Month: July 2010

Vancouver, British Columbia

A- Overview:
Many visitors take advantage of Vancouver’s beautiful seaside, wide-open spaces and mountain backdrop. Named after Royal Navy captain, George Vancouver, the history of this city, from the cobblestone late-Victorian Gastown, exotic Chinatown and the sleek modern buildings of downtown, is quite evident. The ocean and mountains create a dramatic contrast with downtown’s shiny towers of commerce.
The two official languages of Canada are English and French; however, English is the predominant language in British Columbia. Over the years, many Asians have migrated to Vancouver, mostly from Hong Kong, but other cultures are represented as well. More than 30 percent of Vancouver’s households speak Cantonese or Mandarin making the Chinese the dominant minority ethnic group.

Vancouver’s diversity offers families an endless supply of things to see and do no matter what time of the year or what budget. Whether you choose to stay within the city limits or to venture along the coast and mountains there are plenty of activities to suit everyone.

Downtown Vancouver has an exciting selection of high-end retails stores, chic and unusual shops and excellent restaurants along side Canada’s largest city park. Beautiful Stanley Park, which in the mid-1800’s was a military reserve used to guard the harbor, offers hundreds of acres of lush forest and crystal clear lakes that create the perfect setting for a variety of entertainment and relaxation for visitors. The Lions Gate Bridge offers a panoramic view of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains. Within the park are a miniature railway, Water Park, beaches, pool, kid’s farmyard and the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre.

Not far from downtown is Chinatown. Strolling block after block through Chinatown’s maze of brilliantly colored markets, restaurants and shops you’ll discover a fascinating array of exotic foods, clothing, art and entertainment. Be sure to check out the world’s thinnest office building, the Sam Kee Building, on the corner of Pender and Carrall streets. Built in 1913 and currently occupied, the building is only six feet wide!

The quaint and oldest neighborhood of Vancouver, Gastown, was named after a talkative Yorkshire-born saloon proprietor, John Deighton, nicknamed Gassy Jack. Supposedly Gassy Jack told the local mill workers that could drink all the whisky they wanted as long as they helped him build his saloon. The saloon was built within 24 hours albeit how structurally sound is another story. Gastown’s cobblestone streets and 1800’s architecture creates a historical and interesting background for the unique shops and galleries.

The sea, mountains and the beautiful cosmopolitan city of Vancouver make a wonderful combination that will provide so much enjoyment for the entire family. For those who love winter sports, nearby Grouse Mountain is perfect for skiing, snowboarding or ice-skating. If you prefer warmer weather the spring and summer months are ideal for water sports and boating. No matter what time of year you choose to visit the city of Vancouver and the surrounding areas there will be an endless supply of fun and activities!

B- City Information:
Time Zone Pacific Standard Time Zone
Getting Around: Visitors travelling by air can fly into Vancouver International Airport. Visitors departing the airport are required to purchase an Airport Improvement Fee ticket that must be presented at the security checkpoint. The fee ranges between $5.00 and $15.00 depending on your destination. Taxis are difficult to find in the downtown area. It is best to utilize public transportation. Other means of transportation are car rentals, ferries, trains and buses.

Weather: Vancouver has mild weather year-round. Spring arrives in February or March but you’ll still need a warm jacket in the evenings. Summers are very comfortable and rarely scorching. The fall season is long with temperatures remaining mild till November when the wet season begins. Snow is a rarity except, of course, in the nearby mountains. Your best bet is to wear layers so you’re always prepared for changes in weather.

Average Daily High Temperatures:
F/C
Hi Lo
January – March 10/50 5/42
April – June 69/21 58/14
July – September 65/18 59/21
October – December 58/14 43/10

Language English and French are Canada’s two official languages with English being the predominant language in British Columbia.

Metric Measures Canada follows the international metric system.

Important Telephone Numbers
Emergency 911
BC Ferries (Vancouver) 604-444-2890
Bus Transit 604-521-0400
BC Rail 604-984-5246
Weather Report 604-664-9010
Vancouver Tourist Info Centre 604-683-2000
Canada Customs 604-666-0545

Currency All visitors should use Canadian currency when traveling within Canada. It is best to have local currency on hand prior to arriving; contact your local bank. Visitors may exchange their currency at Canadian banks, credit unions, or at the offices of foreign exchange brokers.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Prospect Point
Stanley Park
The highest point of Stanley Park, this area is under the Lions Gate Bridge. Be sure to take you camera to capture the outstanding view of the North Shore Mountains and Burrard Inlet. It also has a Gift shop, a restaurant and coffee shop.

Capilano Suspension Bridge
Phone: 604-985-7475
Just 10 minutes from downtown, this suspension bridge hangs more than 200 feet above the beautiful Capilano River.

BC Sports Hall of Fame & Museum
777 Pacific Blvd S., Gate A
Phone: 604-687-5520
Open Daily 10 – 5
Admission charged
Inside this complex one can test their own sprinting, rowing, climbing and throwing abilities in the high-tech participation gallery. The museum features British Columbia’s celebrated athletes.

Chinatown
Downtown Eastside, Vancouver
Largest in Canada, and third largest on the continent, Vancouver’s Chinatown is a brilliantly colored, exotic adventure in dining, shopping and sightseeing.

Lighthouse Park
Located in West Vancouver near Horseshoe Bay, this park has 75 hectares of virgin temperate rain forest to hike through. It also has some of the largest Douglas Firs in the area. Marine Drive at Beacon Lane

Musuem of Anthropology
6393 NW Marine Drive
Phone: 604-822-3825
Featuring Indian artifacts from the original inhabitants of the area, a traditional longhouse and mortuary chamber.

Robson Street
Downtown Vancouver
Funky boutiques, high-end retail shops, unique artistic goods and hip cafes draw many visitors to this “hot spot.”

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street
Phone: 604-682-4700
Four centuries of Canadian art are featured here along with contemporary exhibitions of painting, sculpture, graphic arts, photography and video.

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
Stanley Park, Downtown
Phone: 604-659-3474
Open July – Sept 4: 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sept 5 – June: 10:00 a.m – 5:30 p.m.
Admission charged
Huge tanks populated with Orca and Beluga whales and sea otters have large windows for underwater viewing. Learn about the West Coast aquatic world, explore a tropical Amazon and enjoy daily feeding shows.

9 Oclock Gun
Phone: 604-257-8400
While in Stanley Park, be sure to check out the 9 Oclock gun. Cast in England in 1816, this cannon fires at 9PM each night at Brockton Point. The gun was used in the 1800’s to remind the ships of their fishing time limits. You’ll also enjoy the view of downtown and the North Shore Mountains.

Vancouver Maritime Museum
The famous St. Roch RCMP boat is moored inside. Also a collection of boats from around the world can be viewed behind the museum at Heritage Harbour. Vanier Park 1905 Ogden Avenue Phone: 604-257-8300 Open Mid May – Aug: Daily 10 – 5 Sept – Mid May: Tues – Sat 10 – 5, Sun 12 – 5 Admission charged

Vancouver Museum
1100 Chestnut Street Phone: 604-736-4431 Open July – Aug: Daily 10-5 Sept – June: Tues – Sun 10 – 5 Admission charged
Located on the beautiful waterfront of Vanier Park, this museum features life size replica of a trading post, Victorian Park and an 1897 Canadian Pacific Railway passenger car. There are many unique exhibitions and programs for the entire family to enjoy.

Grouse Mountain
6400 Nancy Green Way, North Vancouver
Phone: 604-984-0661
Skytram departs every 15 minutes, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. every day.
The peak of Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is fun for everyone all year long. In the winter you can take the family skiing, snowboarding or ice-skating. During the summer the mountain remains open for continued sports activities such as biking and hiking. Ride the Skytram 3700 feet to the top of the mountain and enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of the city, sea and mountains.

Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre
Phone: 604-981-3103
Inside this 600 acre park are 100 year old Douglas firs, a rainforest, Twin Falls, a 30 foot crystal clear rock pool and a suspension bridge hanging 20 stories over the Canyon.

H.R. MacMillan Space Center
Phone: 604-738-7827
Always dreamed of being an astronaut? Get your chance at the virtual reality Cyberwalk and kinetic space-ride simulator. See the galaxy at the Star Theatre or catch a laser/rock concert.

Granville Island
1318 Cartwright Street
Phone: 604-666-5784
Open late May till early September Farmer’s market with fresh food and fish, street musicians and unique shops.

Capilano Salmon Hatchery
Phone: 604-666-1790
Owned by the Federal Government this hatchery allows visitors to view the life cycle of the Pacific salmon.

Royal Hudson Steam Train/MV Britannia Boat Trip
Call Harbour Cruises
Phone: 604-688-7246
Steam engine train ride to Squamish and return trip of the on the MV Britannia. This trip takes you through some breathtaking scenery.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
Stanley Park, Downtown
Phone: 604-659-3474
Open July – Sept 4: 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sept 5 – June: 10:00 a.m – 5:30 p.m.
Admission charged
Huge tanks populated with Orca and Beluga whales and sea otters have large windows for underwater viewing. Learn about the West Coast aquatic world, explore a tropical Amazon and enjoy daily feeding shows.
Miniature Railway & Children’s Farmyard
Stanley Park
Phone: 604-257-8531
Call for seasonal times of operation
Admission charged
Child-size steam train for kids and adults. Ride through the woods and then visit an entire farmyard of animals.

9 Oclock Gun
Brockton Point
Parks and Recreation
Phone: 604-257-8400
While in Stanley Park, be sure to check out the 9 Oclock gun. Cast in England in 1816, this cannon fires at 9PM each night at Brockton Point. The gun was used in the 1800’s to remind the ships of their fishing time limits. You’ll also enjoy the view of downtown and the North Shore Mountains.

Kitsilano Beach
Phone: 604-738-8535
One of the city’s busiest beaches open only during the summer. Lifeguard on duty, concession stands, playground and a heated pool.

Vancouver Maritime Museum
Vanier Park
1905 Ogden Avenue
Phone: 604-257-8300B
Open Mid May – Aug: Daily 10 – 5
Sept – Mid May: Tues – Sat 10 – 5, Sun 12 – 5
Admission charged
Half of the museum is completely devoted to kids. Plenty of hands on displays such as a pirate ship, tugboat and underwater robot.

Science World
1455 Quebec Street
Phone: 604-268-6363
Open July – Aug: Daily 10 – 6
Sept – June: 10 – 5 weekdays, 10 – 6 weekends
Admission charged
This attraction is easy to find with its huge dome built over the Omnimax theatre that hosts a 3D-laser show. Lots of hands-on and interactive activities for the kids.

Vancouver Museum
1100 Chestnut Street
Open July – Aug: Daily 10-5
Sept – June: Tues – Sun 10 – 5
Admission charged
Located on the beautiful waterfront of Vanier Park, this museum features life size replica of a trading post, Victorian Park and an 1897 Canadian Pacific Railway passenger car. There are many unique exhibitions and programs for the entire family to enjoy.

