Thursday, August 7, 2014

Old Montreal..................after Sundown.

I'm 55 - and I still walk around this city in awe.....................Old Montreal is a section of Montreal down near the Old Port - right off the river actually.  It's the oldest settlement in North America - and walking around it you can feel that history course through your veins - it's the same wonderment I have when in Paris
( on a much smaller scale of course -the entire city of Paris is like this )  but I'll take our little slice of it - gladly.

It makes me want to sing & shout ( and let it all out )

Little dormers are a key theme in Old Montreal Architecture
I adore them

Tourist shops are nestled into tiny buildings dating back 200 years ago and welcome you inside for a moment

And bistro's and cafe's and restaurants are crowded into every possible space - most with a terrace for outdoor dining  - while street performers draw crowds in.........................You can't walk anywhere without hearing music and laughter and glasses clinking - this is a city where Montrealers and tourists blend seamlessly together because good food and history are a match made in heaven - we have both in abundance.

The streets are usually busy - this was a Wednesday evening - after 8 p.m - with a forecast of a chance of showers and still the streets were filled as were the patio tables............

We were starting to despair of ever finding a place to sit and eat

even the second storey terraces were full 

as well as the indoor ones AND we were getting hungry

And then I spotted this sign - it must be new because I'd never seen it before but Montreal IS the home of Poutine so it makes sense that there would be one specializing in it in Old Montreal -  what intrigued me most was the " et la terrasse cache "  - " and the hidden terrace "

Magical people - it was magical - nestled in between these 2 and 3 century old buildings - was a court yard of 4 stone walls with the night sky in full view - umbrella's were placed over a lot of the tables and we chose to sit under one because of the forecast - twinkling fairy lights graced the trees.
AND it did come down for 10 minutes or so - we stayed completely dry 

The lights illuminated the stone walls beautifully

and there's heaters so that the experience can be enjoyed until the first snowfall

And even though we just had poutines and white sangria ( they were out of red wine ) it was one of the nicest evenings I've had all summer - if anyone is coming to Montreal ( Karen? ) you have to experience this little treasure - I'll be back most definitely

The streets were still full as we came out

I ran in to a souvenier shop to get Tracey ( Breathing English Air ) a long ago promised post card - and we called it a night
But " it was a night - oh what a night it was - it really was such a night "  ♪♫♪

A little history if you're interested !

Wikipedia says 

Decline, preservation and renewal[edit]

Obelisk and four-story building on winter evening
Place d'Youville looking west, with obelisk and Lyman Building (1908)
During the early 20th century the momentum of the district continued to grow, evidenced by construction of prestigious buildings such as the Aldred Building (1929–1931), La SauvegardeBuilding (1913) or the first Stock Exchange (1903–1904). Port activities, the financial sector, justice and the municipal government helped maintain activity until the Great Depression began in 1929. The relocation of port facilities further east deprived Old Montreal of many companies related to the maritime trade, leaving many abandoned warehouses and commercial buildings. The downtown-area relocation several blocks north and the nearly-complete absence of residents (there were only a few hundred in 1950) had the effect of emptying the district at the close of business. At that time, the lack of nightlife gave the district a reputation for danger at night.
Old Montreal increasingly found itself changing to accommodate the automobile. Several prestigious locations, such as the Place d'Armes, thePlace d'Youville and Place Jacques-Cartier, were snarled with traffic in the mid-20th century. For municipal authorities unaware of its potential heritage value, Old Montreal was an anomaly. City planners considered wider streets, which would have meant razing many older buildings. A proposed elevated highway along the river over the rue de la Commune spurred a movement to preserve the district. Dutch-born architect and urban planner Daniel van Ginkel played a major role in saving the district from destruction during the early 1960s. As assistant director of the city of Montreal's newly formed planning department, he persuaded authorities to abandon plans for an expressway that would have cut through the old city.[3] In 1964, most of Old Montreal was classified as an historic district; despite this, the Quebec government razed several 19th-century buildings to build a new courthouse.
Revitalization of the district involves the inventory, upgrading and renovation of abandoned buildings, which are converted into offices or residential condominiums; the process is often expensive. In addition to the return of a residential base, the area is again attractive to the hotel industry. While in the 19th century all major hotels were in Old Montreal, by 1980 there were none. In 2009 there were about 20, mostly in restored older buildings. A steady stream of tourists and the presence of new residents encourage nightlife and entertainment. In addition, municipal authorities have invested large sums to renew the area's infrastructure. The Place Jacques-Cartier and part of thePlace d'Youville have been redesigned, and a restoration of the Place d'Armes is in progress. A lighting plan was also developed to highlight the different fa├žade styles. There is now a consensus that the historical legacy of Old Montreal is its major asset. Aided by redevelopment, it is now the leading tourist destination in Montreal.


To think that we may have lost this to Urban growth is unbelievable - such a vital part of history wiped out to build highways is almost unbearable to imagine.

Can you picture this

Replacing this?

Because I simply can't
Progress is a good thing - except for when it isn't.

