5 Aspects of Montreal I Love

Eventually our Great North American Road Trip had to end; it had been one hell of a ride with so many highlights that picking ‘the’ best would be impossible. Renee had work to start in Montreal so for a little while we would call this city home. I’ve now been living in Montreal for a number of months and can reflect with confidence on the 5 aspects of Montreal I love the most.

Number Five

Four Distinct Seasons
Montreal differs to my home city of Auckland in that it has four distinct seasons; Celsius temperatures can range from the minus thirties in the winter to positive thirties in the summer. Fall (otherwise known as Autumn) is distinct with its bright foliage colours as the deciduous trees drop their leaves. Plus there is also a distinct Spring, not sure what happens in Spring but I’m about to find out. Montreal is a great city to enjoy the weather; from freezing snow covered winter days to super hot, blue sky summer days – Montreal has it all. You can find hotels deals in Montreal at any time of the year you choose to visit.

Number Four

Cycle Culture (In the Summer)
Montreal is a great city to get around by bicycle (when it is not raining or snowing). There are plenty of cycle lanes which are widely used plus there is a great bicycle rental network called ‘Bixi’ which have a network of over 5000 bicycles held at over 400 stations around the city. I’ve never used a Bixi myself because I own my own bike, but they are widely used and reasonably priced.

Number Three

Merger of French and English Culture
Most Montrealers’ speak both French and English fluently however certain parts of the city are predominantly more English (Anglophone) or French (Francophone). I’m continuously impressed with the linguistic capabilities of the general population of this city and also the selective use of languages – a conversation may switch between English and French sporadically to better describe the conversationalists point. The movie ‘Bon Cop, Bad Cop’ is a funny example showing the use of Quebec French and English languages and cultural differences and mergers.

Number Two

Parc du Mont-Royal
Designed by the same guy who did New York’s Central Park, Mount Royal Park really is an awesome aspect of Montreal. The park offers a mix of open grass areas and forested woodland areas plus a hill (proudly known as ‘the mountain’) and a man made lake. The park is excellent for summer picnics, walking and biking. In the winter cross-country skiing, ice skating, tobogganing and snowshoeing are all popular. A variety of wildlife also calls the park home including squirrels, raccoons, red foxes and numerous bird species. Mount Royal Park truly is a great place to hang out in the summer, to exercise and to enjoy the winter outdoors.

The Big One

Festivals (Especially Summer)
Montreal is known for being the cultural hub of Canada and the city really comes to life in the Summer months with countless small and a string of large well known festivals. The comedy festival ‘Just For Laughs’ is apparently the largest but other well known festivals include the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Montreal World Film Festival and the Montreal Fireworks Festival which I’m looking forward to photographing.


Hope you enjoyed the aspects of Montreal I love. Hopefully I’ve just given you five reasons to visit Montreal!

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  1. The Just for Laughs would be awesome!

  2. I love the pictures!

  3. I didn’t realize Montreal had such a bicycle culture. I love cities that are biker friendly and a bicycle is one of my favorite ways to get around when visiting a new city.

    • Indeed, bikes are a great way of seeing a new city. No need to figure out public transport systems or worry about parking. Special cycle lanes also make it a lot more enjoyable for riders who aren’t experienced at riding on the road in traffic.

  4. Great post, I can agree with you on all 5 points. We met a friend who took us biking around Montreal on our last day there and it was absolutely superb, the drivers are heaps more considerate in Montreal than they are in Auckland!

    • Thank you. Glad you got to see the city by bicycle. Someone lent me a bike on my first visit and I remember it being a good way of getting a first taste of Montreal.

  5. I haven’t made it to Montreal, but I can see why you would love it. I have heard how European it feels which sounds good to me!

    • Yes indeed, the cities age and French influenced culture certainly give it a European feel – some would say a refreshing change from the rest of North America. But it’s not European and the cities close ties with the rest of Canada (and North America) add to its uniqueness.

  6. I was just in Montreal this summer and loved it. Loved hearing more about it in different seasons!

    • Summer in Montreal is pretty universally agreed upon to be the best season, so you were here at the right time!

    • Summer in Montreal is pretty universally agreed upon to be the best season, so you were here at the right time!

  7. Man I’m planning on getting to Montreal later this year, you’ve got me psyched for it now!

    Hope you’re good!

  8. Love Montreal. We were just there for a weekend of winter fun and couldn’t get enough! So much going on – love the joie de vivre and the fact that 40 cm of snow doesn’t slow them down! Did an entire series of winter bucket listable activities in Montreal – http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com/2013/02/06/montreal-bucket-list-unique-winter-experience-you-have-to-try/ We ran out of time and didn’t make the activities in the Park – but will be back for some summer fun! We usually come for the UCI bike race in September too! Love it!