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Best-selling author Yann Martel on finding home and Montréal

Celebrated Canadian author Yann Martel spent over a decade living in Montréal, part of that crafting a novel that would become not only an international bestseller but a Man Booker Prize-winner and contemporary classic: Life of Pi. Since then, both the city and the author have continued to evolve and captivate our imaginations – Martel with his new novel, The High Mountains of Portugal, and Montréal with its fusion of centuries-old history, high-tech innovation and diverse arts and cultural milieu. With Montréal’s annual international literary festival, Blue Metropolis, just around the corner (April 11 to 17, 2016), Tourisme Montréal blogger Robyn Fadden recently sat down with Yann Martel to talk about The High Mountains of Portugal and the importance of different places in our lives, as well as his favourite things about Montréal. You were born in Spain, have lived stretches of your childhood and adult life in Montréal, you’ve traveled far and wide, and your novels span the globe – why focus on concepts of home in The High Mountains of Portugal? I was looking at home in relation to the broad theme of the novel – like Life of Pi, I was interested in looking at faith. Not… / Read More →

Four seasons on Montréal’s Lachine Canal

Find abundant nature, local history and physical activity all year along Montréal’s scenic Lachine Canal. From the Old Port to its western edge along the Saint-Lawrence River, the Lachine Canal travels across the city for 14.5-kilometres – walk, run, bike or ski along the once-industrial canal’s green banks or drive to festival sites, historical destinations and excellent restaurants to glimpse yet another side of Montréal. Winter While the canal’s path isn’t maintained from November 1 to mid-April, Montrealers make their own cross-country skiing and snowshoeing routes alongside the frozen waters. Bring your own gear or rent snowshoes and sleds at Fitz & Follwell near the foot of Mont-Royal Park, and skis and snowshoes at La Cordée in the Village and in Mile End, MEC or Poubelle du Ski. If you prefer your sports indoors, try rock climbing at one of the biggest and best climbing gym’s in Canada: Allez Up, canal-side on St-Patrick Street in Pointe-St-Charles. Last but not least, let’s eat: restaurants, cafés and bars proliferate in the blocks surrounding the canal in the neighbourhoods of Old Montréal, St-Henri, Griffintown, Little Burgundy, Pointe-St-Charles, Ville-Émard, Côte-St-Paul, LaSalle and Lachine. The bountiful Atwater Market is a must in St-Henri as are… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Philippe Demers

Montréal’s MASSIVart and Chromatic co-founder Phillippe Demers is living proof that avant-garde art, international business, punk rock parties, cross-country skiing and next-level doughnut-loving are not mutually exclusive pursuits. The 28-year-old Demers is one of the original minds behind Montreal’s highly regarded and hugely active MASSIVart collective. MASSIVart was created to showcase art (and by extension the artists) by making it more accessible through special events and by taking it out of traditional art spaces to places where one might not otherwise expect it. This mission evolved into the model for Chromatic, an annual arts party/festival showcasing some 150 artists which takes place at the summit of Mount Royal. The social mandate of Chromatic – which also has a commercial services arm that provides events planning and art integration – is to promote artists and make sure their work is accessible to everyone. This year Montréal will be represented at the very first edition of Chromatic in Paris (April 2 to 4). Now let’s meet Demers. When at work, who are you? “I’m the general manager and the co-founder of both Chromatic and MASSIVart.” What’s the coolest thing about your job? “The coolest thing is that it’s never the same. I do… / Read More →

Smaller Montreal Museums to Discover

At a spritely 372 years old, Montreal has a centuries-old treasure trove of history that isn’t limited to the collections of its many major, internationally renowned museums. In fact, much of the city’s most interesting, truly fascinating living history is to be found within the welcoming walls of smaller museums scattered liberally throughout Montreal’s urban environs…

VIDEO: TASTE MTL restaurant profiles of EVOO, Code Ambiance and Boucan

After exploring downtown Montreal in our first TASTE MTL 2013 video, we turned our attention to the much buzzed-about neighbourhoods of Griffintown and Saint-Henri. We started with the contemporary French cuisine of Code Ambiance before heading over to check out EVOO‘s playful French/Irish/Mediterranean gastronomy and finished up, because why not, with some drinks and BBQ at the great Boucan. So… have you made your reservations yet?   Take advantage of your stay in Montreal with our Sweet Deal package filled with special offers valued at $500!