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Visiting Montreal: A Primer for Yankees


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Aug 1, 2003
Northeast Corridor
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Having spent some time researching and walking to see what Montreal has to offer, and finding no thread that specifically addresses the various aspects of visiting Montreal, I offer the following starter to gather this in one place as a primer for the new visitor.

TRAVEL. If you are going to Montreal, the airport code is YMQ (to catch flights to all the Montreal airports, but you will most likely fly in to YUL (Dorval)). If you are on the Amtrak (www.Amtrak.com) Northeast Corridor, currently only the Adirondack goes to Montreal from NYC, arriving at 6:30pm, and departing at 9:50am.

GETTING AROUND. Using taxis and the subway is the way to go, since you can drink, and don't have to worry about big city parking. Most places in the downtown area can be reached for $5-$10 fare.

If you are a New Yorker, the city is easy to walk, too. Being far safer than NYC, you can confidently walk the downtown and Old Montreal areas. The main artery for walking is Rue St Catherine, sort of a combination of Broadway and West Broadway if you know Manhattan - a very fertile area. The higher class artery is Rue Sherbrooke, more like 5th and Madison. The "Old Montreal" area is like the Village and Soho. I look at it as Manhattan all shrunk down to a great walking area - as if you could walk from Lincoln Center (Palace Des Arts "PDA") to Soho (Old Montreal) in 10 minutes. Way cool.

HOTELS. The downtown area, near McGill University, has many 4+ star hotels. Good rates (<$150US) are easy to find if you plan ahead and avoid the racing and jazz events. Other hotels preferred by the ladies, and generally less than $200US/nite, are:

Hotel Le Saint-Sulpice <http://www.lesaintsulpice.com/english.htm> (They ALL seem to love this hotel.)

CHÂTEAU DE L'ARGOAT <http://www.hotel-chateau-argoat.qc.ca>

Le St-Jacques <http://www.chablis.qc.ca/eng/stjacques.htm>

Petite auberge Les Bons Matins (B&B Inn) <http://www.bonsmatins.com/v1/an/home.htm>

Auberge du Vieux-port <http://www.aubergeduvieuxport.com/Englishsite/englishindex.html>

AUBERGE Pierre du Calvet <http://www.pierreducalvet.ca/>

The Gault <http://www.hotelgault.com/accueil_a.html> - Old Montreal, old world outside, '60s modern inside.

Also check <http://www.1stmontrealhotels.com/index.htm>

If you have a certain lady in mind, to get the highest mileage (as in YMMV), I strongly suggest you see what her hotel preferences are. Many list them on their web sites.

DINING. Here are some links for Montreal:
Newtown <http://www.newtown.ca/>
Globe Restaurant <http://www.restaurantglobe.com/en/menu.html>
Primadonna - Ristorante - Bar Sushi - Montreal <http://www.primadonnaonline.com/>
Le Fripon <http://www.lefripon.com/principale-e.htm>
Restaurants <http://www.medgrill.com/restaurants/restaurants.html>
The Jardin Nelson <http://www.jardinnelson.com/en/index.html>
Queue de Cheval <http://queuedecheval.com/intro.asp>
Toqué! <http://www.restaurant-toque.com/eng/index.htm>
Les Caprices <http://www.lescaprices.com/anglais/frame2eng.htm>

ENTERTAINMENT. Here are some links for Montreal:
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts <http://www.mbam.qc.ca/en/index.html>
Opera de Montreal <http://www.operademontreal.com/english/accueil/index.asp>
Casino de Montreal <http://www.casino-de-montreal.com/accueil_cm.jsp?Params=y.US.1.0>
Spa-Eastman <http://www.spa-eastman.com/e_aquacite.html>

Here is a link to a nifty interactive calendar that will show you, by entertainment type, what you can do on any given day:

CURRENCY EXCHANGE. The best deal is usually done when you purchase with a credit card. The worst deal I found was at the US airport before I left. There are currency exchange offices just about every block, at least on Rue St Catherine, and that's where I found the best rate - even better than an ATM. (The ladies, of course, should be paid in Canadian dollars.) For current bank exchange rates: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/exchange.htm

Remember, coins, including the $1 and $2 Canadian dollars, are of no value outside Canada, same with US coins there. Only folding currency is of value outside that country.

I hope this is of thelp to the new visitor and look forward to comments and additions by others.

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We Want Information
Aug 1, 2003
Northeast Corridor
Visit site

Thanks, SL. I stand corrected (and edited the airport info above), just don't try and use those Canadian coins down here - unless someone is not paying attention. US coins are worth about 130% of their face value in Canada, which is why you are not picky, and we are. :) (In my post I meant to refer to using coins at exchange agencies.)

Here are some map links:

Great PDF map of downtown/Old Montreal: http://www.stcum.qc.ca/English/info/centre-ville-2003.pdf

General transit maps: http://www.stcum.qc.ca/English/info/a-plans.htm

A McGill page with maps and city info: http://musicm.mcgill.ca/netads/http/images.html
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