Great food market in the Mile End portion of the main (St Laurent Boulevard). Cheap cheap, authentic corn tortillas and fantastic nachos, as well as a good selection of Mexican foodstuffs.
5274 Boulevard Saint-Laurent;
tel: (514) 495-0606
A trip to the surrounding countryside is a must, maybe head to the Eastern Townships like Frelighsburg, Knowlton or Sutton, cross the border into Vermont. Do this in mid October time and catch the colours, as one should from Mont Royal across Montreal itself. It is a pleasing view, though Rio is better. A trip to Québec City is also recommended.
One place I can thoroughly recommend in Montreal is a restaurant called 'Au Petit extra', the starters and mains are good but the reason to go there is for the “melt-in-the-mouth/to-die-for” crème brulee for dessert. I admit it is nearly 8 years since I was there but it was sooooo divine, I ate there on my way from Toronto to Quebec City and stopped into Montreal again on the way back just for second helpings.
1690 rue Ontario Est
Tel: 514 527 5552
Iranian restaurant in the charming east end of the french Plateau. Voted into Montréal's "Best Of" by the Montréal Mirror in 2004-2005; also ongoing "Most Memorable" since 1999.
Have never had anything here that I've not liked: Delicious appetisers, pastries, menu. Outstanding selection of teas to finish. Don't plan on a quick lunch - service is relaxed but the meal also has many courses.
Good if you're vegetarian or otherwise.
1499 Laurier est (cross Papineau);
(514) 523 9396
Because it's the best and the coolest and the classiest local jazz club in Montréal. Good menu with great ambience; jazz is always good, and always full of locals. Generally a cover charge, depending on the band, so you'll be among the non-student scene of the city. Size is fairly small, so while it's great to have a conversation and be able to see the musicians' actual fingers play (and both of these at the same time), you will risk not getting a seat if you show up after 22h30.
1254 Mackay (cross Ste. Catherines ouest);
tel: (514) 931 6808
Very comfy hangout café, lazy and leisurely and local. Time-worn sofas and seats with live music and vegan fare, located in the hipster region of the French downtown divide, bordering on the Latin quarter.
Open Celtic music Monday nights; traditional Québec dancin' & fiddlin' Wednesday nights. Other nights list other loc(o)al musicfolk, and local art is showcased on the walls.
Mission of the place: To promote relations between people who share a common vision on ecology, society, communuty and culture.
552, Ste. Catherines Est
(across from Berri-UQAM metro);
tel: (514) 844 1139
Great value segway rental based in Montreal's Old Port. You can have a quick training lesson (looks scary to start with but the lovely Jeff soon makes you feel comfortable on these amazing machines) then head off on your own along the promendade or take advantage of a guided tour. Real fun, though you have to get used to everyone pointing at you!
As temperatures plummet in winter, the municipality sets up ice-hockey rinks throughout Montreal. Usually open from late December through to early March (frost permitting), these outdoor rinks are a great way for the uninitiated to partake in Canada's big passion: ice hockey. Parc Lafontaine has facilities for skate hire, an ice hockey rink, and a big lake if you just want to have a peaceful skate.
Parc Lafontaine is bounded by Rue Sherbrooke to the south and Rue Papineu to the east;
Transport: Nearest metro is Sherbrooke, otherwise take any bus going east from the city centre along Rue Sherbrooke.
Throughout the summer months pick-up games of beach volleyball are ongoing at the bottom of Parc Jeanne Mance. You can come alone and join a game, or show up with a group of friends. Games only cost a couple of dollars. It's very friendly, usually sun-drenched, and a great place for people watching to boot!
Parc Jeanne Mance is alongside Avenue Parc, just on the opposite side of the Mountain (Mont Royal). The Volleyball courts are set up at the southern end of the park
This place is a gallery and recording studio like none you will have seen or heard.
Object d'art are everywhere and the studio caters to music production of every genre, and is very affordable. So if you’ve always had the desire to make an album while on holiday look no further… Monsieur Loco (Martin) can even create the tracks for you ; )
Great place to visit on Saturday nights for the open free jam night. Electronica, rap, indy, rock, world music.