Grouse Mountain
6400 Nancy Green Way, North Vancouver
Phone: 604-984-0661
Skytram departs every 15 minutes, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. every day.
The peak of Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is fun for everyone all year long. In the winter you can take the family skiing, snowboarding or ice-skating. During the summer the mountain remains open for continued sports activities such as biking and hiking. Ride the Skytram 3700 feet to the top of the mountain and enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of the city, sea and mountains.

Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre
Phone: 604-981-3103
Inside this 600 acre park are 100 year old Douglas firs, a rainforest, Twin Falls, a 30 foot crystal clear rock pool and a suspension bridge hanging 20 stories over the Canyon.

H.R. MacMillan Space Center
Phone: 604-738-7827
Always dreamed of being an astronaut? Get your chance at the virtual reality Cyberwalk and kinetic space-ride simulator. See the galaxy at the Star Theatre or catch a laser/rock concert.

Granville Island
1318 Cartwright Street
Phone: 604-666-5784
Open late May till early September
Features Kids Only Market, water park, farmer’s market with fresh food and fish, street musicians and unique shops.

Buraby’s Heritage Village Museum and Carousel
Phone: 604-293-6501
Give the kids an idea of what life was like back in 1900. Visit the blacksmith shop, stop for an ice cream at the parlour and take a ride on the beautifully restored carousel.

Maplewood Farm
Phone: 604-929-5610
An actual working farm just twenty minutes from downtown. Horses, donkeys, pigs, ducks and birds make this an ideal place to practice “Old McDonald Had a Farm.”

The Lookout!
Phone: 604-689-0421
Take a thrilling ride in the glass elevator to the top of the Harbour Centre Tower and enjoy the 360° view. Also features a video theatre and various displays and exhibits.

CN Imax Theatre
Phone: 604-682-4629
3-D and Imax movies on the five story high screen with surround sound will delight the entire family.

Van Dusen Botanical Gardens
5251 Oak Street
Phone: 604-878-9274
Exquisite botanical gardens featuring various flowers and plants as you stroll along the stone pathways. Special exhibits include children’s garden with sculptured topiary and an Elizabethan-style hedge maze.

E- Events & Entertainment:
January: Vancouver Outdoor & Fishing Show, Country Living Show, FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships; Int’l Motorcycle Show

February: Motorspectacular 2001, Int’l Boat Show, Outdoor Adventure Sports Show, Golf Expo, BC Home & Garden Show

March: Spring Gift Show; Int’l RV Show; World of Children Chiors; World Figure Skating Championships

April: Vancouver Playhouse Int’l Wine Fest; Symphony Kids’ Koncerts; Vancouver Sun Run

May: Int’l Children’s Festival; Cloverdale Rodeo & Fairgrounds; Vancouver Int’l Marathon

June: Shakespeare Festival; Jazz Festival; Italian Week

July: Annual “Best of the West” Antiques Expo, Merritt Mountain Music Festival; Annual Sandcastle Competition; Discovery Days & Blue Festival

August: Whistler’s Really Big Street Festival; Festival Vancouver

September: Molson Indy Race; Circus of Dreams; Swinging on the Docks; Fringe Theatre Festival; Mid Autumn Moon Festival

October: Oktoberfest, Vancouver Snow Show 2000, Waterfront Antique Show; Cranberry Festival

November: Animal Encounters, Whistler’s Food and Wine Celebration; Annual Christmas Craft and Gift Market

December: Annual Christmas Parade; Heritage Christmas; Whistler Jazz and Blue Weekend; Santa Claus Parade of Lights; Millennium Show, Space Center

Montreal, Quebec

A- Overview:
Montréal is a modern and colorful city offering the perfect blend of historic buildings, modern structures, and skyscrapers. Below the ground, another city exists, where extremes of heat and cold are unknown. To the west and north of downtown are mainly English speaking commercial and residential neighborhoods, centered around Westmount. To the east and north are French speaking quartiers, notably Outremount and Plateau Mont-Royal. In between are the many dialects and cultures of residents and business people from around the globe.

Montréal, home to a third of the population of the province of Quebec, occupies about one-third (60 square miles) of the island of Montréal, which is part of the Hochelaga Archipelago. The island is situated in the St. Lawrence River near where it joins the Ottawa River. At the city’s center is a 764-foot hill called Mont-Royal, from which the city takes its name. Nearby rise more mountains: the Laurentides (the Laurentians), the oldest mountain range in the world. The foothills of the Appalachian mountains separate Québec from the United States and add to the province’s beauty.

Two cultural traditions live side by side throughout Québec and in the nine provinces of English Canada, but the blending occurs in a particularly intense fashion in Montréal. French speakers constitute 66% of the city’s population, while most of the remaining residents are speakers of many other languages, but predominately English and Spanish.

Montreal is experiencing phenomenal growth and success. Unemployment in Québec, has shrunk to under 7%, the lowest mark in more than 2 decades and below that of Toronto. Crime in Montréal, already one of the safest cities in North America, has hit a 20-year low.

Favorable currency exchange and the presence of skilled workers have made the city a favored site for Hollywood film and TV production. A billion-dollar building boom has filled vacant plots of land all over downtown. The old hockey arena has been converted to a dining and entertainment center called Forum Pepsi, and La Ronde, a popular amusement park, has been given an exciting new look by the Six Flags empire’s multi-million dollar renovation.

The subway system, (the Métro), is modern and rapid. Streets are clean and safe. Montréal’s restaurants are known for their fine and varied cuisine and their reasonable prices.

The city has fantastic parks and gardens. The huge Parc du Mont Royal offers year round recreational opportunities including walking, picnicking, jogging, horseback riding, bicycling, tobogganing, ice skating, and cross-country skiing.

The jazz and art scene immediately engage the visitor, and the nightlife is unrivaled in its zest and variety. Montreal is a city of culture, of tradition, of excitement and of promise. It is culturally diverse and always interesting. It is a place to visit as often as possible. There is always yet another delightful corner of this fascinating, fun city to discover.

B- City Information:
Population: 3.4 million

Area: 61 sq. miles

Time: Eastern Standard Time (When it is 12:00 Noon in New York City; it is 12:00 Noon in Montreal.

When to Go

Summer and fall are popular because of the mild weather and a number of festivals: the 10-day Festival International de Jazz in late June, the International Fireworks Competition in late June and July, and the World Film Festival and Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in August. For winter sports enthusiasts, December – March are the months of choice. Fierce weather is never a problem in Montreal – visitors can always retreat to the pleasant year-round climate of the Underground City! Montreal is beautiful at any time of the year.

The following are the average monthly temperature ranges for Montréal:

Month
High
Low

January
23F
9F

February
25F
12F

March
36F
23F

April
52F
36F

May
65F
48F

June
74F
58F

July
79F
63F

August
76F
61F

September
68F
53F

October
57F
43F

November
42F
32F

December
27F
16F

Holidays

New Year’s Day, (January 1)

Good Friday, Easter Monday,

Victoria Day (third Monday in May)

St. Jean Baptiste Day (June 24) is a provincial holiday.

Canada Day (July 1)

Labour Day (first Monday in September)

Thanksgiving (second Monday in October)

Remembrance Day (November 11)

Christmas, and Boxing Day (December 25, December 26)

Banks & Offices

Most banks in Canada are open Monday through Thursday 10-3 and Friday 10-5 or 6. Some banks are open longer hours and also on Saturday morning. All banks are closed on national holidays. Banks, shopping malls, many large hotels, and some gas stations have automated teller machines (ATMs) that are accessible around the clock.

Museums & Sights

Hours at museums vary, but most open at 10 or 11 and close in the evening. Some smaller museums close for lunch. Many museums are closed on Monday; some make up for it by staying open late on Wednesday, often waiving admission.

Churches are usually closed and locked (to prevent vandalism) except during scheduled religious services The Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Montréal, however, is open daily, usually from 9-6.

Customs & Duties

Arriving in Canada

For information, contact: Revenue Canada (2265 St. Laurent Blvd. S, Ottawa, ON K1G 4K3, 204/983-3500; 800/461-9999 in Canada).

Emergencies

Ambulance, fire, police ( 911).

Hospital Emergency Rooms

Montréal General Hospital (1650 av. Cedar, 514/937-6011).

Late-Night Pharmacies

Many pharmacies are open until midnight, including Jean Coutu and Pharmaprix. Some are open around the clock, including the Pharmaprix on chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges.

Guided Tours

Boat Tours

From May through October, Amphi Tour ( 514/849-5181 or 514/386-1298) offers a unique one-hour tour of Vieux-Montréal and the Vieux-Port on both land and water in an amphibious bus.

Bateau-Mouche ( 514/849-9952) runs four harbor excursions and an evening supper cruise daily May through October. The boats are reminiscent of the ones that cruise the canals of the Netherlands : wide-beamed and low-slung, with a glassed-in passenger deck. Boats leave from the Jacques Cartier Pier at the foot of Place Jacques-Cartier in the Vieux-Port.

Bus Tours

Gray Line ( 514/934-1222) offers almost a dozen different tours of Montréal and environs from May through October, fewer the rest of the year. It has pickup service at the major hotels and at Info-Touriste (1001 Sq. Dorchester).

The double-decker buses of Imperial Tours ( 514/871-4733) follow a nine-stop circuit of the city. You can get off and on as often as you like and stay at each stop as long as you like. There’s pickup service at major hotels.

Language

Although Canada has two official languages : English and French : the province of Québec has only one. French is the language you hear most often on the streets in Québec; it is also the language of government, businesses, and schools. Most French Canadians speak English as well, but it is useful to learn a few French phrases before you go. Canadian French has many distinctive words and expressions.

Money

ATMs

ATMs are widely available.

Currency

The units of currency in Canada are the Canadian dollar and the cent, in almost the same denominations as U.S. currency ($5, $10, $20, 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, etc.). The $1 and $2 bill are no longer used; they have been replaced by $1 and $2 coins (known as a “loonie” because of the picture of a loon that appears on the coin, and a “toonie,” respectively).

Taxes

A goods and services tax (GST) of 7% applies on virtually every transaction in Canada except for the purchase of basic groceries.

A $15 airport tax (for capital improvements) is charged when you leave. You can pay cash or with a credit card.

You can get a refund of the GST paid on purchases taken out of the country and on short-term accommodations of less than one month, and more than two days.Rebate forms, are available from the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (Visitor Rebate Program, Summerside Tax Centre, 275 Pope Rd., Suite 104, Summerside, PE C1N 6C6, 902/432-5608; 800/668-4748 in Canada, www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca). (Be sure to use the official government form. Private firms distribute “official looking” forms, obtain the refund from the government on your behalf, and charge a commission for the service. The government charges no fees. )

Always save the original receipts from stores and hotels (not just credit-card receipts), and be sure the name and address of the establishment is shown on the receipt. Original receipts are not returned. To be eligible for a refund, receipts must total at least $200, and each individual receipt must show a minimum purchase of $50.

