Fly to Montréal for Canadian culture with a French accent.
Between the St. Lawrence and Prairies Rivers, you’ll find over 350 years of French Canadian history. The past is always present in the island city of Montréal. Even now, as a modern metropolis and business centre, signs of the city’s history shine through.
Founded in 1642 as Ville-Marie, Montréal has a history spanning centuries. Despite its age, Montréal is still looking great. The handsome cobbled roads of Vieux-Montréal and Vieux-Port de Montréal prove some things only get better with time. Aimlessly ambling down these avenues is one of the best things to do in Montréal when you’re looking to immerse yourself in the character of the city.
Dig deeper into the points of interest in Montréal’s storied past at Musee Pointe-a-Calliere. Tracing Montréal’s path from First Nations settlements to present-day city, this national archeological and historical site unearths the Montréal of old.
Montréal’s attractions are always blooming in the city’s many parks. From the islands of Parc Jean-Drapeau, to the slopes of Parc Mont-Royal, green spaces are planted across this urban centre. In these parks, arts, and culture festivals add colour to Montréal’s already great outdoors.
On the shores of the St. Lawrence, you’ll find some of Montréal’s best shopping. In the shadow of Chapelle Notre-Dame-des-Bon-Secours, Marche Bonsecours offers up uniquely Québécois wares. If you don’t find what you want in this 150 year old marketplace, look for something new on Montréal’s oldest street, Rue Saint-Paul. No matter what you bring home, the best souvenir will be your memories of Montréal.
Former industrial areas along the Lachine Canal have become home to some of Montréal’s hippest neighbourhoods. Get a taste of this revitalization in the arts scene and cuisine of Griffintown.
While you walk through Montréal, you may be shocked by the sheer number of art showrooms and galleries. Griffintown is no exception, with small galleries decorating many of the main streets and heritage sites housing performance venues. Converted factories produce some of the city’s best art collections and exhibitions , with local artists in the spotlight.
After getting a feel for the local artistic flavour, grab a bite at one of Griffintown’s restaurants. The area’s creative energy is infused in every dish, from Québécois classics to contemporary French dishes.
Work off your lunch on the shores of the Lachine Canal, with a walk through the Lachine Canal Waterfront Park. On your way, you’ll pass one of the Griffintown’s points of interest, La Pointe des Seigneurs. The archeological work at this site is ongoing, as the 150 year history of this waterway is slowly uncovered.
Once you’ve passed through the past, follow the beat to Bassin Peel. This outdoor space plays host to music, arts, and cultural events, with the waterfront as its backdrop.
At 14.5 km long, the Lachine Canal Waterfront Park can take you past Griffintown, into more of Montréal’s neighbourhoods. Follow the canal on bike and foot along the Lachine Canal bike path, (or by boat in the canal itself) to see Saint-Henri or look in on La Petite-Bourgogne (Little Burgundy). Whatever your next stop, Griffintown gets your trip to Montréal off on the right foot.
Explore the archipelago of Montréal’s park system, with a visit to Parc Jean-Drapeau.
Spread across the islands of Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame, Parc Jean-Drapeau is an escape from the city just 5 minutes from downtown. As Montréal’s most popular park, you’ll always find plenty of people enjoying the weather or wander its 25 km of trails.
When it’s warm outside, Parc Jean-Drapeau’s gardens drape the island in green. Jardins des Floralies features thousands of flowers, towering trees, and art installations. Throughout Parc Jean-Drapeau, 15 large sculptures are on display, transforming the outdoors into a gallery. Most of the works are remnants of Expo 67, Montreal’s ambitious World’s Fair.
Also carrying on Expo 67’s legacy the Biosphère stands as a monument to the futuristic imagination of the 1960’s. Now, the delicate lattice sphere houses the Musée de l'Environnement. In what served as the United States pavilion during the fair, you’ll find exhibits exploring the relationship between humans and the environment.
Enjoy the peaceful environment of Parc Jean-Drapeau with one of the park’s many outdoor activities. In the Olympic Basin built for the 1976 Olympic Games, you can canoe, kayak, or row through this 2.2 km long pool. Switch from paddles to pedals on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which serves as a cycle path for most of the year.
During the month of June, the circuit kicks it into high gear, when it hosts F1 racing cars for the Montréal Grand Prix. If you’re not here during June, you can still enjoy the fast paced fun of the La Ronde amusement park and Casino Montréal. Whenever you visit, you can bet on heart-pounding entertainment in Parc Jean-Drapeau.
To learn more about the history surrounding Parc Jean-Drapeau, spend some time in the Musée Stewart. Dedicated to documenting the European influence on the province and continent as a whole. Ivory, silver, and parchment artifacts left behind by settlers of the New World provide a glimpse into the past. When you leave, you’ll have a whole new understanding of how Montréal came to be the city it is.
Porter’s check-in desk is located in Terminal A.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) is about 20 km / 12 mi from downtown Montréal.
Taxis to downtown cost about $40 CAD. Car service costs about $50 CAD.
Please allow sufficient time to drop off your car rental before your departing flight.
The 747 P-E-Trudeau Airport / Downtown shuttle bus provides service to the airport from downtown. The fare is $10 CAD.