For many years I travelled to Montreal on a frequent basis, staying a number of days every 2-3 months. Prior to that my introduction to Montreal was during the great days of Expo.
I came to love it for its personality, its restaurants, its foreign yet not so foreign feel, and just for the general excitment it seemed to exude.
For a while the city went into a funk and the economy soured and with it the people and the sense of spontaneity.
Having just returned I felt that same old feeling. The streets have changed so now St Denis is where you sense new excitment and the re-generated Montreal spirit.
But I could not leave Montreal without stopping at the old haunts. Schwartz’s Deli has always been a phenonema and still is. People lining up for Montreal corned beef in a small almost dingy restaurant where you are seated with strangers.
Dunn’s, another similar deli but modern and sharply designed. A walk down Crescent Street. And of course shopping on Ste Catharines Street in addition to the underground city.
What perhaps impressed me the most was the fact that there are hundreds of kilometres of bicycle only paths all over the city. It may be the only city where bike messengers can deliver their packages in relative safety.
I don’t know when I’ll get back to Montreal but over the years I have seen most of the great sights, spent a lot of time in Old Montreal, and highly recommend the city to anyone.