Old Montreal – Summer vacation time is here. Time to take some well deserved time to relax, do what you enjoy, and get your batteries recharged.
But with the Canada-U.S. border still pretty well closed up to non-essential travel, there is no need to worry. You can still take a vacation, but this time discover what your hometown has to offer by being a tourist in your own city, and Montreal is no exception.
In particular, discover over 375 years of Montreal history, as well as places for the whole family and why the city has the reputation as a culinary capitol, and it’s all rolled into one district: Old Montreal.
Whether you’re a longtime or recent Montreal resident, give yourself the opportunity to explore the sites, museums and restaurants that tourists from all over the world flock to every year (especially during the summer).
Here are my six top attractions (in no particular order) to experience in Old Montreal.
Chateau de Ramezay Museum (www.chateauramezay.qc.ca). Built in 1704 as the residence of then-Governor of New France Claude de Ramezay (and later gained notoriety as the headquarters of the U.S. Continental Army during their brief occupation of Montreal in 1776), the Chateau de Ramezay has been recognized as one of the 1001 historic sites to see before you die by UNESCO. Now celebrating its 125th anniversary as a museum, it’s an Old Montreal must-see, with an impressive collection of artifacts that takes you back in time to the way of life in pre-Confederation Montreal.
Place Jacques Cartier. This town square, located between Notre Dame Street and de la Commune, is the nucleus of Old Montreal. Built during the first half of the 19th century, it originally served as the city’s daily marketplace that sold fresh produce. For over 50 years, Place Jacques Cartier is a place to dine, relax and stroll about, and is now bordered by boutiques, terraces and restaurants, and topped off by the Nelson Monument, Montreal’s oldest existing monument, which was dedicated in 1809.
Notre Dame Basilica (www.basiliquenotredame.ca). Built in 1829, this spectacular church has a tremendous resemblance to its namesake in Paris. The interior is splendid and breathtaking, giving the visitor a classically built church in all of its ornate glory. Worshippers are welcome, and a maximum of 250 visitors are allowed as part of its COVID guidelines.
The Old Port of Montreal (www.oldportofmontreal.com). Once the nerve center of Montreal’s glory days as Canada’s capitol of commerce, the Old Port is another Old Montreal must-see for the entire family. Open every day from 6 a.m. to midnight, the Old Port offers a wide variety of activities and attractions, including quadricycles, a labyrinth, a tyrolian zip line, the Clock Tower beach, paddle boats, jet boating, food truck, boutique kiosks and the Observation Wheel.
Pointe a Calliere Montreal Museum of Archaeology (www.pacmusee.qc.ca). Located near the historic Place Royale and the old Customs House, Pointe a Calliere tells the story of Montreal’s long history through the artifacts that were recovered through many archaeological digs in the area. It also has a number of fascinating permanent and temporary exhibitions, including tributes to Montreal’s Italian
community, model trains and an interactive experience called “Come Aboard: Pirates or Privateers”.
The Casino de Montreal (www.casinos.lotoquebec.com). Opened in 1993, the Casino de Montreal is housed in the building that was once the French pavilion of Expo 67, and later the Palais des Civilisations and overlooks the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The Casino has retained the structure’s original deconstructivism style of architecture. Open every day from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m., the Casino has a wide variety of slot machines and gaming tables, which offers visitors such casino games as Keno, poker, baccarat, black jack, and roulette as well as four gourmet restaurants.
You can also experience “The Zone”, which combines live and interactive gaming. You can
enjoy the excitement of trending games at the Zone such as Treasure Hunt and Deal Or No Deal Live that’s presented on giant screens. As well, it has some of the lowest and reasonably priced bets in the casino (i.e., 1 cent slots, 25 cent video poker, etc.).
Although land based casinos are still popular with gamers, their online counterparts enjoy just as much, if not more, popularity, such as Casinos for Money Canada (https://www.casinosformoney.com/ca/).
Casinos for Money Canada is the go to place for online gambling and casino information in Canada. Established in 2010, it gives potential customers the chance to discover some of the best online casino platforms around today.
For more information on what Old Montreal offers tourists and visitors, go to www.vieuxmontreal.qc.cq.