic. It boasts some of the city’s classic diners, some great restaurants and cool bars and, while Saint-Catherine may boast the big name stores, Mount-Royal boasts the cool independent shops that you won’t find anywhere else…

FLICKR PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Entitled “The Blues” by Flickr user Melissa Sal, this photo displays a couple key features of one of our favorite neighborhoods – The Plateau Mont-Royal. We see a three-story walk up apartment with colorful detailing, the green of a maple tree and last, but certainly not least, a pair of bicycles. Montrealers do love to cycle. Thanks for the dreamy photo! —————————————————————————————————————— Submit your Montréal pictures to our MONTRÉAL BUZZ FLICKR GROUP. And see our previous PHOTOS OF THE WEEK.

THE CHARMING HOTEL: AUBERGE DE LA FONTAINE

As they say in real estate, the same is true for hotels — it’s all about “location, location, location.” And as far as locations go in Montreal, the artsy and picturesque “Plateau Mont-Royal” is among the most touted by gushing travelers. The Auberge de la Fontaine is a charming accommodation option in the heart of the Plateau. With many of the rooms overlooking Parc Lafontaine, the guesthouse offers twenty one rooms in a beautiful setting. Plus, there’s a certain “homey” feeling that is difficult to find in the big name hotels. If you’re looking for something personable, with easy accessible to restaurants, cafes and shops, this might be your best bet.

POP MONTREAL: NOT JUST MUSIC

Pop Montreal is primarily a festival devoted to music. But in the nine years they’ve been around, their mandate has expanded to include some of the other areas whose paths intersect with that of the musical arts.