Telephones

The country code for Canada is 1. The area code for Montréal is 514. You do not need to dial the three-digit area code when making a call from within the same code.

Arriving & Departing

By Air

Dorval International Airport (YUL) (975 blvd. René-Vachon, Dorval, 514/394-7377), 221⁄2 km (14 mi) west of the city, handles all scheduled foreign and domestic flights and some charter operations.

Mirabel International Airport (YMX) (12600 rue Aérogare, Mirabel, 514/394-7377), 541⁄2 km (34 mi) northwest of the city, serves most charter traffic.

Passengers departing Montréal must pay a $15 airport-improvement fee before they can board their plane.

Flying time to Montréal is 11⁄2 hours from New York, 2 hours from Chicago, 6 hours from Los Angeles, and 61⁄2 hours from London.

Transfers Between the Airport and Town

By Bus

L’Aerobus ( 514/931-9002) offers shuttle service into town from Mirabel and Dorval. Shuttle service from Mirabel to the terminal next to the Gare Centrale (777 rue de la Gauchetière) is frequent

By Bus

Greyhound Canada ( 800/661-8747) has service from Toronto and points west in Canada.

All buses arrive at and depart from the city’s downtown bus terminal, the Station Central d’Autobus Montréal (505 blvd. de Maisonneuve Est, 514/842-2281), which connects with the Berri-UQAM Métro station.

By Car

Montréal is accessible from the rest of Canada via the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1), which enters the city from the east and west via Routes 20 and 40. The New York State Thruway (I-87) becomes Route 15 at the Canadian border, and then it’s 47 km (29 mi) to the outskirts of Montréal. U.S. I-89, from New Hampshire and Vermont, becomes Route 133 at the border, eventually joining Route 10 to reach Montréal. I-91, from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, becomes Route 55 at the border and also joins up with Route10.

By Train

The Gare Centrale, on rue de la Gauchetière between rues University and Mansfield (behind Le Reine Elizabeth), is the rail terminus for all trains from the United States and from other Canadian provinces. It is connected underground to the Bonaventure Métro station.

Amtrak ( 800/872-7245) Adirondack leaves New York’s Penn Station every morning for the 101⁄2-hour trip through scenic upstate New York to Montréal. The Vermonter, which travels between Washington, D.C., and St. Alban’s, Vermont, is also connected with Montréal, via a through bus connection provided by Amtrak.

VIA Rail ( 514/989-2626; 888/842-7245; 800/361-5390 in Québec) connects Montréal with all the major cities of Canada, including Québec City, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

By Bus

Société de Transport de Montréal ( 514/288-6287), (STM), administers the buses as well as the Métro, so the same tickets and transfers (free) are valid on either service.

By Car

Car Rentals

Rental cars are readily available in Montreal.

Insurance.

For insurance information, contact Insurance Bureau of Canada ( 416/362-9528; 800/387-2880 in Canada, www.ibc.ca).

Gasoline

Gasoline is always sold in liters (a gallon=3.8 liters). Lead-free is called sans plomb.

Rules of the Road

Road signs are in French in Québec. The speed limit is posted in kilometers; on highways the limit is 100 kph (about 62 mph), and the use of radar-detection devices is prohibited : possession of such a device in a car, even if it is not in operation, is illegal in Québec.

Québec law forbids you to turn right on a red light.

By Subway

The Métro, or subway, is clean, quiet, and safe and it’s heated in winter and cooled in summer. The Métro is also connected to the 18 miles of the Underground City. Each of the 65 stops has been individually designed and decorated. Free maps may be obtained at Métro ticket booths.

By Taxi

Taxis in Montréal all run on the same rate.

Neighborhoods

Montreal is laid out in a grid pattern and defined by neighborhoods and districts.

Downtown: This area displays the most striking elements of the dramatic Montréal skyline and contains the main railroad station, as well as most of the city’s luxury and first-class hotels, principal museums, corporate headquarters, and largest department stores .It is loosely bounded by rue Sherbrooke to the north, boulevard René-Lévesque to the south, boulevard St-Laurent to the east, and rue Drummond to the west,

Downtown Montréal incorporates the neighborhood formerly known as “The Golden Square Mile,” which once held dozens of mansions erected by the wealthy Scottish and English merchants and industrialists who dominated the city’s politics and social life well into the 20th century. Many were torn down and replaced by skyscrapers after World War II. At the northern edge of the downtown area is the urban campus of prestigious McGill University.

Rue Crescent

One of Montréal’s major dining and nightlife districts lies just west of western shadow of the downtown skyscrapers. It holds hundreds of restaurants, bars, and clubs of all styles between Sherbrooke and René-Lévesque, The party atmosphere is ongoing every evening, especially in warm weather, as the sidewalk cafes and balconies fill with revelers.

St.-Denis

Rue St-Denis, from rue Ste-Catherine Est to avenue du Mont-Royal, from the Latin Quarter downtown and continuing north into the Plateau Mont-Royal district is the entertainment center. Cafes, bistros, offbeat shops, and lively nightspots make this area what boulevard St-Germain is to Paris.

Boulevard St-Laurent

Métro St-Laurent and up Blvd. St-Laurent,

In the 1880s the first of many waves of Jewish immigrants escaping pogroms in Eastern Europe arrived. They called the street the Main, as in “Main Street.” The Jews were followed by Greeks, Eastern Europeans, Portuguese, and Latin Americans. The 10 blocks north of rue Sherbrooke are filled with boutiques, restaurants, and galleries.

Chinatown

The Chinese first came to Montréal in large numbers after the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1880. They settled in an 18-block area between boulevard René-Lévesque and avenue Viger to the north and south, and near rues Hôtel de Ville and de Bleury on the west and east, an area now full of mainly Chinese and Southeast Asian restaurants and shops.

Quartier Latin

The Université de Montréal was established here in 1893, and the students and academics called it the Latin Quarter. The university later moved to a larger campus. The area declined, but revived in the 1970s, after the opening of the Université du Québec à Montréal and the start of the Annual International Jazz Festival.

Vieux-Montréal

Home to the first European settlers, for almost three centuries this was the financial and political heart of the city. Government buildings, office buildings and warehouses, the largest church, the stock exchange, and the port were here. Vieux-Montréal (Old Montréal), was revitalized over the past 40 years.

Today it is a center of cultural life and municipal government. Most of the summer activities revolve around Place Jacques-Cartier, which becomes a pedestrian mall with street performers and outdoor cafés, and the Vieux-Port, one of the city’s most popular recreation spots.

Place Jacques-Cartier

This two-block-long square at the heart of Vieux-Montréal opened in 1804 as a municipal market; during the summer it becomes a flower market. Rue St. Amable, a one-block lane southwest of Place Jacques-Cartier, is a marketplace for artists and craftspeople. The fashionable Rue St-Paul runs north-south through Place Jacques-Cartier.

The Underground City

During Montréal’s long winters, life slows on the streets of downtown. People move down escalators and stairways into la ville souterraine. In the controlled climate, there is no worry of disruption of activities by the outdoor elements, It is possible to arrive at the railroad station, check into a hotel, go out for lunch at any of hundreds of fast-food counters and full-service restaurants, see a movie, attend a concert, conduct business, go shopping, and even take a swim-all without a thought for the weather!

There are now more than 1,600 shops, 40 banks, 200 restaurants, 10 Métro stations, and about 30 cinemas within easy reach of one another, and with no traffic snarls.

The Village

The city’s gay and lesbian enclave, one of North America’s largest, runs east along rue Ste-Catherine from rue St-Hubert to rue Papineau. This small but vibrant district, is filled with clothing stores, antique shops, bars, dance clubs, cafés, and the Gay and Lesbian Community Centre, at 1301 rue Ste-Catherine Est. A rainbow marks the Beaudry Métro station, in the heart of the neighborhood. Two major annual celebrations are the Diver/Cité in August and the Black & Blue Party in October.

Ile Ste-Helene

St. Helen’s Island in the St. Lawrence River was altered extensively to become the site of Expo ’67, Montréal’s very successful world’s fair. In the 4 years before the Expo opened, construction crews reshaped the island and doubled its surface area with landfill, then went on to create beside it an island that hadn’t existed before, Ile Notre-Dame. The city built bridges and 83 pavilions. When Expo closed, the city government preserved the site and a few of the exhibition buildings. Parts were used for the 1976 Olympics, and today the island is home to Montréal’s popular casino and an amusement park, La Ronde.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Attractions

McGill University

845 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Square Mile, Montréal, Québec, Canada

514/398-4455

Admission free. Museum: Sept.-May, Mon.-Thurs. 9-5; June-Aug., weekdays 9-5

James McGill, a wealthy Scottish fur trader and merchant, gave the money and the land for this English-language institution, which opened in 1828. A tree-lined road leads from the Greek-Revival-style Roddick Gates to the neoclassical Arts Building at the northern end of the campus. The templelike building to the west of it houses the Redpath Museum of Natural History, which includes a collection of dinosaur bones, old coins, African art, and shrunken heads.

Jardin Botanique

4101 rue Sherbrooke Est, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Montréal, Québec, Canada

514/872-1400

May-Oct., daily 9-7, Nov.-Apr., daily 9-5

This botanical garden has 181 acres of plantings in summer and 10 exhibition greenhouses open all year. Founded in 1931, the garden contains more than 26,000 species of plants. Traditional tea ceremonies are held in the Japanese Garden.

Other highlights are the:

(1) Insectarium : which houses more than 250,000 specimens

(2) Montréal-Shanghai Lac de Rêve, the largest Ming-style Chinese garden outside Asia.

Château Dufresne

2929 rue Jeanne-d’Arc, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Montréal, Québec, Canada

514/256-4636

Tues.-Fri. 9:30-noon and 1:30-4:30, weekends 10-5.

The ground floors of this Beaux-Arts palace are open to the public and provide a glimpse into the lives of the Montréal bourgeoisie in the early 20th century. The lavish decor includes oak staircases with gilded rails, marble-tile floors, stained-glass windows, and coffered ceilings. Many of the walls are decorated with murals by the artist Guido Nincheri, who also decorated many of the city’s most beautiful churches.

Le Centre Canadien D’architecture

1920 rue Baile, Shaughnessy Village, Montréal, Québec, Canada

514/939-7000

Oct.-May, Wed.-Sun. 11-6, Thurs. until 8; June-Sept. Tues.-Sun. 11-5, Thurs. until 9.

Phyllis Lambert, heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune and an architect, designed the Canadian Center for Architecture. The ultramodern U-shaped structure of gray limestone is filled with her collection of drawings, photographs, plans, books, documents, and models. The center’s six exhibition rooms house visiting exhibits.

Musée D’archéologie Pointe-À-Callière

350 Pl. Royale

514/872-9150

July-Aug., weekdays 10-6, weekends 11-5; Sept.-June, Tues.-Fri. 10-5, weekends 11-5. An audio-visual show gives an overview of the area’s history from the time of Jacques Cartier. Visitors then go down to the bank of the Rivière St-Pierre that once flowed past the site and was where the first settlers built their homes and traded with the local natives. Archaeologists have unearthed the city’s first Catholic cemetery, with some tombstones still intact. There also remain the stone foundations of an 18th-century tavern and a 19th-century insurance building.

