McCann Travels: 3 days in Montreal, Quebec with Katie Henry, Integrated Producer
For the past couple of years I’ve made it a point to travel during our long holiday break and this year our destination, during one of the coldest winters Canada has seen in years, was Montreal, Quebec. Poor planning? Maybe, but it really didn’t stop us from doing as much as possible in as many layers as possible. We booked an Airbnb, rented a car and took a ride north.
I’ve been to Montreal before, back when I was in college but in all honesty, we didn’t really see anything besides the inside of Sir Winston Churchill’s bar and a few others I can’t recall so to revisit was exciting. Considering that I’m now an “adult”, experiencing the city outside of the bars was key and it did not disappoint, despite the below zero temps. The city itself is a beautiful mixture of old and new architecture, much like New York just on a smaller scale. In 3 days we managed to take in some sites, visited/thawed out in museums and had some really delicious meals. Full disclosure, I basically ate my way through Montreal. I had experienced poutine for the first time, drank signature drinks, attempted to speak French only to realize it’s better if I don’t and captured as much as I could with my frozen hands.
Of the entire city, Old Montreal was one of my favorite areas and where we ended up spending most of our time. Cobblestone streets full of shops, restaurants, and history kept us busy throughout the trip. There was an outdoor festival with live music, dancing, mulled wine, maple syrup pops (yes, that’s a thing), fire pits and a bunch of Canadian games in celebration of the New Year.
Montreal is definitely one of my favorite cities thus far and even though I feel like we saw and did a lot in the 3 days, we didn’t see nearly as much as the city has to offer. That being said, a return visit will be had in the spring/summer time.
PLACES WE WENT:
Old Montreal/Rue St. Paul St.
An outdoor/Indoor market
A Leonard Cohen exhibit was the current showcase and it was really amazing. There were some video rooms, recordings of other musicians singing his songs, a VR exhibit, and artwork from other artists and their interpretation of “A Crack In everything”.
One of the oldest bars in Montreal and one of the first bars I’ve ever been to in Montreal years prior.
This was our original plan for NYE dinner but we ended up just having pre-dinner drinks instead. The crowd was a solid mix of tourists and locals taking in the live jazz band and what looked like delicious food.
Had my first Poutine here! It’s a small intimate place with an awesome, friendly staff and the food was equally great.
This place was our New Years Eve dinner destination. Amazing steaks, great wine selection in a great location.
We popped into Santos after hours of walking around and we needed to thaw out. What better way to do so than with some whiskey and old school hip-hop jams.
We were actually told about this place by our awesome waitress at Rockwood. We wanted a place to go to for drinks but we didn’t want to hang out with fellow tourists, we wanted to have a taste of the local feel. It was this awesome back alley, mixology bar that was pretty dope. Drinks were lit, and not just figuratively, they were literally lit on fire.