Saturday, September 20, 2008

What To See, Where To Stay, Shop And Eat In Montreal

From The Vancouver Sun:


Montreal Botanical Garden: 4101 Sherbrooke St. East, Montreal, Quebec H1X 2B2; Phone: (514) 872-1400; More than 73 hectares with 22,000 species of plants arrayed in 10 exhibition greenhouses and 30 outdoor gardens. Chinese, Japanese and First Nations Gardens are highlights.

Montreal Museum Pass, admission to 32 museums during any three days in a three-week period, $45; admission for threeconsecutive days, including public transportation, $50. Available at any participating museum, including the Montreal Botanical Garden.

Stop at one of the city's markets -- Jean-Talon and Atwater are the largest -- to feast your eyes on an abundance of wonderful things to eat, beautifully displayed, and to pick up cheese, bread, fruit, pastries, wine and more for an inexpensive meal.

Sweet Deal Montreal: Under the aegis of Montreal Tourism, some three- and four-star hotels are offering a winter/spring special where the first night's accommodations start from $127 to $215 and the second night is half price. The package comes with discount coupons. For more information, phone (877) 234-5269.


Opus, 10 Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, H2X 4C9;

Phone: (514) 843 6000 or (866) 744 6346; E-mail:; The first Opus hotel was in Vancouver. The Montreal outpost, just a little more than a year old, brings a whiff of the West Coast to the buttoned-up East. Bright colours and lean, uncluttered rooms welcome business travellers as well as the courting couples who frolic in Opus' ads. Rain showers and deep soaking tubs should appeal to both. Dogs and cats can stay, too, for a nominal fee. 136 guestrooms. Doubles from $196.

Hôtel Le Crystal, 1100 rue de la Montagne, Montreal, Quebec; Phone: (514) 861-5550; All-suite hotel in downtown Montreal. Doubles from $210.

Hotel Nelligan, 106, rue St-Paul Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2Y 1Z3; Phone: (514) 788-2040; (877) 7688-2040; A charming hotel in Old Montreal that opened in 2004 and has expanded in the last year. Doubles from $235.


Schwartz's Hebrew Delicatessen, 3895 St. Laurent Blvd.; Phone; (514) 842-4813; Famous for smoked meat. Huge sandwiches, around $5.

Fairmount Bagels, 74 Fairmount West; Phone: (514) 272-0067; Bagels baked in a wood-fired oven, since 1919. Open daily, 24 hours a day.

Koko, Opus Hotel (see above). A fusion of Asian and Western cooking techniques and dishes in a mod setting. Starters, for instance, include beef tataki, with wakame salad and garlic chips and chicken karaage. Mains include perfectly rare lamb chops with tikka masala and imam byaldi. Three-course dinner, around $60.

La Coupole, 1175, rue de la Montagne; Phone: (514) 373-2300; Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

There are several restaurants in Chinatown that serve good, inexpensive food. Among them is Restaurant Cristal No. 1, which is Vietnamese. Address: 1068 Blvd. St-Laurent; Phone: (514) 875-4275. Open daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Known for Fried Sliced Pork and Imperial Roll with Vermicelli and Fried Sliced Chicken, both $7.75.


Marche Bonsecours, 350 rue St-Paul est, Montreal; Phone: (514) 872-7730; Open daily. Among the boutiques in Bonsecours is the Boutique des métiers d'art du Quebec representing around 3,000 artisans from throughout the province. Other shops of interest include GoGo-Glass, where visitors can watch glassblowers at work and buy a range of useful and decorative objects and Diffusion Griffe 3000, featuring men's and women's clothing created by Quebec designers (

L'Empreinte, 272, rue St-Paul est, Montreal; Phone: (514) 861-4427; A craft cooperative selling clothing, jewelry and gifts handmade by Quebec artisans.

Royer Objets et Trouvailles, 207 Ave Laurier O., Montreal; Phone: (514) 273-8111; Colorful, lovingly selected home furnishings, art work, pottery, crafts and jewelry, mostly made by Quebec artisans.


My Cup of Tea, Three shops in Montreal: 73 de la Gauchetière Ouest, Montreal, QC H2Z 1C2; 057A Saint-Laurent, Montreal,Quebec H2Z 1J6; 44A Victoria Ave, Westmount, Quebec, Canada H3Z 2M8. Consult the Web site for phone numbers and hours.

Camellia Sinensis, 351, Emery; Phone: (514) 286-4002; Also has shops in the Jean-Talon Market and in St-Roch. Open daily.

Ming Tao Xuan, 451, St-Suplice, Old Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2V8; Phone: (514) 845-9448; Teashop in Old Montreal near Notre Dame selling loose-leaf tea and a large collection of teapots and statuary. Tea is served along with cookies and vegetarian snacks. Open daily, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.


Montreal: Phone: (877) 266-5687;
Quebec Province:

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