Hey there Campers;
The day started off overcasted but the Sun came out with a bang. A Great Sabbath day. We got an early start since we did not know exactly where we going.
We crossed over the Jacques Cartier bridge into Montréal. We took a mini tour of downtown while we were looking for the big ? In Canada if you see the big ? that means it is an information center.
We waited for the information booths to open. So we just tooled around Dorchester park.
We decided to take a Gray Line Hop-on-Hop Off city tour. It is on a double decker bus. Our tour guide was J.P
The tour started off with the Marie Reine Du Monde Cathedral. This cathedral is 1/3 the size of the Vatican.
The top floor of this building is where the Prime Minister stays when he is in town. The blue is flown when he is not there.
When the red Canadian flag is in front of a building it means that this is a federal building. A blue flag out front means that is a provincial building.
We proceeded on to Chinatown. Chinatown is called little Asia. There are 50,000 Chinese people in Montréal. It was different to hear Chinese people speaking French. Most Chinese do not live in Chinatown. They just come to shop and eat.
MacDonald's is call the American Embassy. (Just a joke)
Saint Laurent divides the city east from west. So one must be careful when sending mail. Just like 5th Avenue does in NYC.
The Port of Montréal.
- Montréal used to be a walled city. Walls surrounded city for protection. There are only a few of these walls left.
- Almost all old warehouses are now condos.
- Stock Exchange is the only building in Montréal that meet seismic standards. That is funny considering how money can bring a city down faster than an earthquake.
- The Convention Center holds 20,000 people. At night the colors of the side give a light show. There a 3 hotels connected to the center by underground tunnels.
- There are 26 bridges connected to Montréal.
- The TV and Radio stations are owned by the government.
- Montréal is 51 km long 16 km wide 493 sq km
- St Hubert has the best B-B-Q chicken in Montréal
- There are 4 universities. 2 French 2 English speaking
- 40,000 university students
- There are no provide universities in Montréal.
- The Projects are called Social apartments. I don't care how you fancy it up. It is still the projects.
- The Latin Quarter is on St Denis St. A lot of the clubs, theaters and festivals are on this street. Most festivals are free. They have over 30 a year.
- Office buildings have underground tunnels that all connect. There are 2,000 stores ungrounded. This prevent having to go out in the snow.
- Fire truck with the colorful tires. They do this to get people attention to move out of the way. At first I thought ,does some of my folk work for the fire dept? This is what they would do be "recognize". (he,he,he)
- The best hospital in Montréal
- Montréal is surrounded by water and has a good hydro systems and sells its electricity to other provinces and New York.
- People from the US treat Montréal like it is Paris. I have been to Paris a couple of times I can see that. Some areas did remind me of Paris.
The red stones on the houses came from Scottish ships. They used the stone to balance out the ship.
The Museum of Fine Art was opened in 1907. In now includes the church next door.
If you are rich in Montréal you most likely would live in the West Mount area. It is called the "Golden Mile".
The Notre Dame Cemetery has room for everyone, but you will be buried in the section of your church. You ask what does this mean. Well there is a Catholic, Protestant, Jews, non-denomination section. Hey what about the Adventist? There are a lot of people who go there to jog, walk, rollerblade, bike or study. It is a safe, clean and quite place. Yeah think. People are just dying to be there. Sorry. I could not resist.
It is a part of the Mount Royal Park.
The Mount Royal Park has something for everyone. There are hiking trails, biking paths, fields for all sports. It was opened in 1876. The cross on top (similar to Mt. David in SF) commemorates Jan 6, 1643 when Maisonneuve, Montréal's founder kept his promise to carry a wooden cross to the summit of Mount Royal if the young colony survived flooding.
At the summit you can see the east side and west side of Montréal. The white building and with the leaning tower is the Olympic Stadium. Olympics were held here in 1976.
Saint Joseph Du Mont Royal. This cathedral is dedicated to Saint Joseph by Saint Brother Andre an humble doorkeeper. His body is buried inside. 2 million people visit every year.
This building use to be the convent. It was sold and is now......of course a condo!!!!
McGill is the best university in Montréal per our tour guide. The land was donated by James McGill He was a fur trader. There was a stipulation that keep the building intact and be open to all. It was chartered by King George IV in 1821.
The houses surrounded by McGill college were owned by the rich. As they moved out of the neighborhood the old houses set there empty. Developers wanted to tear down the homes. When the owners found this out they sold and donated them to the university. These old homes are now being used for classes, labs and meeting places. These homes were very impressive.
We got a chance to go the Norte Dame Basilica.
The architecture on the building were just awesome.
When we were at the Bay of Fundy the other day, Lo had a conversation with a guy from Montréal. He said if you want the history o Montréal you had to go to Old town Montréal. He was correct.
Lo made sure we went there. He took me to the Centre d'histoire de Montréal. This is the best place to get the real facts about Montréal. It told the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is unusual for a city to put out all of its laundry for all to see. But it put everything in perspective. I spoke with the front desk after I took the tour. He said the city was not sure it wanted the information about how corrupt it was before being cleaned up. The museum let them know all had to be told. They finally agreed.
The museum started from the Indians and the inception of Montréal and forward to building of the first bridge
It also described the rich vs. the poor. And how each lived.
Typhus, cholera, smallpox was live in the city. The population was growing and so was the health problems. After the great fire of 1852 a sewage network were put in place. Sanitation help and a forced vaccination was taken. This really helped the living conditions.
The museum had interactive phones so you could hear families discussing issues.
It discussed how people of different immigrant races contributed. Like Anne Greenup. She came from the US to Montréal because her husband was railroad worker. He had a lot of compassion to help others. She started the Coloured Women's Club of Montréal.
The museum also talk about the corruption of the police and the political systems.
During the Jazz Age 20-30-40's Montréal was scandalous. You could find anything you were looking for. I mean ANYTHING YOU WERE LOOKING FOR.
Crime was rampant. There were lots of brothels, gambling houses, drugs and alcohol. The mafia played a part in Montréal history as it did in US history.
The Caron Inquiry helped to clean up the city.
We hopped back on the tour bus to go back downtown. We saw couple getting married. Man. You see everything from the tour bus.
I still have not figured this statue out yet.
This is Subway. Two sandwiches for $13. Are they cray-cray. This is SUBWAY people. Not the top of the Mark in SF. But there were people in there buying.
We headed back across the bridge before dark since they were going to shut the bridge down for fireworks. We went to the Hilton to have dinner and a good night's rest. We found a lighthouse on our way back.
P.S. There is an island before you get to Montréal. It is called La Ronde. It is a 6 Flags Amusement Park on half the island and the Biosphere on the other half.
Question of the Day
Who designed the Mount Royal Park? Hint, Hint. Same person as Central Park in New York
Well, until the next time Campers......
Lo & Bren