Musée D’art Contemporain

185 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest

514/847-6226

free after 6 PM Wed. Tues. and Thurs.-Sun. 11-6, Wed. 11-9.

The museum’s permanent collection of more than 5,000 works of modern art contains works by Québécois, Canadian, and international artists, but focuses on the works of Québec artists. It has, for example, 72 paintings, 32 works on paper, and a sculpture by Paul-Émile Borduas (1905-60), one of Canada’s most important artists. The museum has weekend programs, with many child-oriented activities, and almost all are free.

Musée Des Beaux-Arts De Montréal

1380 rue Sherbrooke Ouest

514/285-2000

Permanent collection free, special exhibitions admission fee. Tues.-Sun. 11-6 (special exhibitions stay open until 9 PM Wed.)

The art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts is housed in the older Benaiah-Gibb Pavilion on the north side of rue Sherbrooke and the glittering glass-fronted Pavilion Jean-Noël-Desmarais across the street. The collection includes European and North American fine and decorative art; ancient treasures from Europe, the Near East, Asia, Africa, and America; Canadian art; and Native American and Inuit artifacts.

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Montréal is attached to the building.

Musée Du Château Ramezay

280 rue Notre-Dame Est, Vieux-Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada

514/861-3708

June-Sept. daily 10-6; Oct.-May, Tues.-Sun. 10-4:30.

This colonial building, built in 1702, resembles a Norman castle with its thick stone walls, steeply pitched roof, and stone towers.. The everyday lives of the city’s early European settlers are vividly depicted in a series of tableaux in the basement.

Musée Juste Pour Rire (Just for Laughs Museum)

2111 blvd. St-Laurent

514/845-4000

Weekends (year-round) 10-5; June-Sept. Tues.-Fri. 9-5; Sept.-June, Thurs.-Fri. 9-3.

This is one of the few museums in the world dedicated to laughter. Its multimedia exhibits celebrate humor. Some visiting exhibits have a serious side, too. There is a large collection of humor videos, a cabaret where neophytes can test their material, and a restaurant where you can watch old videos (in French) while you eat

Parc Du Mont-Royal

Off voie Camillien Houde,

Parc du Mont-Royal

Take Métro’s Orange Line to the Mont-Royal station and transfer to Bus 11 (take a transfer from a machine before you board the Métro), and get off at the Obsérvatoire de l’Est. Daily 9-5.

Frederick Law Olmsted, the co-designer of New York’s Central Park, designed these 494 acres of forest and paths in the heart of the city. Horse-drawn transport is popular year-round: sleigh rides in winter and calèche (horse drawn carriage)rides in summer.

Parc Lafontaine

3933 av. Parc Lafontaine, Plateau Mont-Royal, Montréal, Québec, Canada

514/872-9800

Daily: 9AM -10 PM.

Montréal’s two main cultures are reflected in the layout of this popular park: The eastern half is French, with paths, gardens, and lawns laid out in geometric shapes; the western half is English, with meandering paths and irregularly shaped ponds that follow the natural contours of the land. In summer there are bowling greens, tennis courts, an open-air theater with free arts events, and two artificial lakes with paddleboats. In winter the two lakes are used for ice skating.

Vieux-Port-De-Montréal

Rue de la Commune, Montréal, Québec, Canada

800/971-7678 or 514/496-7678

www.oldportofmontreal.com

Montréal has been a major North American port since the earliest days of European settlement. The city was built just below the Lachine Rapids, which marked the westernmost limit for oceangoing ships sailing up the St. Lawrence River. Now this waterfront park is one of the most popular recreational spots in Montréal. You can take a ferry or raft ride, or a harbor cruise, and bicycles and in-line skates are for rent along rue de la Commune. In winter, visitors can skate on a huge outdoor rink.

Basilique Notre-Dame-De-Montréal

116 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Vieux-Montréal

514/849-1070 basilica; 514/842-2925 museum

guided tour. 8-5 daily; 20-min tours in French and English every hr July-Sept. every 2 hrs (or by prior arrangement) Oct.-June.

(Notre-Dame Basilica). This neo-Gothic structure, opened in 1829, is one of the most beautiful churches in North America. The twin towers are 228 ft high, and the western one holds one of North America’s largest bells. The interior is neo-Romanesque, with stained-glass windows, pine and walnut carvings, and a blue vaulted ceiling studded with thousands of 24-karat gold stars. With more than 7,000 pipes, the Cassavant pipe organ is one of the largest on the continent. Plan your visit around the daily 12:15 PM mass in the chapel or the 5 PM mass in the main church.

Chapelle Notre-Dame-De-Lourdes

430 rue Ste-Catherine Est, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Daily 8-5.

This tiny Roman Catholic chapel is one of the most ornate pieces of religious architecture in the city. It was built in 1876 and decorated with brightly colored murals by the artist Napoléon Bourassa. The chapel is a mixture of Roman and Byzantine styles, and has a beautifully restored interior.

Église De La Visitation De La Bienheureuse Vierge Marie

1847 blvd. Gouin Est,

514/388-4050

Daily 10-11:30 and 2-4.

Far to the north on the banks of Rivière des Prairies (a 15-minute walk from the Henri Bourassa Métro station) is the oldest church on the island of Montréal, the Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Its stone walls were raised in the 1750s, and the beautifully proportioned Palladian front was added in 1850. The altar and the pulpit are ornate. In the church can be seen a rendering of the Visitation, is by Pierre Mignard, a 17th-century painter. Parkland surrounds the church.

Oratoire St-Joseph

3800 chemin Queen Mary, Côte-des-Neiges

514/733-8211

Admission free. Mid-Sept.-mid-May, daily 7-5:30; mid-May-mid-Sept. daily 7 AM-9 PM.

St. Joseph’s Oratory, a huge domed church sits high on a ridge of Mont-Royal, and is dedicated to St. Joseph, Canada’s patron saint. The octagonal copper dome is one of the biggest in the world and the church has a magnificent mountainside setting with sweeping views. From early December through February, the oratory has a display of crèches (nativity scenes) from all over the world. Concerts are held during the summer. To visit the church, climb the more than 300 steps to the front door or take the shuttle bus from the front gate.

St. Patrick’s Basilica

460 blvd. René-Lévesque Ouest

514/866-7379

Daily 8:30-6.

An outstanding example of church architecture rarely visited by tourists, this 1847 church is an example of the Gothic Revival style in Canada. The church’s colors are soft, and the vaulted ceiling glows with green and gold mosaics. The old pulpit has panels depicting the apostles, and a huge lamp decorated with six 6-ft angels hangs over the main altar. The tall, slender columns that support the roof are actually pine logs lashed together and decorated to look like marble. The church is three blocks west of Place Ville-Marie

Parc Olympique

Avenue 4141 Pierre-de-Coubertin

514/252-8687

reach the park via the Pie-IX or Viau Métro station (the latter is nearer the stadium entrance). A free shuttle links the Biodôme, Parc Olympique, nearby Jardin Botanique, and the Viau Métro station.

The Olympic Park, in the city’s east end, was built for the 1976 Olympics. Dominating the eastern skyline are the giant Stade Olympique, home to the National League Expos, and the Tour Olympique, the leaning tower with an observatory that supports the stadium’s roof. The Biodôme, formerly the Olympic bicycle-racing stadium, is a natural-history exhibit with four ecosystems.

Chalet Du Mont-Royal

Off voie Camillien Houde,

Parc du Mont-Royal

Métro’s Orange Line to the Mont-Royal station and transfer to Bus 11 (take a transfer, or correspondence, from a machine before you board the Métro), get off at the Obsérvatoire de l’Est, climb the staircase at the end of the parking lot and follow the trails to the chalet.

Daily 9-5.

After enjoying the spectacular view of the surrounding mountains, be sure to look inside the chalet, especially at the murals depicting scenes from Canadian history.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Vieux-Port-De-Montréal

Rue de la Commune, Montréal, Québec, Canada

800/971-7678 or 514/496-7678

Montréal has been a major North American port since the earliest days of European settlement. The city was built just below the Lachine Rapids, which marked the westernmost limit for oceangoing ships sailing up the St. Lawrence River. Now this waterfront park is one of the most popular recreational spots in Montréal. You can take a ferry or raft ride, or a harbor cruise, and bicycles and in-line skates are for rent along rue de la Commune. In winter, visitors can skate on a huge outdoor rink.

La Ronde Amusement Park

Last week in May, Sat., Sun. only; June-Aug and Labour Day weekend daily 10am-9pm

Parc des Iles, Ile Ste-Hélène

Transportation: Métro: Papineau and bus no. 169, or Parc Jean-Drapeau and bus no. 167

Telephone: 800/797-4537, 514/872-4537

Unlimited all-day passes and special rates for those 12 and over, under 12, and seniors. Grounds admission only. Seniors are free Mon-Thurs, but pay adult rates on weekends

Montréal’s amusement park was run for most of its 35 years by the city. A few years ago it was sold to the American-owned Six Flags theme park empire, which has recently invested over $7 million in a major renovation program..

Seven new rides recently debuted:

1. The Manitou (Hanging from a giant 24 passenger six-sided circular gondola, riders experience rapid fire spinning while swinging back and forth);

2. The Vertigo, (swoops guests to heights of 60 feet in a continuous looping motion.).

3. The Flying Carousel Swing, Tour de Ville. (Up to 48 riders at a time will enjoy the wonder and fantasy of this classic family attraction.)

4. Tasses Magiques (Magical Tea Cups)(consists of 12 giant rotating cups. Each cup will accommodate up to five riders. The double motion of the platform is combined with rider-controlled spinning of the tea cups)

5. The Toboggan Nordique roller coaster joins the more daring roller coaster rides in the park(individual four passenger cars will go through a course full of hairpin turns and moderate drops. Perfect for the not-so-daring thrill seeker).

6. Autos Tamponneuses (bumper cars) ride. (features the latest innovations in bumper car design.

7. The Grand Carousel, (beautifully designed: traditional and romantic)

The park fills the northern area of the Ile Ste-Hélène with a sailing lagoon, an Enchanted Forest with costumed storytellers, and a Western town with saloon, as well as ferris wheels, carousels, roller coasters, carnival booths, and places to eat and drink.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

February

La Fête des Neiges (Snow Festival), Montréal: features outdoor events such as harness racing, barrel jumping, racing beds on ice, canoe races, snowshoeing, snow sculptures, skating, and cross-country skiing. The event, the first 2 weeks of February, takes place mostly on Ile Notre-Dame, in the Port and Vieux-Montréal, and in Parc Maisonneuve. 514/872-4537 for details.

Three weekends in February.

Festival Montréal en Lumière

Filling a hole in the yearly schedule, the self-dubbed City of Festivals has created this “High Lights” celebration. It brings together a somewhat disparate collection of creative and performing events, from culinary competitions and special museum exhibitions to multimedia light shows and classical and pop concerts by international musical greats. Call tel. 888/515-0515 for information.

