Montreal Postcards

  Canada: Montreal, Quebec - September 2009

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

I love Montreal. There are skyscrapers, maples, squirrels and pumpkins. They speak French, but you feel like you're in an American TV show. So much fun!

Oh... it's high!

Montreal is first and foremost a North American city. With glass and concrete buildings that make you dizzy. But... none of them goes beyond the hillock of Mount Royal Park (232 meters) from where I took the first picture below.

In fact, it's more than a hillock. It is "the mountain" as Montrealers say.



In Montreal, there are endless avenues, straight, that intersect at right angles. We see very big cars and real cars trucks huge, shiny fire trucks flashing everywhere and cop cars racing by with their sirens blaring...

Wow, this is America. Like in the TV series.

But among these vehicles "seen on TV", my favorites remain the pretty yellow buses with "schoolchildren" written on them.



In Montreal, we are already preparing for Halloween ...


It's pumpkin season.

There are cucurbits (squash, that is) of all shapes, sizes and colors, from almost black mauve to dark green through subtle shades of orange, at all fruit and vegetable stores.


But it was at the Jean-Talon market, in the Little Italy neighborhood, that I saw the biggest ones. Real Cinderella pumpkins! I love them.



What is pleasing about Montreal's urban landscape is the variety of architecture and facades. The residential streets in the center, especially in the Plateau district (a district that has become "bobo" and overpriced), present these typical alignments of pretty brick houses, with iron stairs as stoops.



In the chic districts, there are also rich buildings, like English mansions. Sometimes quite kitsch, we must admit...




Montreal may be a big city (1.8 million people, not counting the inner suburbs, according to my travel guide), but it doesn't feel suffocated by concrete. The parks and green spaces are numerous and vast.

Many streets are lined with trees, especially in residential areas. The main species here is the maple, of course.

This is the view from my window on the street side.


I like "my" maple. But it is still far from having the fiery color of the trees planted in the small park at the entrance of old Montreal.


With all these parks and trees, Montreal is a squirrel's paradise! In Mount Royal Park, which is a real forest in the heart of the city (I'll come back to that in a future post), it's impossible not to see them. These little balls of hair never stop crossing the paths. Hop, hop, hop... three little hops and they are gone.

But these squirrels are not shy at all. I imagine that people must feed them... In any case, they do not hesitate to come and pose for the tourists!



Too much fun, I tell you!


  Canada: Montreal, Quebec - September 2009

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  1. Eh bien! Ça valait le coup de se taper une petite insomnie! 🙂 Superbe, ce billet! Excellent résumé! P.S.: J’adore jouer le badaud de service dans tes photos! lol (D’ailleurs, je repensais à la photo devant L’Avenue et rigolais toute seule…)

  2. Belle présentation de ma ville! Tu sais, on dit “la montagne” parce qu’elle est seule… Ça n’a pas le même sens que lorsqu’on dit en France “Je vais à la montagne” hein? :o) Bravo.

  3. @ Frederick Thanks! 🙂

    @ Marie-Julie: Ravie d’avoir égayé ton insomnie (mais je crois que tu avais une tarte à te mettre sous la dent aussi!). Je t’expédie prochainement une série de photos de ma passante préférée!!! 😆

    @Him: Oui, j’avais bien compris pour “la montagne”… Mais je suis bien contente de voir que ces petites impressions de Montréal séduisent même les autochtones! 😀

  4. Hello,
    Merci pour la visite du Nord. Belle description de Montréal. Alors, les écureuils t’ont mangé dans la main ou pas ?
    For my part, I will be leaving soon in India (Andaman Islands) and Bali and I will keep you informed of diving spots.

  5. @PascalK: En fait, j’ai eu un seul jour de vrai beau temps, c’était vendredi! 8)

    @RolK: 😆 Si, ce jour-là, y’avait du soleil. Ça a été le seul jour de toute la semaine où il a fait beau.

    @Rod: J’étais venu sans provision pour les appâter, donc je n’ai pas tenté l’expérience. Me suis contentée de leur tirer le portrait! Ça m’intéresse bien, ton retour d’expérience sur les îles Andaman… Tu me raconteras! 😉

  6. Ah, Montréal… j’ai habité 6 mois là bas il y a pas si longtemps, j’en garde un excellent souvenir ! D’ailleurs j’habitais juste à côté du marché Jean Talon 😉

    N’oublie pas de déguster une “queue de castor”, une délicieuse patisserie ! Et pour la¨meilleure poutine de Montréal, il faut aller à la “Banquise” ! Ils ont des tas de sortes de poutines…

    T’en a bin d’la chance ! Montreal c’est trop l’fun !


  7. Je reviens de Montréal… nous avons failli nous croiser! J’en garde aussi un chouette souvenir. Le Québec, c’est vraiment l’fun, ça oui!

  8. @Caroline: Ah! Comment ne pas succomber aux charmes du Québec? Je vais surveiller ton “Tohu-Bohu” pour découvrir tes photos…

  9. Hello again!

    J’adore ta vision de Montréal, souvent on oublie la beauté de notre propre ville à force de vouloir découvrir le monde…

    In the picture of the pumpkins, you are in Plaza St-Hubert right next to us;)

    Thank you and I will follow your adventures;)

    Good week!

  10. @Alex: Oui, c’est toujours plaisant de voir quelqu’un poser un œil neuf sur des lieux qu’on connaît trop bien… À bientôt par blogs interposés !