4877 St Laurent Boulevard. Look for the orange door, two doors up from Casa. Ring the bell if the door isn't open;
Casa del Popolo is the very best venue for new music, and a lovely place to have a beer and some veggie food in the afternoon. (Try the back garden.)
And Dante Hardware, on Rue Dante near Jean Talon Market, is something you'll only find in North America: a store that is half fine cookware, half hunting rifles! Not to be missed.
Casa del Popolo: 4873 Boulevard St-Laurent; tel: (514) 284 0122;
Dante Hardware: 6851 St Dominique (on the corner of Rue Dante); tel: (514) 271 2057
A great little lunch place on rue Saint Pierre which has all the feel of a sit down restaurant at cafeteria prices, ranging from 8-12 dollars. Not worth going to visit on its own, but a great place to recuperate at lunchtime if you are visiting the old town
445 rue Saint Pierre, near Vieux Montreal; tel: (514) 849 0894;
Metro: Square Victoria;
The eerie formations known as Hoo Doos (or Hoodoos) are found in North American badlands, formed by wind and water erosion of sedimentary rocks. Looking like petrified mushrooms, they have a protective rock cap which shelters their shaft, detering them from disintergrating at the same speed as the surrounding sandstone.
In the Drumheller area you can follow a special 25 km (15 mile) Hoodoo Drive Trail to where you can visit them along highway 10, 18 km southeast of town.
The hoodoos look like they are from a Star Wars setting. Best of all it's free!!! to visit
You can get information at the tourist office under the 90-foot Tyrannosaurus rex (world's largest dinosaur statue) in the centre of town.
This is a small bed and breakfast (only two rooms) is in a great location (five minutes from Main Street underground and the Go Train station). One room has an en suite but I stayed in the room with a private bathroom across the hallway. The B&B is extremely clean, good value and the breakfasts are fantastic. The proprietor and her husband are lovely and my boyfriend and I would not have had the same holiday staying anywhere else, as they gave us fantastic advice and information. They have gorgeous pets too, which like to play every now and then. I would definitely stay here again. 10/10.
Amazing Pacific North West First Nations restaurant, owned and run by a Git'ksan named Dolly. Small basement room, where you sit on the ground and your legs fit into a pit under the table. Feast on traditional foods: oolican (little dried fish), salmon, venison, elk, duck, wild rice, wild berries, local beers and wines. Excellent food, very friendly.
1724 Davie St, Vancouver;
tel: 604 681-7044;
Gorgeous little village by the water with nice restaurants and even a little theatre, for a nice quiet time after the hustle and bustle of the big city. Only half an hour's drive, but a world away .
Take the Dollarton Highway or the Mount Seymour exit off the Second Narrows Bridge. If you stay on the Dollarton Highway it will lead you right into Deep Cove; www.deepcovebc.com
Free concerts and talks at The Central Library, including lectures in the Alice McKay room. (www.vpl.vancouver.bc.ca)
Talks and lectures at the Simon Fraser University downtown campus (www.harbour.sfu.ca), and at The Carnegie Centre (www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/commsvcs/CARNEGIECENTRE).
Word on the Street at the end of September is day of free music, poetry and book reading by the authors and a giant booksale in one block of closed streets around The Central Library and the CBC (www.thewordonthestreet.ca/vancouver.php).
This non-profit store sells some of the most stunning greetings cards and posters you will ever find in BC.
During the last months of the year, make sure to pick up their Wildland or Wildlife calendar. All proceeds of sales go to the Wilderness Committee.
For over 25 years this organisation continues to go strong in its efforts to protect wilderness and wildlife in Western Canada.
Store is located in old Gastown. It is just of Water street on 227 Abbott street. A 5 minutes walk from Waterfront station. www.wildernesscommittee.org
Tel. 604-683-8220 (Check for opening days and hours before you go.)
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