May/June

Late May to early June.

Festival de Théâtre des Amériques, Montréal: Two weeks of contemporary theater works from artists throughout the Americas, many on the cutting edge of creativity. Screenings are held at theaters throughout the city. 514/842-0704 for details.

First Sunday in June.

Montréal Bike Fest: Early in June, more than 45,000 cyclists arrive in Montréal to participate in a variety of cycling competitions, including a nocturnal bike ride, a 16-mile outing for up to 10,000 children, and the grueling Tour de l’Ile, a day-long 66-kilometer race around the rim of the island before more than 120,000 spectators. The Tour de l’Ile, which began in 1984, attracts 30,000 participants, almost as many of them women as men. Call tel. 514/521-8356 for details.

Second weekend in June.

Grand Prix Air Canada, Montréal: international drivers compete for 70 laps around the Gilles-Villeneuve racetrack on Ile Notre-Dame. It’s the only Formula I race in the country and is complete with celebrities and models visiting the pits. 514/457-5754 for details.

10 days starting in mid-June.

Montréal Fringe Festival: In performance spaces clustered along or near bd. St-Laurent, about 60 theater groups perform 514/849-3378

June

Festival Mondial de la Bière, Montréal: This is a 10-day festival celebrating beer. From world brands to boutique microbreweries, over 250 companies showcase their wares at the Old Port, employing workshops, cooking demos, musical performances, and pub food and tastings. 514/722-9640.

Late June to early October.

Mosaïcultures Internationales Montréal: A major horticultural event in which gardeners and floral designers create three-dimensional sculptures and carpets from up to 50 countries and cities in prize competitions in several categories. The Vieux-Port (Old Port) is the venue. 514/868-4000

June 24.

Jean-Baptiste Day: Honoring Saint John the Baptist, the patron saint of French Canadians, this fête nationale is marked by many festivities and much enthusiasm throughout Québec province. The parade is held along the streets of Vieux-Montréal the night before, June 23. 418/849-2560 for details.

June- July.

International Competition d’Art Pyrotechnique (International Fireworks Competition), Montréal: The open-air theater in La Ronde amusement park on Ile Ste-Hélène is the best place to view the fireworks extravaganzas, although they can be enjoyed from almost any point overlooking the river. Tickets to the show also provide entrance to the amusement park. The 90-minute shows are staged by companies from several countries. Because parking is limited, it’s best to use the Métro. 514/872-4537 for details.

June-July

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

514/871-1881; 888/515-0515; to charge tickets by phone: 514/790-1245; 800/678-5440; 800/361-4595 in Canada

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the world’s biggest jazz festival, runs for 11 days, from the end of June to the beginning of July.

July

10 days in mid-July.

Festival d’Eté International (International Summer Festival), Québec City: The largest cultural event in the French-speaking world, this festival has attracted artists from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America since it began in 1967. There are more than 250 events showcasing theater, music, and dance, with 600 performers from 20 countries. One million people come to watch and listen. Jazz and folk combos perform free in an open-air theater next to City Hall; visiting dance and folklore troupes put on shows; and concerts, theatrical productions, and related events fill the days and evenings. 418/532-4540.

10 days in mid-July.

Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, Montréal: This musical event showcases nearly 300 musicians from the Caribbean, the Americas, and Africa. Performances take place in Club Soda, Club Balattou, and Place Berri. 514/499-9239

Last 2 weeks of July.

Festival Juste pour Rire (Just for Laughs Festival), Montréal: Comics perform in many venues, some free, some for a fee. Both Francophone and Anglophone comics from many countries participate. It’s held along rue St-Denis and elsewhere in the Latin Quarter. 514/790-4242 for details.

August

Late August to early September.

Festival des Films du Monde (World Film Festival), Montréal: An international film event since 1976. Some 500 screenings take place over 12 days, including 200 feature films from more than 50 countries.Various movie theaters host the event. 514/848-3883

September

Mid- to late September.

Fall Foliage: The maple trees blaze with color and a walk in the parks and squares of Montréal is a popular pastime.

October

Early October.

Festival International de la Nouvelle Danse, Montréal: This 12-day showcase, held every 2 years (on odd years), invites troupes and choreographers from Canada, the United States, and Europe to various performance spaces. 514/287-1423.

10 days in mid-October.

Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Montréal: Screenings of new and experimental films along with forums on the latest trends in film and video at halls and cinemas throughout the city. 514/843-4725 for details.

Arts and Entertainment

Casino De Montréal

1 av. du Casino, Île Notre-Dame, Montréal, Québec, Canada

514/392-2746 or 800/665-2274

The Casino de Montréal, on Ile Notre-Dame in the St. Lawrence River, is one of the world’s 10 biggest. Take a cab ride from downtown or take the Métro to the Ile Ste-Hélène station and transfer to Bus 167 Daily: 9-5.

Cirque Du Soleil

Montréal, Québec, Canada

800/361-4595

The Cirque du Soleil is one of Montréal’s most popular venues. The company revolutionized the art of the circus when, in 1984, it began commingling dance, acrobatics, and dramatic presentation in a single show. Now it’s an internationally known and packs theaters worldwide. (There are no animals featured in this circus. All of the spectacular dance and acrobatic arrangements are performed by people. ) Every second summer (in odd-numbered years), the circus performs in Montréal.

L’opéra De Montréal

260 blvd. de Maisonneuve Ouest

514/985-2258

L’Opéra de Montréal stages four productions a year at Place des Arts.

Centaur Theatre

453 rue St-François-Xavier, Vieux-Montréal

514/288-3161

The Centaur Theatre, the best-known English theatrical company, stages everything from musical revues to Eugène Ionesco works in the former stock-exchange building in Vieux-Montréal.

Place des Artes

Touring Broadway productions are staged at the Place des Arts.

Saidye Bronfman Centre

5170 chemin de la Côte Ste-Catherine, Côte-des-Neiges,

514/739-2301 or 514/739-7944

English-language plays can be seen at the Saidye Bronfman Centre. The center is home to the Yiddish Theatre Group.

Théâtre De Quat’sous

100 av. des Pins Est

514/845-7277

Théâtre de Quat’Sous performs experimental plays.

Théâtre Denise Pelletier

4353 rue Ste-Catherine Est, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

514/253-8974

The Théâtre Denise Pelletier stages productions in a beautifully restored hall.

Théâtre Du Nouveau Monde

84 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, Downtown

514/866-8667

Théâtre du Nouveau Monde is the North American temple of French classics.

Théâtre Du Rideau Vert

Théâtre du Rideau Vert specializes in modern French repertoire.

Théâtre Jean Duceppe

260 blvd. de Maisonneuve Ouest

514/842-2112

Named for one of Québec’s best loved actors, the Théâtre Jean Duceppe stages major productions in Place des Arts.

Théâtre St-Denis

1594 rue St-Denis, Quartier Latin

514/849-4211

The 2,500-seat Théâtre St-Denis stages pop-music concerts.

Francofolies

514/876-8989

The annual FrancoFolies festival celebrates the art of French songwriting. In all, more than 1,000 musicians perform in dozens of different styles, including rock, hip-hop, funk, and Latin.

I Musici De Montréal

934 rue Sainte-Catherine Est,

514/982-6037

I Musici de Montréal is one of the best chamber orchestras in Canada.

Orchestre Métropolitain De Montréal

514/598-0870

The Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal stars at Place des Arts most weeks during the October-April season.

Orchestre Symphonique De Montréal

260 blvd. de Maisonneuve Ouest

514/842-9951

The Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal has gained recognition under the baton of Charles Dutoit. Its regular venue is the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at the Place des Arts.

Pollack Concert Hall

514/398-4535

McGill University’s Pollack Concert Hall presents concerts, notably by the McGill Chamber Orchestra.

Spectrum

318 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, Downtown, Montréal, Québec, Canada

514/861-5851

The most popular performance venue for rock bands is Spectrum.

Stade Olympique

Olympic Park, 4141 av. Pierre-de-Coubertin, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

514/252-8687

Stade Olympique hosts rock and pop concerts.

Théâtre St-Denis

1594 rue St-Denis, Quartier Latin

514/849-4211

The 2,500-seat Théâtre St-Denis stages pop-music concerts.

Sports

Montréal Alouettes

McGill University’s Molson Stadium

514/790-1245

Canadian professional football returned to Montréal after an experimental 3-year league with U.S. teams. The team that was briefly the Baltimore Colts is now The Montreal Alouettes (Larks) and has enjoyed considerable success since its return, frequently appearing in the Grey Cup, the CFL’s Super Bowl. They play on a schedule that runs from June into October.

NHL Montréal Canadiens

1260 rue de la Gauchetière

Ticket and schedule information

514/932-2582

Métro: Bonaventure.

The Canadiens play at the new Centre Molson, which opened in 1996. replacing the beloved old Forum. The team has won 24 Stanley Cup championships since 1929. The season runs from October into April, with playoffs continuing to mid-June.

Blue Bonnets Racetrack (Hippodrome de Montréal)

7440 bd. Décarie, in Jean-Talon

514/739-2741

Métro: Namur, and then take the shuttle bus.

This is the host facility for international harness-racing events, including the Coupe des Elevers (Breeders Cup).

Restaurants, bars, a snack bar, and pari-mutuel betting can make for a satisfying evening or Sunday-afternoon outing. There are no races on Tuesday and Thursday. General admission is free. Races begin at 7:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; on Sunday at 1:30pm.

Niagara Falls, Ontario

A- Overview:
The majestic rumble of the falls can be heard from miles away, but the sight itself never fails to cause the viewer to pause and gaze in wonder at the 600,000 gallon per second mass of hissing, frothing water crashing over a 170 foot cliff amid huge clouds of spray and mist.

The Canadian Falls, is also called the Horseshoe Falls (because of its shape). A small body of land known as Goat Island divides the river into two channels. On one side is the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, and on the far side across the border is the smaller, American Falls. On sunny days rainbows rise just above the mists.

The Rainbow Bridge, the Queenston Bridge and the Bridge Street Bridge each span the distance between the cities of Niagara Falls, New York, USA and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada: two totally different worlds. Across the Canadian border in New York State, the area beyond Niagara Falls is filled with the charm and beauty of small rural towns. A State Park and a large industrial area of Niagara Falls, New York border the American Falls.

In the City of Niagara Falls, Ontario (the Canadian side) can be found acre after acre of meticulously landscaped lawns and a profusion of colorful flower beds, all open at no charge to the public. There has been a tremendous building boom in recent years especially in the Oakes Drive and Fallsview area. Hotels have been constructed, existing facilities modernized, and emphasis placed on esthetically pleasing architecture that blends with the incredibly beautiful natural features. One street, Clifton Avenue, retains a carnival midway atmosphere, but there is a definite advantage to having all of the congestion and glitz confined to one minute area. Controlled and planned growth has prevented the proliferation of this type of attraction elsewhere.

