Detours, orange cones and construction – oh my! *
by Dr. Bernard Lapointe
Welcome to Montréal, the Orange Cone Capital of the World...
Correcting years of neglect of the city's infrastructure means that Montrealers this year have to cope with more than 400 construction
sites. While weaving through one chantier after another, do like some of us do ̶ try to laugh and be resilient... !! An example of such resilience is an open-air yoga class being held in a small street blocked by a huge construction project in front of McGill University.
The Palais des Congrès, home of the 21st International Congress on Palliative Care, is located few steps away from Old Montreal. A long time neglected by Montrealers, ``le vieux`` is now a vibrant district where you can discover the history of Montréal through many splendid examples of French colonial architecture, the magnificent Notre-Dame Church, and the stimulating Old Port area with its fascinating Science Centre. You can shop, visit galleries, have a drink, enjoy a really good meal or simply join the “party”. Since many of you will be staying in that area of the City, here are some of my recommendations:
First, a new activity this year that you cannot miss:
The ‘Cité Mémoires project
Roam the streets of old Montreal with this application to immerse yourself in the city's history, with over 60 unique items to discover (points of interest and augmented reality segments).
At night, enjoy Cité Mémoire's 20 different projected tableaux created by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon in collaboration with Michel Marc Bouchard.
Cité Mémoire is a poetic creation inspired by Montreal’s history. It will lead you to fascinating encounters with both unknown and famous characters who bring to life the richness and complexity of Montreal through time.
Before your visit, download this application and its content (entirely or one circuit at a time), log on to the MTL WIFI the city’s free wifi network.
For the “foodies”:
Here are few of my “bonnes addresses” in Old Montréal
In my opinion, the best restaurant in town is Toqué (900 Place Jean-Paul- Riopelle,). Reserve plenty of time in advance, and let yourself be seduced by the dishes prepared by Chef Normand Laprise and his brigade. The restaurant is located just next to the Palais des congrès.
Three of my favorite places:
Chez l'Épicier, 311 rue St-Paul Est, creative cuisine in a charming environment.
Les 400 coups, 400 Notre-Dame Est , excellent food, good service
And the lovely Italian restaurant, Salumi Vino on 358 Notre-Dame Est
You have a sweet tooth, my favourite pastry shop in Old Montreal is: La Maison Christian Faure is the laboratory of a very gifted pastry chef who is one of the rare "meilleur ouvrier de France" who came to work in Canada. Opened 365 days a year, the pastry shop opens at 8h00 in the morning and serves some of the best croissants in the city. Great jams, great pastries and delicious macaroons. Located at 355 Place Royale (next to the Pointe-à-Callière Museum).
Talking about the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, if by chance you are in Montreal the weekend before the International Congress, you might want to visit a very interesting exhibition entitled “Of Horses and Men, the Emile Hermès Collection, Paris”. This is a unique opportunity to view more than
250 rare objects that recounts the story of the horse and its relationship to people, a collection usually housed in the company’s prestigious Parisian shop on rue du Faubourg. The exhibition closes on October 16th.
Montréal an American City?
For those of you living south of the border; did you know that for a brief period in 1775, at the start of the American Revolution, Montréal became an American City. Yes, we became “Americans” when the rebel forces from
the 13 American colonies occupied Montreal in the hope to secure support in Montréal and Québec City for the revolutionary idea. General Richard Montgomery occupied Montréal without a fight in November 1775 and abandoned the city on May 9th 1776 without much success in raising support amongst the francophone population of Montréal. Most ordinary
‘habitants’ refused to join either the British or the Rebel forces. Benjamin Franklin left Montreal that same month declaring that “it would have been easier to buy Canada than to win over Canadians to the American Cause!”
During that period, the Chateau Ramezay (280 Notre-Dame E across from the City Hall) served as the campaign headquarter for the rebel forces. You can visit this chateau that has served as the official residence to the various governors of Montréal since 1705 and is now a remarkable museum allowing its visitors to explore more than 500 years of history, from the pre- contact Amerindian era to the 20th Century.
One of Montreal’s newest attractions is the observation deck and the restaurant located at the top of the Place Ville-Marie. Place Ville-Marie which was designed by I.M. Pei (who designed the Louvres pyramid) has since its opening in 1962, been the architectural emblem of Montreal. Au Sommet de La Place Ville-Marie opened this summer and you can find an observation deck with a 360 degree panorama of the City on the 46th floor and a restaurant. A very pleasant environment pour “l’apéritif”.
Not to miss, The Montreal Musée des beaux arts located on Sherbrooke
West is hosting up to October 30th a rare collection of over 90 of Toulouse-
Lautrec’s most celebrated prints and posters.
Montreal skyline from the mountain with rising fog.
And do not forget…
A favorite for all Montrealers, young and less young, during the weeks leading to Halloween are the Gardens of Light at the Botanical Garden with the magnificent illuminated Chinese lanterns as well as the decorated pumpkins. This is a great way to take some fresh air in a beautiful environment. It’s a short walk from Pie IX metro station. The Montreal Botanical Garden is open every day in October till 9hpm.)
