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Old Montreal

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Overview

Old Montreal is a historic neighborhood in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is located in the southeastern part of the city, near the port, and is one of the oldest and most historic areas of Montreal.

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Tripshepherd
Old Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada

Old Montreal is a neighborhood situated in the southeastern part of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, near the port. It is recognized as one of the oldest and most historic regions in Montreal, characterized by its narrow, cobblestone streets and remarkable historic architecture.

The area is adorned with several landmarks and monuments dating back to the city's inception in the 17th century.

Old Montreal entices tourists with its unique blend of history, architecture, and cultural attractions. The neighborhood boasts several museums, such as the Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archaeology and History, and numerous historic churches, including Notre-Dame Basilica.

Old Montreal also has a thriving cultural scene, with theaters, art galleries, and performance spaces in abundance.

While touring Old Montreal, visitors can enjoy the delightful public squares, such as Place Jacques-Cartier, and soak in the stunning vistas of the St. Lawrence River from the Old Port.

The neighborhood also offers a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it an ideal spot for both foodies and shopping enthusiasts!

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What to Know

Old Montreal, known as Vieux-Montréal in French, is a historic district located within the municipality of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The neighborhood, which includes the Old Port of Montreal, is bounded by McGill Street to the west, Ruelle des Fortifications to the north, rue Saint-André to the east, and the Saint Lawrence River to the south.

In recent years, the district has expanded to incorporate the Rue des Soeurs Grises to the west, Saint Antoine Street to the north, and Saint Hubert Street to the east.

The district showcases the city's indigenous and colonial history through a variety of historical sites dating back to the 17th century. Visitors can also enjoy the area's contemporary cultural offerings, including art, food, and wellness.

With markets, museums, architectural marvels, and other attractions, Old Montreal's cobblestone streets offer endless opportunities for exploration and entertainment. Some notable landmarks that you should visit when in Old Montreal include Notre-Dame Basilica, Place d’Armes, Montreal City Hall, Bonsecours Market, Saint-Paul Street (Rue Saint-Paul), Champ de Mars, Château Ramezay, Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, and Old Port of Montreal (Vieux-Port!)

How to Get There

To explore Old Montreal, you can access it through any of the three Metro stations. The Victoria Square station is situated at the western end, the Place-d'Armes is the nearest to the central region, and the Champ-de-Mars is closest to the eastern side.

All you need to do is walk south, towards the river, from any of these three stations. The best way to reach and explore this destination is by booking a Food Walking Tour or a

Dessert Walking Tour which will take you on a culinary adventure unlike any other! You'll also get to marvel at the stunning architecture and stained glass windows of Notre-Dame Basilica and the heritage of Montreal City Hall.

Best Time to Visit

Old Montreal is open every day from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, so there is no specific day that is better or worse to visit than others. However, it's worth noting that some attractions, shops, and restaurants may have different hours or be closed on certain days, so it's a good idea to check their schedules beforehand.

Additionally, the weather and the crowds can vary depending on the time of year, so you may want to consider those factors when planning your visit as well!

Highlights

Montréal, the biggest city in the Québec province and the most French-influenced region of North America, is infused with a contagious energy. Despite its modernity, the city boasts an impressively preserved historic district, characterized by whimsical skyscrapers, sprawling artists' lofts, fashionable boutiques, and cozy cafes.

But if you're short on time and have only one day to spend in Montréal, immerse yourself in the charming cobblestone streets of Vieux-Montréal (Old Montréal), the birthplace of the city on Pointe-à-Callière by the St. Lawrence River.

Here, the neighborhood's captivating architectural heritage has been lovingly preserved, with restored 18th- and 19th-century buildings repurposed into trendy shops, boutique hotels, galleries, cafes, bars, and apartments.

At the junction of Notre-Dame and St-Sulpice streets in Vieux-Montréal, a charming little square sees a lot of pedestrian activity – Place d’Armes. In the center of the square stands a statue honoring the originator of the city, Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve.

Make sure to see this famous plaza when you tour Old Montreal along with a stroll through the must-visit streets: Rue Notre-Dame and Rue Saint-Paul! 

South of Vieux-Montréal lies the picturesque Vieux-Port (Old Port), a delightful waterfront passage where you can take a leisurely stroll, cycle, or enjoy a picnic. Sitting in the Old Port area is a Ferris wheel you must not miss! La Grande Roue de Montréal, the tallest observation wheel in Canada, offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city throughout the year. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, the 42 cabins feature ultra-clear tempered glass windows and a temperature control system for comfort. 

Located at the base of the wheel, the Bistro de La Grande Roue and the Café de La Grande Roue offer visitors a variety of delicious local cuisine, including grilled sandwiches, salads, and pastries. The terraces of both establishments provide stunning views of the observation wheel. 

The neighborhood extends north to rue St-Antoine, once dubbed the "Wall Street" of Québec. Take in the oldest and most historic part of the city, where the old-world charm and contemporary vibrancy of Montréal come together in perfect harmony!

History

Originally founded by French settlers in 1642 as Fort Ville-Marie, this attraction boasts many structures dating back to the era of New France. The neighborhood's name, Ville-Marie, is derived from the 17th-century settlement.

In 1964, the Ministère des Affaires Culturelles du Québec designated a significant portion of Old Montreal as a historic district. As Montreal's oldest neighborhood, Old Montreal is a vibrant and bustling area that spans several blocks along the Saint Lawrence River waterfront.