French and British lifestyles melted together turn Montreal into a very special Canadian city – with exciting contrasts and different attitudes to life.
Montreal, with well over 3 million inhabitants, is Canada’s second largest city. It is on the same latitude as Milan, but here there are no Alps and no Mediterranean to exert a moderating influence on the climate. Summers are hot and humid; winters by contrast are bitterly cold with lots of snow. It is not enough simply to tick off Montreal’s many sights. This is a city that needs to be experienced and seen at first hand, on foot, as this is the only way to appreciate its incomparable temperament, joie de vivre, and its multifaceted culture. A stroll or a trip in a horse drawn carriage through “Le Vieux Montreal”, the small old town on the harbour with its restaurants, street cafés, art galleries and souvenir shops, provide an opportunity to inhale the old French atmosphere. If you approach the inner city, however, from Westmount Square at the foot of Mount Royal, an ancient volcanic cone, you would swear you were in a typically British city. The Gallic temperament remains unbroken, even after 200 years of membership in the British Empire.
Montreal is a wonderful mix of old and new with parks, festivals and nightlife – perfect for a language study trip!
Closing time is not until 3AM and Montrealers make full use of this. Getting ones bearings is not difficult in Montreal: the lanes of the old town are on the southern shore of the island of Montreal, with its cobbled stone streets and many 18th century houses. Behind them rise the downtown skyscrapers between the old town and Mount Royal. To the west, the main language is English, while east of downtown the purely French area begins. Montreal’s most famous sight: the Underground City, underneath the city centre. The name “Underground City” is no exaggeration: the shopping streets now cover 29 km, and there are no fewer than 200 restaurants, 25 theatres and 1700 shops awaiting you. When snowstorms lash the streets above during the winter months you can wander below through green arcades in light clothing.