Montreal: where Europe and America meet. That’s the impression visitors usually get, anyway, thanks to the charm of Old Montreal, founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1642, contrasted with the skyscrapers, wide streets and grid-based city planning of the rest of downtown. Before long you’ll see Montreal has a character that’s all its own, though, with dual identities. First, there’s the French and the English heritages: though some areas are more French and others more English, both generally intertwine into a magical multicultural quilt. Then, there’s the weather: Summertime is balmy, with Californian temperatures and an active lifestyle to go with it; but then comes winter. The blustering cold and two feet of snow inspire indoor shopping, feasting and reveling. Either way, any day, there’ll be a festival going on somewhere – above all else, Montreal is a good-time town.
Photo: Susan Moss