And remember this post?  Wouldn't this room just be the icing on the cake?  You can see more rooms in this Auberge HERE

Hope you all have a little magic in your weekend !
Much love,

Partying here this week!
Between Naps on the Porch                 My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia                A Stroll thru Life
Kathe with an E                                   From My Front Porch to Yours                   Katherine's Corner
Savvy Southern Style                           Ivy & Elephants                                   French Country Cottage
Redoux Interiors                                  My Turn for Us                                           Redhead can Decorate
Uncommon Design                              Coastal Charm                                            Stone Gable
My Romantic Home


  1. How beautiful!!!!I would love to visit,my cousin just moved there.
    I think progress is good but we need to respect the past and make our lives beautiful.I agree with you:)Have a great weekend:):)

  2. It looks like fun. I'm glad you shared.

  3. Lovely city Suzan, we visited there last October & I just loved it!!
    How lucky you are to live so close by...
    Have a good weekend!

  4. Oh Suzan it looks heavenly. So happy you were able to enjoy a true summer evening out dining and walking the beautiful city.

  5. This post speaks to me, I ADORE Old Montreal. I feel sick when old masterpieces are demolished for the sake of steel & glass monstrosities. We need more Daniel van Ginkels!!!

  6. What an amazing post! And what gorgeous photos. I LOVE Old Montreal. It is spectacular. Best part of the city if you ask me. So much to see and do. I haven't been there in years, and have promised myself that the next time I'm visiting family in Montreal for a few days, I'm going to spend an entire day down there sightseeing and photographing. And squealing with delight. Have a beautiful weekend!

  7. Beautiful shots Suzan. Quelle belle ville!

    P.S. I hope the no-reply thing is fixed. It had something to do with Google+.

  8. Oh, how beautiful. I hope
    that someday, I will visit. It would be a dream come true.

  9. I meant to mention, that I probably will never get to France, but being in your city, would be close enough.

  10. You are one lucky girl to live in such a beautiful place!!!!! After having been to Europe I believe that here in America we are going backwards in the name of "progress". I hate seeing old building torn down for modern, which seems to happen more and more. It's stupid!!!! Do you also have roundabouts? Because if you do, it must be heaven!

  11. I absolutely love Old Montreal, Quebec, the Townships, well basically the whole province. Such a gem! Lovely pictures. I must get there after this reno. Patty/NS

  12. I have not been in a few years and do have plans for a return visit. Maybe this time I can go in the Spring, as last time it was in the middle of Winter. I also had great grandparents who helped settle the area and would love to come and see their statue. Thanks so much for the photos!

  13. So beautiful!! I've been to Canada, but never to Old Montreal.

  14. So so beautiful, I'd love to come for a visit.

  15. What a beautiful city. Love the photos!

  16. I wish I could be in love with my town like you are Montreal! You should be paid by the tourism department! What a beautiful city. Our little town ripped down some gorgeous trees for a shopping center and a road. As you drive through the town, all you can smell is cow sh!+ and get an eye full of ugliness. Thanks for a beautiful tour Suzan. I felt I might just be in Europe while reading! Cheers to a city that preserves history!

  17. It was fun wandering through the city with you (and John? He must have been in his best behavior for you not to mention him! Ha) Sadly, we did not get there this week, but we will plan another trip soon, but thanks for the mention in your are a great Ambassador for your city

  18. Ok...I'm sold. Would rather not visit during peak tourist season so...what time of year would you suggest. We live in NJ so perfect for a long weekend visit! :)

    1. Oh you're so close ! Every season has it's beauty in this section of Montreal - even Winter is spectacular with all of the Christmas decor out - but personally I prefer the Summer or Fall -
      You'll be in good company- there's as many Americans walking around as Canadians ( that's the truth )

  19. Gorgeous! Great city. We used to shop Montreal for business (fashion industry) when my company didn't want to pay for Europe. This is such a nice part of the city that you featured... :-)


    1. Thanks so much Lory !
      Now if the political B.S. would just go away lol

  20. i've never been, but i just know i'd love it!
    thanks for sharing those great pictures!

  21. How very, very lovely --your photos capture the beauty of the city, indeed!

  22. Gorgeous! My husband and I visited there last summer and I took a picture of the building that says Hotel Nelson. I thought it was so pretty, I painted it, and now it hangs in my living room. How neat to see it on your blog today! #katherinescorner

  23. Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful city, great pictures! I will be sharing this with my girlfriends at lunch today, it will be a mini virtual vacay for us! Have a wonderful day!

  24. Hi and thanks so much for sharing this beautiful section if Montreal. I would love to visit it someday. Have a nice weekend.
    Julie's Lifestyle

  25. Suzan, after seeing your amazing post... I just have to visit old Montreal. Breathtaking! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

    1. Oh you'd love it Yvonne - it's really like being in Europe !
      Thanks so much for coming by to let me know that you enjoyed it ♥

  26. Loved your Post. Ive never been to Monteral and now considering a trip. How many days do you suggest I stay to see it all? Also do I need to speak French? Could you please suggest a few things I should not miss. I cant wait! Thank you Deb

  27. Your post makes me want to book a flight to Montreal. Thanks for sharing this.


Due to a large amount of spam ( that I'm tired of going back to posts and deleting ) I'll be using comment moderation from now on !!!
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