* title of an article by Rachel Lau, Global News.
There is so much to love about Montreal so we thought we’d share some our city’s treasures.
Foodies unite! Here are some of our favourite restaurants. Yum!
- Tao- Asian (4242 Boulevard Décarie, Montréal, H4A 3K3, Metro Villa Maria). Great soups and noodle dishes; not expensive.
- Nonya - Indonesian (151 Rue Bernard O, Montréal, H2T 2K3)
Try the sticky rice in coconut milk dessert.
- Lovely coffee at Humble Lion across from the McGill campus on Sherbrooke Street ( 904 Rue Sherbrooke West, Montréal, H3A 3R8)
- Lavanderie -Argentinian Restaurant (374 Avenue Victoria, Westmount, H3Z 2N4); known for grilled meats.
- The Sain Bol (5095 Rue Fabre, Montréal, H2J; Métro Laurier, biologic, gluten free)
- Park - classic, stylish Japanese restaurant (378 Avenue Victoria, Westmount, H3Z 2N4)
- Brasserie Central- French bistro great for burgers or brunch (4858 Rue Sherbrooke West, Westmount,H3Z 1H1)
- Fiorellino- Italian ( 470 Rue de la Gauchetière West, Montréal, QC H2X 1E3); near the congress center and excellent for pizza , pasta and overall deliciousness.
- Griffintown Café (1378 Rue Notre-Dame West, Montréal, H3C 1K8) for those that enjoy a good meal and great live Jazz ; pretty yummy brunches as well.
- Tapas 24- Spanish (in Old Montreal at 420 Rue Notre-Dame West #4, Montréal, H2Y 1V3). The food is so delicious, there is nothing more to be said!
- Burgundy Lion Pub 2496 Rue Notre-Dame West, Montréal, H3J 1N5 (British pub, great selection of beer and food, lively atmosphere; good for a drink, dinner or a fun night out especially if you like darts or Trivial Pursuit).
- There are lots of great great restos on Duluth Street. Try excellent BYOB Greek restaurant, Jardin de Panos for seafood and brochettes (521 Avenue Duluth East, Montréal, H2L 1A8).
- Do you love BBQ Portuguese chicken? Check out Portugalia (34 Rue Rachel O, Montréal, QC H2W 2T1) and Romados (115 Rue Rachel E, Montréal, QC H2W 1C8)
- For a great basic breakfast (eggs, pancakes, waffles, fruity concoctions) you can’t beat Cora’s (near “The Village” at 1017 Rue Sainte-Catherine E).
- For a string of fun, eclectic bistro-style restos, all on the south side of Notre Dame West, start out at Corcelle Street and Notre Dame in the St Henri district and walk east on Notre Dame to check out Tuck Shop (4662 Rue Notre-Dame West, H4C 1S7), Cho (4450 Rue Notre-Dame West, H4C 1S1), Chez Sophie (1974 Rue Notre-Dame West, H3J 1M8), Duo D (1380 Rue Notre-Dame West, Montréal, H3C 1K8).
- Parm - contemporary Italian (4922 Rue Sherbrooke West, Westmount, H3Z 1H3)
- Rustique - For delicious coffee and desserts (4615 Rue Notre-Dame west, Montréal,H4C 1S3)
- Nozy- new and very popular Japanese resto; it’s small so make reservations (3568 Rue Notre-Dame West, Montréal, H4C 1P4).
- La Taqueria Mexicain – lots of colour and spice! (4306 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, H2W 2R2).
- Sushi Momo, 4669 St Denis, Montreal, H2J 2L5 (vegan sushi, Métro Mont Royal)
- Santa Barbara (6696 Rue de Saint Vallier, Montréal, H2S 1M1, Métro Beaubien).
- La Lumiere du Mile End – very popular for brunch and lunch (214 Bernard West).
- Commensal – Montreal’s classic buffet-style veggie resto. (1720 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, H2X 3K6)
Feel like heading out after hours? Here are some good places to listen to music or just have a quiet drink or cup of tea.
- Camelia Sinenis: lovely tea room and tea store, open late. (351 Rue Émery,
Montréal, QC H2X 1J2, Métro St Denis)
- Upstairs Bar: great location for live Jazz music every night of the week (downtown, 1254 Rue Mackay, Montréal, H3G 2H4, Metro Guy)
- Don’t forget that all the big hotels have beautiful lounges and bars.
Have an hour or two (or more!) for shopping? Here’s where you might want to head off to.
- Check out the Mile End area of Montreal, lots of boutique shopping.
- St. Laurent Blvd or “The Main”, north of René Lesvesque has many boutiques and cafés.
- St. Denis Street, north of Sherbrooke for boutiques, clothing stores, Quebec designers, and people watching.
