Notre-Dame's twin towers have served as an Old Montreal landmark since the Neo-Gothic basilica was finished in 1829. Today they continue to be the focal point, where tourists disgorge from buses and calèche drivers line up for passengers. The interior glows with gilded statuary and gold-leafed fleurs de lys, and is home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra performs its Christmas production of Messiah here at the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal or the Notre-Dame Basilica. Check website for opening hours for visitors.
Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal is the nation's largest church, its regal dome second in height only to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. A small chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph was built at the site in 1904 by Brother André, renown for his miraculous ability to heal the injured and ailing. He was later beatified in 1982 and canonized in 2010. Completed in 1960, the renaissance church that replaced the original shrine encompasses a basilica, a votive chapel lined with discarded crutches, and the heart of Brother André amongst several other treasures. Outside, the Stations of the Cross grace the sculpture garden where scenes from the film Jésus of Montréal were shot. The oratory itself is a striking beauty that dominates the skyline for miles around, its elegant dome rising high above the bucolic scene. One of the world's most revered Catholic shrines and an important place of pilgrimage, Saint Joseph's Oratory inspires wonder in the hearts of the devout and the simply curious.
Every season at the Jardin Botanique de Montréal (Montréal Botanical Gardens), you'll be captivated by the colors and fragrances of flowers and plants as you move from garden to garden, many inspired by different parts of the world. Explore the Sonoran desert, wander into the Chinese or French Garden, and finally relax in the tranquility of the Japanese Garden. The Montreal Botanical Garden contains 12,000 plant species and cultivators, ten exhibition greenhouses, about 30 thematic gardens and a large arboretum.
Plans for the construction of the Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral first began in 1852, soon after Saint-Jacques Cathedral was destroyed by fire. At the behest of Ignace Bourget, the architect Victor Bourgeau was assigned the ambitious task of designing a cathedral in the image of the magnificent St Peter's Basilica in Rome. The architectural masterpiece was completed in 1894 and is renown today as one of Quebec's most revered religious sites. Inside a spectacular baldachin adorns the altar and elaborate paintings depict the early history of Montreal, while outside exquisitely wrought statues of the city's 13 patron saints watch over the people, replacing the 12 statues of Christ's apostles that adorn the exterior walls of St Peter's Basilica. The cathedral remains a sacred place of worship even as it attracts droves of tourists who are drawn to its austere beauty and artistic treasures.
Montréal Insectarium is an interpretative nature center and museum, the only one of its kind in North America that presents both preserved insect collections and live insects for viewing by the general public. They also have a spectacular live butterfly garden in the summer. For those with an adventurous spirit, try the insect tasting events held twice a year with a local chef preparing recipes that feature insects.
For the avid foodie, Round Table Tours offers a glimpse into Montreal's eclectic and exceptional culinary landscape for the ultimate culinary adventure. This tour company offers guided walking as well as cycling tours around the city. Tour packages include the Eat and Ride:Montreal Food Truck Cycle Tour; Circuit of Tapas:Iberian Montreal; Nourishing City:Montreal's Living Table; Iconic Dishes:Jewish Montreal, The Original Tour, among others. Blending food history and food tasting, the tours are fun and interactive, a great way to learn about the city's culture from the perspective of food, and eat some tasty dishes along the way.
This beautifully restored home honors the memory of George-Étienne Cartier, a prominent Montreal lawyer, father of Confederation and former Canadian Prime Minister. It is inhabited by a cast of tour guides dressed in period costume who are all versed in the history of the house and the era. All manner of educational activities should keep the kids busy: these include The Etiquette Game, which teaches children about 19th-century society; and What's Up, Mr Cartier? which focuses on the man and the house. Call +1 888 773 8888 toll free.
The Notre-Dame Street is a historic street running parallel to Saint Lawrence River. This beautiful street dates back to 1672, and has the prestigious city hall located on it. The street also used to have the Château Vaudreuil, Dominion Park and Montreal's Citadel.
Saint Jacques Street or the St. James Street has been an important street of the city since its opening in 1672. In different eras, this street has always been the financial center of the city owing to the buildings of various companies built here. Insurance, banking, utility companies, you name it and the sector was present. Montreal City and District Savings Bank, Canadian Pacific Express, Royal Bank of Canada, New York Life Insurance Company and many other esteemed companies were or still a part of the Saint Jacques Street.
The oldest existing building in the city of Montreal, erected between 1684 and 1687, this seminary stands as a testament to the Sulpician nuns, under whose stewardship the fledgling province of Quebec developed. Designed by François Dollier de Casson, salient features include the field-stone walls, lush gardens and the oldest church clock on the continent, itself a striking piece of work. The building is a sober piece of work, more an artifact of colonial pragmatism than a religious monument.
Unwind from your busy city life and enjoy a cruise holiday with Croisières AML. With three ships ready to handle from 20 to 1000 passengers, this company is known as one of the most reliable cruise lines operating out of the Old Port. The hour and forty-five minute sightseeing tours depart four times daily from the King Edward Pier which take you through the serene water-ways of the city. Besides, there are many other longer cruises of about two or three days which are a perfect getaway from your regular schedule. Also, if you are planning a romantic outing with your special someone then you should check the dinner and sunset cruises. Contact +1 866 856 6668 for more information about the cruises, schedules and reservations.