Throughout the area, historical sites have been preserved. The Oakes mansion now serves as the headquarters of the Niagara Parks Commission, but its first floor remains as it was in the lifetime of philanthropist Sir Harry Oakes. Fort Erie has been restored and welcomes visitors to reenactments of military life in the early 19th century.

The Niagara Parks Commission operates a School of Horticulture on the grounds of its Botanical Gardens. Established in 1936, this is one of the few residential schools for apprentice gardeners. A greenhouse that is second to none is open year round with free admission and outstanding floral exhibits that change with the seasons. A family oriented vacation destination, Niagara Falls Ontario offers hundreds of acres of parks with broad lawns and shade trees; free boat launching areas; covered pavilions with picnic tables along the Niagara Parkway.

A recreation trail runs parallel to the Niagara River from Lake Erie ( site of Historic Fort Erie) in the south, to Lake Ontario (Fort George) and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. This popular trail is used for jogging, biking, and walking, and has historic interpretative plaques placed along its length. The Falls are illuminated year round as an international project. The beautiful display of the various colors lighting the Falls is viewed nightly by many visitors. Friday night fireworks at the Falls are also a favorite.

Casino Niagara has become popular with thousands. Its attractive interior, excellent restaurants and interesting shops, combined with a wide variety of games of chance and a comedy club, have attracted patrons from the United States, Canada, and from other countries as well. June, 2004 marked the eagerly anticipated opening of a second casino in the Fallsview area. Named Niagara Fallsview, the casino is part of a luxury Resort complex which is lavishly appointed. The huge entry courtyard features three bridges to the front door, representing the three local bridges connecting Canada with the United States. An extensive Galleria showcases a street-long expanse of exclusive boutiques. The casino portion of Niagara Fallsview spans 200,000 square feet on one floor. A 1500 seat theater adjoins the gaming area, where top name entertainment is scheduled throughout the year.

The city’s musical offerings span the tastes of a broad spectrum of visitors. The Hard Rock Café is usually filled to capacity with guests who enter along the “sidewalk of the stars” in which one finds personalized paving stones from many well known stage and screen personalities. Niagara Concerts offers world class ballet, instrumental concerts, and symphony.

Niagara-on-the Lake is a delightfully picturesque town of 13,000 at the northern end of the Falls, on the shores of Lake Ontario. It is graced with lovely 19th century homes set in beautiful gardens. There are many shops and boutiques to delight the visitor. The town has three theaters and is especially famous for its annual George Bernard Shaw festival. Vineyards and wine tasting tours are another popular attraction.

The Niagara Falls area is known for both winter and summer sports. Golf, hockey, skiing, fishing and boating are among these. Experience the magic of the Niagara region soon. It is an unforgettable travel destination: home of the famous Falls, and so much more!

B- City Information:
Population:
76,900

Elevation:
571 ft.

Time Zone:
Eastern Standard Time (Daylight saving April-October)

Emergency:
9-1-1
Parks Police (905)356-1338
Regional Police (905)688-4111
Hospital.(905)358-0171
Fire (905)356-1321
Weather (905) 688-1847

Average Temperatures (in Fahrenheit):
High Low
January – March 37 16
April – June 73 34
July – September 79 52
October – December 55 21

The coldest months in Niagara Falls are November through March. Snowfall is abundant during the winter months. April and October are brisk. However, the moisture that evaporates from the lakes tends to inhibit cloud formation in the summer and to moderate air temperature in the winter, thus producing a remarkably temperate climate. Niagara is usually warmer in the winter than the surrounding portions of North America and has more days of sunshine than many traditional “sunbelt” cities. Even though June, July and August have higher temperatures, the Falls create a special situation because of the spray and mist that surround them. It is wise to be prepared with a rain jacket and a change of dry clothing in order to experience the full beauty (up close) of the Falls. There are events occurring during all seasons that blend with the weather, so every season is enjoyable as long as adequate clothing is packed.

Public Holidays:
Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day
March or April(varies) – Good Friday
March or April(varies) – Easter Monday
May (Third Monday) – Victoria Day
July 1 – Canada Day
August (First Monday) – Civic Holiday
September (1st Monday) – Labor Day
October (1st Monday) – Thanksgiving Day
November 11 – Remembrance Day
December 25 – Christmas Day
December 26 – Boxing Day

Government:
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Canada and Canada’s head of State. This means that the Queen is the formal head of Canada. The Governor General is the Queen’s representative in Canada. The Queen is also represented in each province by a Lieutenant Governor and by a Commissioner in the territories.

Useful Conversions of weights and measures
1 hectare – 2.471 acres
1 inch – 2.54 cm
1 ft. – 30.48 cm
1 oz. – 28.57 grams
1 lb. – 0.454 kg
1 cm – 0.39 inches
1 meter – 3.28 feet / 1.09 yards
1 km – 0.62 miles
1 liter – 0.26 US gallons
1 inch – 2.54 cm
1 foot – 0.39 meters
1 yard – 0.91 meters
1 mile – 1.60 km
1kg – 2.2lb
1 gallon – 3.78 liters

Currency:
The Canadian currency is in dollars. There are one dollar coins (called “loonies” because of the loon depicted on the gold colored coin); two dollar coins with a gold colored center and silver border ( called “toonies” because they are equal to 2 loonies); dime; nickel and penny. The paper currency comes in denominations of $5; $10; $20; $50; $100. Exchange rates vary widely depending on where money is exchanged. Banks and casinos give the best rate. The easiest method of securing cash at the best exchange rate is to make withdrawals using a US credit card from the ATM machines found at major banks and stores. As in the US, some banks charge a fee and a transaction tax, so check with the banks to find the best value. Save remaining Canadian dollars for your next trip as the exchange rate to convert back into US money from Canadian is usually not favorable.

How to get around:
Four commercial airports serve the Niagara Falls area Buffalo International Airport in New York State is about 20 minutes away and is the closest. Shuttle service is provided for a fee. This can be arranged in advance through your hotel or call (716) 633-8294 or 800-551-9369. Niagara District Airport at Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada (905)684-7447 Hamilton, Ontario Airport (45 min.) (905)679-4151 Toronto, Ontario Lester B. Pearson Airport (2 hours) (905) 247-7678
Automobiles in the City:
It is not necessary to have an automobile in Niagara Falls, Ontario as the public transportation system is excellent. The streets in the city are congested in the summer and parking is sometimes difficult to find. However, a car is a necessity if one wishes to travel outside the city into the surrounding area. The best solution is to park the car upon arrival and use public transportation thereafter, except when traveling outside the area.

Buses:
Bus service within the city is excellent. Niagara Transit buses have regular routes through all sections of the city. Exact change is required. Telephone (905) 356-1179.

People Movers:
These special buses allow travel all day along the 30 kilometer (19 mile) loop containing the Falls related attractions for one low fee. The People Movers stop continuously at various Niagara Park Commission attractions along the way. The People Mover system has alleviated a chronic traffic congestion problem in the Park. It operates from mid May to mid October. All day parking at the People Mover terminal is available for a daily fee. Parkers receive a free all day People Mover pass for each occupant of the vehicle. (905) 357-9340

Railway:
The main Canadian rail system, Via Rail, provides service to all parts of Canada as well as to Buffalo, NY and Windsor (opposite Detroit, Michigan). The station is on Bridge Street. (905) 357-1644.

Automobile:
Studded tires are illegal in Canada as are heavily tinted side windows or windshields. An insurance card extending your policy coverage for driving in Canada can be obtained from your US insurance agent at no charge. It is imperative to carry this with you in Canada.

Taxis:
Niagara Falls taxis operate on meters. There is an extra charge for additional passengers and for luggage. The standard tip is 10%. Shuttles: All of the major hotels provide a shuttle service (free or for a low cost) to Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino. Shuttles also include a stop at the Falls. Shuttles run every 30 minutes all day and into the night.

Customs Regulations:
A passport is not required for US citizens entering Canada, but it is still the best form of identification. Proof of citizenship is required. Legal custody documents are also required for each child being transported. Non custodial parents (grandparents, etc.) are required to have with them a notarized letter of consent signed by the child’s custodial parent. Pets being transported must be accompanied by proof of licensure (paperwork, not just the tag on the collar) and proof of all vaccinations and inoculations. Possession of radar detectors is illegal in the province of Ontario. Telephone Tourist information from the US or Canada at 1-800-668-2746 for more information or contact Canada Customs (905)354-6043.

Fishing and Hunting Regulations:
(416) 314-2000

Email retrieval:
Many hotels have dedicated telephone outlets in the rooms for internet access. Check with the hotel.

Electricity:
Adapters not required for US appliances.

Visitors with disabilities:
Canadian Paraplegic Association National Office provides information about accessibility in Canada. (613) 723-1033.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Note: Niagara Parks Commission offers the Discovery Pass. Children under 5 are free. This pass allows admission to: Journey Behind the Falls; The Butterfly Conservatory; Niagara Spanish Aero Car; Great Gorge Adventure; Mackenzie heritage Printery; Fort Erie; Laura Secord House; McFarland House and all day transportation on the People Mover Bus system. Available at park information booth and at all of the above attractions.

Attractions at the Falls and in the surrounding park area:

Oakes Hall

Sir Harry Oakes, the mining millionaire, bought this estate on the Niagara Parkway on July 15, 1924. He hired the architectural firm of Findlay and Foulis, the same architects who designed the new Table Rock House, to design the 37 room Tudor style baronial edifice that is present day Oak Hall. The reconstruction took four years and in 1928 the Oakes family moved in. The Oakes family lived in Oak Hall for six years until Harry Oakes, annoyed by the inroads that taxes were making on his income, wound up his affairs in Canada and moved his family to England. In 1935 he moved to Nassau in the Bahamas and it was while he was living there in 1939, that he was created a baronet by King George VI and became Sir Harry Oakes. On July 8, 1943 he died tragically in the Bahamas.

In 1943 Lady Eunice Oakes, Sir Harry’s widow, deeded Oak Hall to the Government of Canada to be used as a convalescent hospital for the Royal Canadian Air Force. When there was no longer a need for convalescent facilities, the Federal Government deeded it back to Lady Oakes in 1952. The Niagara Parks Commission purchased the estate on May 25, 1959. For the next few years the building was used only for public displays put on by the Niagara District Art Association. In 1964 the Commission furnished several rooms on the ground floor, with furniture which Sir Harry Oakes had purchased from the estate of Dr. Harry Y. Grant. Three of the Oak Hall Administration Building rooms found on the first floor are open to the public. They can be viewed Monday to Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the exception of those times when meetings are taking place. Arrangements for special tours of the building are handled by the Communications Department.

Niagara Parks
7400 Portage Road
People Mover Stop 11, 14
(905)356-2241
Visitors may also book a guided half hour tour with a Nature Interpreter for a fee of $3.00 per person. For Booking Call 1-877-NIA-Park or locally 371-0254. Daily dawn – dusk year round. Parking and admittance to the grounds are free.

