Montrealers are proud of their city because it has so much culture and history. There are corners that truly make Montreal unique, like Parc LaFontaine, Prince Arthur Street, and of course, The Main.
To see a live microcosm of Montreal, visit Parc LaFontaine at 3933 Av. Parc LaFontaine. On the east, you’ll find French gardens and paths in geometrical patterns, while the west will make you feel like you’re in England with strangely shaped ponds following the land’s natural contours.
In the summertime, Parc LaFontaine is beautiful with its bowling greens. You can enjoy the tennis courts, free events at the open-air Theatre de Verdure, and ride paddle boats in the two artificial lakes. When winter rolls around, come back for ice skating.
Prince Arthur Street
During the 1960s, Prince Arthur St. was an alternative part of Montreal, with shops selling drug paraphernalia, tie-dyed and recycled clothes, and smart leather vests. While the area is still hip, it’s more commercial these days and the vibe is toned down. You’ll find a pedestrian mall between avenue Laval and boulevard St-Laurent with delicious and cheap Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, and Polish restaurants. There are plenty of neighborhood bars as well. So, grab a bite to eat, head for a coffee or drink, and enjoy the people-watching.
Culture Walk Down St-Laurent Boulevard
Walking down St-Laurent Boulevard, or St. Lawrence Boulevard as it was once called, is like visiting a museum about Montreal’s cultural history. The 10-block stretch north of Sherbrooke Street paints a picture of the different immigrants that have, at one time or another, called the area home. It’s filled with churches and synagogues, and plenty of restaurants and shops.
You can find Chinese grocery stores, Italian coffee bars, Greek eateries, Vietnamese sandwich shops, Jewish delis, Hungarian sausage, and even Peruvian snack bars. This area is now becoming home to some of Montreal’s trendiest spots including galleries, cafes, and restaurants. It’s also home to the annual Mural Art Festival.
Jews escaping from Eastern Europe were the area’s first immigrants in the 1880s. They came up with the lasting nickname Main Street. Even today, some people call it “The Main” or ‘Le Main.’