After Class Activities
Our program gives you plenty of time to discover your new country, culture, traditions after your classes are over. The cultural richness of Montreal can be seen in neighborhoods that celebrate their ethnic origins like Little Italy and Chinatown, and especially the multicultural Plateau Mont-Royal.
Boulevard St-Laurent (‘The Main’), which runs through Plateau and divides Montreal into east and west, is the city’s most lively street, where the shops, bars and ethnic restaurants draw crowds until well into the night.
Montreal demonstrates examples of all traditional culture like symphony, opera, ballet, as well as exceptional experimental theatre and contemporary dance. Some examples of other activities are the Biodôme and Notre-Dame Basilica, hiking in the summer and cross-country/downhill skiing or snowboarding in the winter!
Weekend excursions could include: Eastern Townships (80km east of Montreal, on the border with the USA). Quebec City is also only 2 hours away by bus or train!
Main Sights: Get to Know Montreal
Most tourists find Vieux Montréal interesting, since it's the oldest area of Montreal. The old architecture of the buildings and the cobblestoned streets give it a historic feel, and the French restaurants, museums, and the riverfront Old Port are interesting places to visit.
This church, located next to the Saint-Sulpice Seminary, opposite Place d’Armes Square, is a beautiful example of Victorian Gothic architecture. Architect James O’Donnell designed it in the year 1824. The interior of the church is very colourful and has been was carved using rare woods, and then delicately gilded and painted.
Pope John Paul II, in 1982, declared the status of the church to basilica. The musical programs of choral and organ music is outstanding and most people consider it a tradition to attend Handel’s Messiah at Christmas.
Excursions: Explore More of The Region
There is plenty to see outside Montreal. The Eastern Townships are some traditionally English towns about 80km east of Montreal, touching the border of New England. This could easily be the province’s most picturesque countryside with nineteenth-century towns all around, and is well worth seeing.
Winter sports like cross-country, downhill skiing and snowmobiling are all within reach. Many Montrealers like escaping to The Laurentides (Laurentians) which are to the north of Montreal. These are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, and are a popular holiday spot for hiking and cycling, and not too far away for a visit!
Architecture: Discover Unique Styles & Structures
McGill's campus is hilly and pleasant and offers a sweet oasis of forgotten architecture in the middle of modern downtown. The Redpath Museum has a small natural history collection, and like so many of McGill's old structures, both the museum interior and exterior are worth seeing.
Notre Dame Basilica:
The city's oldest parish church, built in 1829 and admired for its artwork and neo-Gothic architecture, including exquisite stained-glass windows and a 12-ton bell and a bronze sculpture by Charles Daudelin. The organ is one of the largest ever built.
Offers some 170 original star shows with the Zeiss projector and lectures in French and English. Check the Web site for regularly updated show schedules.
St. Joseph s Oratory:
Poised on the northern shoulder of Mont Royal, it affords one of the most breathtaking views of the city. Two million people flock there every year to explore the paths leading from the oratory to the chapel and to visit the quaint relic-filled museum.
Museums: Experience The History of Past Generations & Cultures
Centre d'Histoire de Montreal:
This small museum in a late-1800s firehouse details the social, geographic, architectural and transportation history of Montreal with walk-through displays of artifacts and photographs. An elegant building dating back to 1705, it was originally constructed as a private residence and then enlarged in 1756 by the Indian Company to house offices and storage vaults.
It's also the former official residence of Canada's governors. Today it focuses on the history of Montreal and Quebec with interactive activities, and it displays Canadian colonial portraiture from the 1600s-1900s.
Musee Pointe a Calliere:
This museum is built on top of the ruins of one of the city's earliest settlements, dating back to the 1600s. As well as exhibiting these ruins, the museum focuses on the field of archaeology in general. The presentation employs some flashy multimedia, and it's bilingual.
Musee d'Art Contemporain de Montreal
More than 5,000 works from 1939 to the present. Supplementing the permanent collection are temporary exhibits that challenge the mind and eye.
Musee des Beaux Arts de Montreal
The Museum of Fine Arts, the city s oldest art museum, showcases works from antiquity to the present, including works by Rembrandt, Renoir, Monet and Picasso. The museum hosts several international touring shows each year as well as lectures and films.
The Old Fort and David M. Stewart Museum This museum tells the history of Canada with an eclectic collection of firearms, ancient maps and utensils that hark back to the days of early Canadian settlers.
This environmental museum showcases four distinct ecosystems: a lush rain forest, a northern forest, the St. Lawrence River valley and the chilly ecosystems of the Arctic and Antarctica. Gently sloping walking paths link the four environments to one another.
McCord Museum of Canadian History:
Details Canada's history before the arrival of Europeans. There are Native American and Inuit artwork, Canadian costumes, folk art and the famous Notman Photography Archives containing 700,000 photographs!
Parks: Have a Break From Busy Life
Site of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games, with futuristic architecture and one of the world's tallest inclined cable-car.
Mont Royal Park:
A huge green space on in the middle of the city, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. In summer, the footpaths and bike trails are very popular. In colder months, the paths serve as cross-country ski trails, and Beaver Lake becomes a gorgeous skating rink and you can even ski down a little hill facing it.
Montreal Botanical Garden:
A large, spectacular urban garden. More than 21,000 plant species in 30 thematic gardens and 10 exhibition greenhouses. The Chinese and Japanese gardens are world renowned.
Lots of recreation and relaxation in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, with many bike paths and walking trails and ample entertainment and recreation facilities, including a natural amphitheater.
The third peak of Mont Royal is found in Westmount, adjacent to downtown. There is a splendid lookout on Summit Circle, found within this park. At the center of Summit Park is a bird sanctuary with walking trails. Unfortunately, there's no bus service to the park, and it's quite a climb by foot.