Botanical Gardens
The gardens are located 9 kilometers (6 miles) north of the Niagara Parkway from the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Established in 1936, it is the only residential school for training horticultural students in Canada. One hundred acres of immaculately maintained gardens provide a visual feast for over 1 million visitors annually. Several hundred students have created, over a 60 year period, one of North America’s most outstanding landscapes and botanical collections. The Gardens are open to visitors for a self guided tour of the Plant World which includes an herb garden, a vegetable garden, a rock garden and arboretum, containing one of Canada’s finest collections of ornamental trees and shrubs.

Butterfly Conservatory
5 miles north of the Horseshoe falls in Botanical Gardens. A popular attraction opened at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. 2,000 free-flying butterflies in a rainforest setting can be seen at various points along the network of paths that include exotic greenery, plants and a 20-foot waterfall. The Conservatory is open daily from 9:00 am to dusk (Except Christmas Day). Admission Free.

Niagara Parks Commission Greenhouses
905-356-7944
Daily 9am – 10pm may 3-Labor Day. 9-6 until mid October and then 9-5 rest of the year.
Admission Free.

Greenhouse
Located just above the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, this attraction was constructed by the Niagara Parks Commission in 1945. The addition of a reception centre/display house in 1980, complete with a retail store and improved washrooms, was added to the original 11,000 sq. ft. conservatory. All the spring and summer outdoor bedding plants for the parks system are produced at this facility. A circular design with a stunning statue/fountain in the hub features twenty varieties of floribunda roses in ring shaped beds. A garden for the visually impaired was constructed in 1985 in co-operation with the Canadian National Institute for The Blind. Several of the plants are labeled in braille.

Great Gorge Adventure
4330 River Road, 3 km from Horseshoe Falls
People Mover Stop 7,17
(905)374-1221
Seasonal – Approximately late April to Late October from 9am
Admission charged. 5 Years and Under Free
Visitors descend by elevator and follow a tunnel to the very edge of the Niagara River rapids and view the strata that formed in the gorge created by the awesome power of the falls over 12,000 years ago. For thousands of years the waters of Niagara have cut and deepened this narrow gorge. Observation decks and walkways offer opportunities to view the falls at the narrowest part of the Niagara River.

Niagara Spanish Aero Car at the Whirlpool
Location: Located 4.5 km.(3 miles)down-river from the Falls
at People Mover stops #8 & #16.
(905)354-5711
Please Call For Hours of Operation
Admission charged
One of the best ways to see Niagara’s fascinating Whirlpool is from high overhead – aboard the world famous Niagara Spanish Aero Car. Located 4.5 kilometers (3 miles) North of the Falls, suspended from sturdy cables, the Niagara Spanish Aero Car offers a wonderful view. Have your camera ready to capture some unique photos both upstream and downstream. Named after the Spanish engineer who designed and built it, Leonardo Torres Quevedo, the Aero Car has been operating since 1916. Riders can see the rapids, the Whirlpool, the Gorge, the hydroelectric plants down the river, as the aerial car travels safely between two different points on the Canadian shore of the Niagara River over the spectacular whirlpool. This round trip is slightly more than 1 kilometer (3,600 feet) and takes about 10 minutes. All times subject to weather conditions.

Niagara Glen Nature Areas
(1-877-642-7275)
People Mover Stop 10
1 kilometer (1/2 mile) north from the Whirlpool Golf Course on the Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, Canada.
>From late April to November, a Park Naturalist conducts guided nature walks through the Glen. Meet at Feather in the Glen for your guided tour. This peaceful retreat boasts nature trails, a specialty nature boutique, and a picnic area. Those who stop here and are prepared to do some hiking down the Gorge to the shore of the River will be well rewarded. The 4 kilometers (2 1/2 miles) of trails are well laid out and easily negotiated – if you take your time! There’s lots of interesting geology and biology to explore. The Glen is a unique spot of beauty to the visitor.

Queenston Heights Park
7 miles north of the Horseshoe Falls
People Mover Stop 12
Daily 9-dusk
Admission free.
Commemorates one of the crucial battles of the War of 1812. A small force of British regulars, militia and native Americans under General Sir Issac Brock turned back a larger American invasion force in a major victory. A 210 foot monument honors Brock who was killed in the battle. This popular recreation area offers tennis, hiking, picnic grounds, a children’s playground and Sunday afternoon band concerts June-August. The scenery is breathtaking. A broad sweeping view of the countryside can be seen from the top of the Niagara Escarpment on which the park is located and which has been recognized as a world biosphere by UNESCO. Queenston Heights is the eastern terminus of the Bruce Trail and of the Niagara River Recreational Trail which runs from Fort Erie to Niagara on the Lake. Parks Canada oversees the operation of Brock’s Monument offers a walking tour of the historic sites associated with the battleground.

Floral Clock
6 miles north on River Road at the Sir Adam Beck – Niagara Generating Station
People Mover Stop 13
One of the most frequently visited horticultural exhibits is the Floral Clock. Originally built by Ontario Hydro in 1950, this site features a floral design with upwards of 19,000 carpet bedding plants that bloom from early spring to the first frost. Alternanthera are used along with the green and grey forms of Santolina Sage. California Golden Privet provides contrast, as does Blue Festuca Grass. The design is changed each year. The grounds surrounding the clock feature bedding displays. The clock is 40 feet in diameter! Westminster chimes ring every 15 minutes.

Centennial Lilac Garden
In commemoration of Canada’s Centennial Year, the American Rotary Clubs of District 709 contributed funds towards the development of a Centennial Lilac Garden. Located on a ten acre site between the Floral Clock and the Lewiston- Queenston Bridge, this collection contains over 1,200 plants with over 200 different varieties. Anticipated time of bloom in the latter part of May each year.

Oaks Garden Theatre
At Rainbow Bridge
People Mover Stop 6,18
Originally constructed in 1936, Oaks Garden Theatre was built in the form of an amphitheater. By capitalizing on the contours of the landscape, a fan shaped curved structure was designed. Rock gardens, lily ponds, and shrub borders have all been built around formalized gardens. Queenston limestone was used around the perimeter of the property. Ornamental iron gates were incorporated into the design for aesthetic and functional purposes. The site plays host to numerous concerts throughout the year.

Queen Victoria Park
People Mover Stop 4,20
This lovely park is literally the “heart” of The Niagara Parks Commission. Bounded by the escarpment, the Niagara Gorge, and the Niagara River, it features a collection of unique native and international plants from around the world. The park also displays a major rock garden, a Hybrid T rose garden, and two attractive carpet bedding displays. Numerous park benches and beautiful lawns provide a pleasant opportunity for relaxation for the weary traveler. Landscape illumination is an integral part of the park environment, as is the illumination of the Falls. Queen Victoria Park celebrates the seasons in style. Every spring, 500,000 daffodils herald its arrival along with magnolias, tulips and many others. Summer features carpet bedding displays as well as thousands of bedding plants throughout the park including fuchsia, Lantana standards, cannas, coleus, and many other plants. Chrysanthemums and kale have been used in the fall to extend the season and to provide interest after the first frost. During the winter months, the stark branches of trees and shrubs create visual and spatial interest, especially when coated with ice from the freezing mist of the Falls.

Journey Behind the Falls
People Mover Stop 3,21
Queen Victoria Park
(905)354-1551
Please Call For Hours of Operation
Open Year Round
Admission charged.

Ride Niagara
5755 River Road
Located directly under the Rainbow Bridge
(905)374-7433
Experience one of Niagara’s most exciting adventure ride. Challenge the rapids and feel the thundering power of Niagara Falls. A truly unique and simulating voyage that will keep you at the edge of your seat. Fun the whole family will enjoy!

Marineland
8375 Stanley Avenue
Falls Shuttle bus stop.
(905)356-9565
Fax 905-356-6305
May 22-October 28
Marine shows every hour in season.
Rates vary by season.
Features include an interactive killer whale habitat, also sea lion, dolphin and killer whale shows. Unique rides such as Dragon Mountain, the world’s largest steel roller coaster are also popular. There is a deer petting park. Also see elk, buffalo, bears and other wildlife displays. More Info

Attractions on Clifton Hill and Lundy’s Lane

Lundy’s Lane Historical Museum
5810 Ferry Street
(905)358-5082
Open year round. 9-4 in season; noon – 4 thereafter.
Small admission fee charged.
Occupies the former Stanford Town Hall, a two story cut stone building built in 1874on the site of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane which took place during the War of 1812. The museum features artifacts that relate to the battle. there is also an exhibit of early prints of Niagara Falls which gives a history of the area. Another exhibit features children’s clothing, toys and souvenir china.

Niagara Falls Museum and Daredevil Hall of Fame
5651 River Road at Rainbow Bridge
(905)356-2151
(716)285-4898
Open year round. 9am-11pm summer; 10-5 thereafter.
Admission charged.
Over 700,000 artifacts including a famous Egyptian mummy collection featured on National Geographic Explorer in 1994. Daredevil Hall of Fame contains memorabilia of those who have risked it all for the fame of riding over the Falls.

Criminals Hall of Fame Wax Museum
5751 Victoria Avenue
(905)374-3011
Admission charged.
Revisit the Old West, the Roaring 20’s and modern day crime scenes. Life size wax replicas of famous, and infamous, criminals are on display, right from the pages of history!

Guinness World of Records Museum
4943 Clifton Hill
(905)356-2299
Open 365 days a year.
Admission charged.
See evidence of record setting events that have made individuals world famous. Gift shop and memorabilia available.

Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks
4915 Clifton Hill
(905)374-6601
Admission charged.
Louis Tussaud, great grandson of Madame Marie Tussaud,(world famous for her Wax figures exhibited in London, England), presents the history of both museums and also displays showing how wax figures are made. After viewing the famous figures that populate the premises, the visitor is invited to create a wax impression of his or her own hand to take along as a souvenir.

Mildred Mahoney Silver Jubilee Dolls’ House Gallery
657 Niagara Blvd.
Fort Erie (near the Peace Bridge – call for directions)
(905)871-5833
Daily 10-4 (in season)
Admission charged.
The 140 doll houses displayed date from 1780-1980. Included are rare masterpieces from around the world. One of the most striking is a five story English manor house complete with servants quarters, nursery, sewing room and both gentlemen’s and ladies’ drawing rooms. Another treasure is the Japanese Palace, displayed with a complete collection of Hina Matsuri Festival dolls. The collection is displayed in one of Fort Erie’s historic landmarks: Bertie Hall, built in 1832. The mansion was part of the “underground railroad” network through which slaves were smuggled to freedom in Canada.

Planet Hollywood
Located next to Casino Niagara
4608 Bender Street
(905)358-3061
Inspired by film and television, and designed to capture the excitement and glamour of Hollywood, this restaurant is filled with rare movie memorabilia.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum
4960 Clifton Hill
(905)356-2238
Daily 9am – 1am in season.
Admission charged.
Displays unusual items. More than 350 exhibits in nine galleries.

