One of Canada’s main urban centres, Montreal is the main hub of the French-speaking province of Quebec. One of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in Canada, Montreal is known for its distinct architecture, diverse multiculturalism and natural beauty.
Montreal Botanical Garden
One of the finest of its kind in the world, the Montreal Botanical Garden is noted for its vast, extensive collection of plant species. The garden is divided into a number of different sections, each containing species from a specific region. These include the Japanese Garden, the Chinese Garden, the Alpine Garden and most notably the First National Garden, which houses plants endemic to Canada and the Quebec region. The gardens are a real sight to behold and a short trip from the city centre.
The city’s oldest district as its name suggests, Old Montreal is home to a number of relics dating back to the years of French rule. The neighbourhood’s architecture gives it a distinctly European atmosphere. In addition to the plethora of cafes, bars and restaurants, Old Montreal is also home to a number of the city’s most iconic landmarks. These include the Montreal Town Hall, the Centre d’Histoire de Montreal and most notably the Basilique Notre-Dame, a distinct and opulent Gothic Church dating back to the early 19th Century. To get a sense of the city’s rich history, Old Montreal is the best part of town to visit.
Designed by iconic American architect Buckminster Fuller for the 1967 World Fair, the Montreal Biosphere is a monolithic geodesic dome. Since its construction 50 years ago, the Biosphere has become one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks. Adjacent to the Biosphere is the Environment Museum, built in 1995. The Biosphere is a striking sight to behold and worth visiting first-hand.
Another iconic relic from Expo 67, Habitat 67 is a housing complex known for its distinct architectural design. One of the most recognisable buildings in Canada, Habitat 67 was designed by Moshe Safdie, an important figure in modern urban design. The complex is noted for its distinct brutalist appearance. Habitat 67, despite its significance in the realm of design, ultimately fell short in its designer’s goal of redefining affordable urban housing but nonetheless remains a major architectural achievement and is certainly worth seeing.
The country’s oldest museum, the Redpath Museum specialises mainly in the field of natural history with a particular emphasis on ethnology. The building is operated by the esteemed McGill University. Built in 1882, the museum is known for its distinct neoclassical design and extensive geological and particularly ethnological collections. In the latter field, the museum is believed to house over 17,000 items. An important and unique museum experience.
main image: courtesy of Pedro Szekely, Flickr creative commons