- COS (downtown at 1310 Ste. Catherine West, H3G 1P6).
- “The Bay/ La Baie” – classic Canadian department store (downtown at 585 rue Ste-Catherine West Montreal, H3B 3Y5)
- Simons – department store founded by a Quebec City family in 1890 (downtown at 977 Rue Sainte-Catherine West, Montréal, H3B 4W3)
Great places/streets/neighbourhoods to take a walk.
- Anywhere in Old Montreal, including the port, of course!
- Mount Royal Park - a visit to “The Mountain” is a must! Great for walking, hiking and jogging. Enjoy fresh air in the heart of the city. Easiest entry on foot is to walk straight up (North) on Peel Street (you can start at Metro Peel).
- Lachine Canal to Atwater market – great to walk, run, bike or roller blade. Walk by the water from the Old Port all the way to Atwater market (Metro Lionel Grioulx). It’s about a 5 km walk (approx. 45 min) or you can take the metro straight to Atwater market and be there in 15 minutes from the Palais de Congres (Metro Place D’armes). Once you are at Atwater market, enjoy a coffee and croissant/sandwich at Première Moisson
- Fairmount Ave. and St. Viateur between St. Laurent and Park Avenue (pop into St Viateur Bagels, 263 St. Viateur West, to munch on a fresh bagel on the way, open 24/7).
- Laurier Avenue West (sophisticated, unique fashion boutiques and restaurants, good people watching).
- Walk along Laurier Street going East to Parc La Fontaine – a beautiful, central park with small lake (Parc Lafontaine is close to Metro Sherbrooke).
- Little Italy of course! (great coffee, pool halls with soccer on giant TV screens, Italian food and grocery stores, home of Jean Talon market, Metro Jean Talon ).
- Go to the McGill University campus (Metro McGill) and then walk south to downtown, or north to Mount Royal.
- The Plateau – Plenty to see, do and eat, and lots of nightlife! Take Metro Mont Royal or Sherbrooke and walk north on St. Denis or St. Laurent.
October in Montreal means fall colours ! Here are some of the best places in Montreal or surrounding area to view the autumn foliage.
In Montreal (no car needed)
- Westmount Look out, also called “the Summit”: here you will get a wonderful panoramic view of the city, day or night, great photo opportunities . It’s a steep but pretty walk up or take a taxi.
- St. Joseph’s Oratory
- Mont Royal Park/Parc Mont Royal
Outside Montreal (car needed)
- St. Sauveur- quaint town about 60 minutes north of Montreal in the Laurentians.
- Mont Tremblant - about two hours north of Montreal . Highest mountain in the Laurentians, charming town with boutiques and restos, casino, lake, great walks, hikes, cycling, golf, and a year-round gondola up the mountain.
- Chateau Vaudreuil -in Vaudreuil, about 20 minutes west of Montreal , right on the water; they serve a great brunch on weekends.
- Centre de la Nature du Mont Saint-Hilaire/Galt nature Reserve- a true hidden treasure, nature reserve about 35 minutes outside Montreal; part of McGill University, beautiful walking and hiking trails. (450) 467-1755; firstname.lastname@example.org
Recommended Museums and Galleries
- Musée d’art contemporain (downtown at 185 Rue Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, H2X 3X5)
- Gallerie DHC/ART (located in Old Montreal at 451 Rue Saint Jean, Montréal, H2Y 2R5)
- Montreal History Museums ( 15 museums located throughout the city of Montreal, http://www.musees-histoire-montreal.ca)
- Centre Phi (multidisciplinary arts and culture in Old Montreal located at 407 Rue Saint Pierre, Montréal, H2Y 2M3)
- Pointe à Callière Museum (museum of archeology and history, located in Old Montreal, 350 Place Royale, Montréal, H2Y 3Y5)
- Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Montreal’s largest museum, downtown location; 1380 Rue Sherbrooke west, Montréal, H3G 1J5)
- McCord Museum (social history museum close to McGill campus; 690 Rue Sherbrooke West, Montréal, H3A 1E9)
- There are many art galleries on Sherbrooke Street West (downtown) as well as on St. Paul St. in Old Montreal.
Thanks to Our contributors:
- Sue Britton (Member, Council on Palliative Care; retired palliative care nurse)
- Zelda Freitas (Social worker, Clinical activities specialist, Interim Coordinator of Leading Practices / mental health and aging, CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal )
- Crystal Noronha (Coordinator, Pediatric Palliative Care Research
Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC)
- Devon Phillips (Program Advisor, Palliative Care McGill)
- Andree Prendergast (Member, Council on Palliative Care; retired volunteer coordinator in palliative care
- Florence Vinit (Psychology Resident, Division of Supportive and Palliative Care - Psychosocial Oncology Program)
Discount Coupon Booklet for Montréal Activities and Attractions
Click here to see the discounts offered. Simply print the coupon that interests you and show it to the attraction along with your passport of conference badge.