This past week I went on a business trip to Montreal and Toronto – two very different cities that are just a couple of hours apart. The main goals were to visit students who are currently interning or working in a casual job, as well as creating a Montreal guide. I had the chance to take in these totally different places with their own charm and character. On my free day, I went to cool off at Niagara Falls.
Montreal is known as a vibrant Canadian city that has a true European flair that can be seen in the architecture, the streets, the parks, and the multicultural society as well as in their food and drinks. (Some groceries made my German heart beat just a little bit faster). For example, Old Montreal has it’s original cobblestone roads and historic street signs. The big impact of music and arts can be felt all around the city, so it is not surprising that people also call Montreal the “Cultural Capital of Canada.“ In fact, I just missed the Jazz Festival that takes place annually from June 28th until July 7th.
Parlez-vous français? Unfortunately all the French I’ve learned has all been forgotten. Montreal is located in the province of Quebec and is mainly francophone, yet I managed to get around the city pretty well just by speaking English. Their summers are hot and the winters are cold – so coming from “Raincouver” it was a really nice change to have sun and an average temperature of 30°C.
Furthermore, here are some interesting discoveries I made (a list that could be continued with 100 or more facts):
- I believe everywhere in the world, stop signs on the streets actually read “Stop” – but in Montreal, it reads “Arrêt”.
- Last Sunday, it was la fête nationale (a huge francophone festival throughout the whole city to celebrate Quebec). Amazingly enough, in Canada, if a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is a statutory holiday.
- As far as I know, Montreal is one of the few places in Canada where alcohol can be bought in a regular convenience or grocery store. ...
What I can say in conclusion? I will be back!
Note: Blog entries about Toronto and Niagara Falls will follow soon.