Explore Montreal During Their 375th Anniversary Celebrations Apr 26, 2017 by Sarah (Awesome Escape Blogger)
Montreal is one of the oldest, most stylish, and most exciting places in North America. It’s a predominately French-speaking province, and the city is famous for its French-Canadian fashion and nightlife. During the winter the city glistens with snow, the skating rinks are full, and the bars are packed. During the summer, the streets are home to music, comedy, arts, and food festivals. For all of 2017 the city is celebrating their 375th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. This means street festivals, live music, free swag, and more. When you’re visiting Montreal, check out these top destinations while you enjoy the party.
Mont-Royal is one of Montreal’s largest green spaces and the park contains two belvederes (lookout points), and the bigger one (Kondiaronk Belvedere) has an amazing view of downtown. It’s easy to walk, but there are also bus rides that go up the hill. If you’re an early riser, aim to get up there before the sun rises and watch as all of Montreal is lit up by the sun! A hike up Mont-Royal is a great way to begin or end your trip with a breath of fresh air and a view of the entire city.
Visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
There's art and culture to see all over the city, from murals and paintings in the subway to street performers on every corner, but you have to see the Montreal Musuem of Fine Arts. The gallery is Montreal’s largest museum and one of the best art museums in Canada. It has about 140,000 square feet of exhibition space, and the permanent collection holds about 41,000 pieces of art. If you’re an art buff, you’ll definitely want to include this on your list of things to do.
See Cirque du Soleil in the Old Port
Cirque du Soleil is the most famous circus in the world, and the group was founded in Montreal. The acrobats and circus performers have drawn on the city’s pool of artistic talent for decades. The modern circus is a masterpiece of art and dance that represents the best of French-Canadian and global culture. See a show under the “Grand Chapiteau” (the Big Top) at the Old Port where it all began. And if there isn’t a show it’s worth a walk around the beautiful riverfront especially in the summer and fall.
Hockey at the Bell Center
The Bell Center is a sports and entertainment complex in Montreal and is best known as the home of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens hockey team. Since it opened in 1996, fans have flooded the arena for every game, and if you want tickets you better get them in advance. The Canadiens were founded in 1909, and they are the oldest professional team in the NHL Today they’re looking for their 25th Stanley Cup. Catch a game where it really matters, and you won’t be disappointed by the crazy crowds!
The Notre-Dame Basilica is located in Old Montreal and is one of the most popular historic locations in Montreal. Notre-Dame Basilica is a National Historic Site of Canada for a reason - the church’s Gothic Revival architecture is some of the most dramatic in the whole world. The interior glows with colored light, illuminating hundreds of intricate wood carvings and religious statues. For Montreal's 375th Anniversary, the cathedral hosts "Aura," a three-act multimedia spectacle that combines cathedral's ancient beauty and the city's vibrant artistic future.
Shopping in Old Montreal
Old Montreal is the oldest area of the city and is one of the city’s preeminent tourist attractions. Montreal is one of the oldest settlements in North America, and some of the buildings date back to the 1600s. The charming cobblestone streets have been maintained (and some restored) to keep the area looking authentic, and you can take carriage rides around the area. There are tons of great boutique shopping and a variety of museums and attractions including the New York Life Building, which is the oldest skyscraper in Canada.
Relive Expo 67
In 1967 Montral hosted the first Universal Exhibition in North America. Called Expo 67, the stunning world's fair showcased the city's future and changed the face of the province forever. The ew political ideas, technologies, and social movements of the 1960s combined with art, architecture, fashion, and design. The islands that hosted the world exhibition were transformed into a park and, this summer, visitors can relive the exciting fair with a passport that takes them from installation to installation, recreating the lively atmosphere of the 1960s.
The city combines old world charm and style with new world festivities, music, and culture. 2017 is the year to visit Montreal.