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Old Port of Montreal
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall
At the Old Port of Montreal, in historic Vieux Montreal (Old Montreal), you will find entertainment for the whole family. Architecture, history museums, the science center, grand churches, the Notre Dame Basilica, the Imax theater, the clock tower and beach, and the home stomping grounds of Cirque du Soleil. Food festivals, street performers, artists, the list is long. Just tons of fun for kids and adults.
The history of the Old Port and City is as tall as the ships who have sailed there for 400 years. Since this is not a book, but a hub, I will have to curtail the details and let the images and architecture tell the story.
I invite you to spend an afternoon strolling about the Old Port and the picturesque streets of Old Montreal, snapping photos all the way. So let's go!
**All Photos in this lens Carol Houle all rights reserved, except where indicated. And of course, the aerial view. I am not a strong flier. *CC with photo credit only.
Layout & Aerial Views of the Old Port & the Lachine CanalClick thumbnail to view full-size
Watercraft, Watersports & Boat Tours
The Clock Tower Beach
For boat lovers there's the marinas, the Montreal Yacht Club, boat shows and expositions from Yachts to Tall Ships. Tour boats, dinner and dancing cruises; private or corporate special events. There's white water rafting, relics, and oftentimes, a visiting cruise ship. For a heady rush there's rodeo-style speed boating. For a relaxing lull, go for the silent electric-powered boats.
In the concept image at the right is the new Clock Tower Beach which opened in 2012. The parasols are permanent fixtures, the Adirondack chairs (not shown) are the same color as the umbrellas and port logo, the sand is clean and fine, and there's a hopping bar just up the stairs.
Old Port Marina - Clock Tower Basin & Quay
We've parked the car and off we go!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fire on Ice
Bonsecours Island & Basin
This is the spot for pedal boating or ice-skating. The fire on ice shows. The ice sculptures competition. And each year new exhibitions and markets.
Ice Skating on the Bonsecours Basin
Jacques-Cartier Basin - Port d'escale ~ Marina
On the promenade/boardwalk, are bicycle rentals, cycling trails, rollerblading, mini trains and funny bunnies for the kids. There’s an Amphibious bus (it’s a boat-it’s a bus) that drives through the streets of Old Montreal, then takes you into the St. Lawrence for a cruise. Double decker tour buses, horse and buggy rides. It’s all there, you decide.
There are water fountains and parks, benches for resting and clean restrooms for all. Along one of the quays you can treat yourself to a seasonal shopping spree. A long row of containers lines the quay with a different shop in each ~be it beachwear, jewelry, kids’ stuff, post cards, sun lotion, handicraft or ice cream and poutine.
We continue our walk down the promenade where we left off... - This time of year is the best...not too crowdedClick thumbnail to view full-size
The night life is rife with sidewalk cafes, restaurants, bistros and pubs. Light shows, and a perfect view of the July world fireworks competition at the nearby Six Flags amusement park. There are plenty of boutiques for shopping and street performers and artists in the Place Jacques Cartier. The March Bonsecours (market) is open to the public: there you'll find an art school, artwork and other high end wares.There are courtyards, terraces, and refreshments galore. The music, colorful lights and camaraderie creates a magical ambiance.
The historic port of Montreal is located in Old Montreal (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) and stretches for two kilometers along the St. Lawrence river. When the Port Authority activities moved to a new location in Montreal east, the “old” port was redeveloped to become a recreational and historical area which draws 6 million tourists annually.
In 1642 Montreal was known as Ville-Marie, New France, founded by Paul Chomedy De Maisonneuve. It is likely that the Lachine rapids prevented him from sailing further west, so he anchored at what is today the Old Port. He built a fort in 1643 for the conversion of Indians in New France. All previous efforts to open fur trading posts had been abandoned when local Iroquois successfully defended their land.
The first grid of streets in the colony was established from existing trails and those streets remain to this day with their original ‘maintained’ structures. Fortifications were constructed around the colony to secure the settlement from a British invasion and to allow future expansion inside the walls. Fires led to the ban of wooden houses, though it took many years and many devastating fires before the wonderful buildings we cherish today were realized under the British rule.
Old Montreal - ArchitectureClick thumbnail to view full-size
The People & the Romance
Many people actually reside in some of those buildings. Some are business offices, government edifices, institutes, museums, stores and restaurants. But many more are homes which look historic, but are ultra modern inside. Luxury condos, lofts, apartments, suites and penthouses, in fact.
It's in the cobblestone streets and the grand architecture: the struggle, the strife and the glory of a 400 year-old city enhanced with flowers, lighted with love and sparkling in the sun. Check out the details in each photo. You will see the battle, the hope and the faith of many who strove to build her.
Place Jacques-Cartier Square - The market square was built in the first half of the 19th century,Click thumbnail to view full-size
Click Satellite View & Snoop Around
© 2013 Carol Houle