Ripley’s Moving Theatre
4983 Clifton Hill
(905)356-2261
9am – 1am in season.
Admission charged.
Offers a ten minute virtual reality movie experience in a motion simulator.

Rock Legends Wax Museum
5020 Centre Street
(905)354-6255
Admission charged.
Life size wax figures of rock and roll stars from the early years up to the present day are presented here. Take a tour through rock ‘n’ roll history in sight and sound. The British invasion, Motown, Woodstock, the Punk Explosion, Heavy Metal, the Blues, Pop, Alternative are all represented.

Casino Niagara
Directly across from the Rainbow Bridge
5705 Falls Avenue
(905)374-3598
(888)946-3255
10,000 square feet with thousands of slots, all table games, dining, lounges, poker room, and sports betting and viewing. A Yuk Yuks Standup Comedy Club is a recent addition to this venue. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “World class gaming in a world class setting.” Smoke-free facility. Outdoor patio for smoking. Visitors must be at least 19 years of age to enter the Casino.

Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort
6400 Fallsview Blvd.
Lavish resort with 30 story, 368 room Hyatt Regency hotel, 50,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 30,000 square foot exhibition hall; a 1500 seat performing arts center; 225,000 sq. foot Galleria of Shops and restaurants; 10 dining facilities; a 3,000 car parking garage; and a 200,000 sq. foot gaming area. 3,000 slot machines and 150 tables. Entire facility is smoke-free. Outdoor patio smoking area. Visitors to the casino must be at least 19 years of age.
Niagara Falls Golf Club
6169 Garner Road
(one block south of Lundy’s Lane)
(905)354-4916
Outdoor heated driving range. Golf and carts year round (weather permitting). A challenging, yet enjoyable, test for all levels of golfers. 18 hole, par 72 course. The 17th hole has been rated the third best hole in the Niagara Peninsula. It is a winding 500 yard par 5 with a large pond in front. The 14th hole is 400 yards with two large bunkers strategically placed “pinching” the tee shot landing area. The entrance to the green is tight as well, with mature trees on both sides and a pond on the left. Five minutes from the Casino; shuttle service provided.

Niagara Helicopters
3731 Victoria Avenue
(905)357-5672
Year round 9am – sunset weather permitting. Closed Christmas Day.
Call for rates.
Nine minute in the air tour in helicopters with a seating capacity of 6. Many spectacular photos of the area have been taken in this way by visitors and local residents.

Niagara Steamship Company
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
Located at the Navy Hall Dock just behind Old Fort George.
(905)468-8343
1-888-250-4572
Call for fares and schedules.
Cruise back 100 years to the days of steam on the “SS Pumper,” America’s only wood fired steam tour boat. Hourly steam boat tours. More Info

Minolta Tower Centre
6732 Oakes Drive
1-800-461-2492
(905)356-1501
Perfect nightly view of the Falls illumination (and Friday evening fireworks). Dining levels and observation level. Admission charged at observation level.

Rossi Artistic Glass
5400 Robinson Street
(behind the Skylon Tower)
(905)371-3338
Venetian glass hand blown by master glass blower Angelo Rossi. Watch as Maestro Rossi fashions intricate works of art.

Skylon Tower
5200 Robinson Street
905)356-2651
Daily 8 am-midnight in season
Admission charged.
Three levels include two dining areas and an indoor/outdoor observation deck, all with spectacular views of the area. The tower is 525 feet high.

Niagara Falls Imax Theater
6170 Buchanan Avenue (next to the Skylon Tower)
905-374-4629
Fax 905-358-3613
See the history of the Falls, Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic, on the giant Imax screen (10 times the size of regular movie theater screens) and a video filmed from inside a barrel as one daredevil went over the Falls.

Attractions in the suburbs:

Kurtz Orchards Country Market & Orchard Tours
16006 Niagara Parkway
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
L0S 1J0
(905)468-2937

Whirlpool Jet
Niagara on the Lake
905-468-4800
Fax 905-468-7004
Piloted by licensed captains, these powerful jetboats convey guests on a unique 18 mile tour of the Niagara River. Departing Niagara-on-the-Lake each trip is accompanied by a trip leader who informs and entertains passengers as boats speed upriver into the natural Gorge. Here, the 175 foot high stone walls off the canyon narrow and the current begins to accelerate! The excitement builds and the thrills multiply as the jetboats enter Devil’s Hole Rapids and the Famous Whirlpool! Trips go rain or shine! Bring along a change of clothes if possible. The minimum age for the trip is 6 years. The trip is handicap and wheel chair accessible.

Historic Fort Erie
Fort Erie, ON
(905)871-0540
Admission charged. 5 Years and Under free
The history of the fort and a reenactment of its military history are offered. The Fort is located on the 400 million year old sediments of the Onondaga Escarpment which later became Lake Erie. The shores of the lake contained an ample supply of flint which was important to the nomadic people who originally lived on its shores. The rocky ledges provided material also for their tools and weapons. Conch shells from Florida, obsidian points from the Rocky Mountains and native copper from Lake Ontario are among the artifacts found here, indicating that this was a major trading crossroads for the continent. In 1750 French settlers established a fur trading post here. In 1764, after the ceding of new France to Britain, the British built their first fort here. This and a second fort were destroyed by ice. The third fort was blown up by US forces during the War of 1812. In 1939 the restored fort was opened to the public on Dominion Day. The Niagara Parks Commission now operates the fort and places great emphasis on education. As visitors cross the drawbridge they are shown through the rooms by guards dressed in the uniforms of the 8th regiment as they would have appeared in 1812. During the summer, visitors are invited to watch drills and maneuvers including the firing of a cannon.

Welland Canal Viewing Centre
1932 Government Road
St. Catharines, ON (15 minutes from Niagara Falls)
(905)984-8880
May-December 11am-11pm
Admission charged.
The Welland Canal was built to bypass the Falls. Ships from all around the world can now sail into the upper Great Lakes and goods can be shipped to world markets. Eight locks provide a 99-m (326 foot) lift between Lake Erie and Ontario. The St. Catharine’s Museum gives the history of the Welland Canal and demonstrates how the locks were built and their operation. A special exhibits gallery hosts children’s programs. The first Welland Canal was completed in 1829. In the Discovery Room children are guided in an exploration of items from the 19th century. They interact with a telephone switchboard, try on pioneer clothing, etc. The Welland Canal is the passageway through which ships travel between two enormous inland lakes, which are part of the Great Lakes system: Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The canal is 27 miles long and takes 12 hours to navigate through its entire length, including time for the raising and lowering of locks.

Attractions in Nearby New York State

Old Fort Niagara
Cross Rainbow Bridge and take Robert Moses parkway North.
Youngstown, NY
(716)745-7611
General Admission
Admission charged.
Children under 6 admitted free
Open at 9:00 a.m. daily year round
The site of historic battles,trading and conquest, Old Fort Niagara is a place where the past lives on. Preserved as they stood in the 1700’s when France and Britain controlled the whole Niagara region, the fort’s structure includes the oldest building in the Great Lakes. There are many buildings and fortifications to explore; fascinating exhibits and displays; musket demonstrations and living history programs.

Aquarium of Niagara
701 Whirlpool Street
Niagara Falls, New York
(716)285-3575
Open year round at 9am daily
5 minutes from the Falls
Follow signs to 701 Whirlpool Street
Discover living fossil fish that date back 200 million years; encounter endangered Peruvian penguins; explore the largest collection of Great Lakes fish anywhere! Enjoy sea lion demonstrations.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Dazzeland Family Fun Centre
Clifton Hill
Niagara Falls, ON
L2E 6S8
(905)358-3293

Marineland
8375 Stanley Avenue
Falls Shuttle bus stop.
(905)356-9565
Fax 905-356-6305
May 22-October 28
marine shows every hour in season.
Rates vary by season.
Features include an interactive killer whale habitat, also sea lion, dolphin and killer whale shows. Unique rides such as Dragon Mountain, the world’s largest steel roller coaster are also popular. There is a deer petting park. Also see elk, buffalo, bears and other wildlife displays.

Niagara Go Karts and Mini-Putt
Near Niagara Square shopping Mall
(QEW Highway at McLeod Road exit)
3 miles from center city
Admission charged.
50 Go Karts (different styles and speeds depending on age of child); picnic facilities; 18 holes of mini-putt golf played on a bright and cheerful course decorated with life size plastic replicas of zoo animals. Great for birthday parties and family outings.

Dinosaur Park Miniature Golf
Clifton Hill (near Imax)
(905)358-3293
18 holes of miniature golf on Clifton Hill right in the heart of the city in a park decorated with replicas of dinosaurs that children love.

Aquarium of Niagara
701 Whirlpool Street
Niagara Falls, New York
(716)285-3575
Open year round at 9am daily
5 minutes from the Falls
Follow signs to 701 Whirlpool Street
Discover living fossil fish that date back 200 million years; encounter endangered Peruvian penguins; explore the largest collection of Great Lakes fish anywhere! Enjoy sea lion demonstrations.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

June

Annual Niagara Flower and Garden Show Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens
Together with Master Gardeners of Niagara. The Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture hosts a three-day garden extravaganza, entitled The Niagara Flower and Garden Show – “Visions from the Gardens”. Visitors will have the opportunity to hear first-rate speakers, see “hands-on” demonstrations, and buy garden-related items, plants and other “must have” from the over 100 vendors who will be in attendance. Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. Visitors will be able to walk the paths and take in the beauty of the Rose Garden, the Annual Display Garden, The Vegetable Garden, the Herb Garden and the Arboretum. A highlight of the show will be a botanical and contemporary art show.
Contact: 905-356-2241

Fort Erie Celtic Festival Old Fort Erie
Formerly known as the Loch Sloy Highland Games, the Fort Erie Celtic Festival has returned to its roots in Old Fort Erie. The Celtic Festival features pipe bands, demonstrations of all forms of Celtic dancing, music, and athletic events. Traditional Celtic foods and merchants are on site.
Contact: 905-356-2241

Annual Cruise the Falls Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada
PT Cruisers from 35 States and Canada, and even from Kent England, drive an estimated 100,000 miles collectively, for a three day meet & greet/ show & shine. Events included fireworks over the falls Friday evening, a police escorted tour through Niagara Falls, the LARGE show on Saturday followed by a 500+ PT Cruiser cruise to a private BBQ down Niagara Falls Blvd, passing both the American and Canadian falls. Awards given for “PTs of DISCTINCTION”, “FURTHEST DRIVEN”, “BEST NEONS”, “BEST OF SHOW”. There is also a PT Cruiser Concept display by Daimler Chrysler Canada, as well as a free lunch. Email: pt_sean@cruisethefalls.com

July

1: City of Niagara Falls-Annual Canada Day Celebration Optimist Park, Morrison St. & Dorchester Rd. Niagara Falls, ON
FREE ADMISSION, Parade begins at 11:00 a.m. from the Delta Bingo Hall on Drummond Rd. to Optimist Park on Morrison St. across the street from Zehrs Supermarket. 3 stages of entertainment for everyone; The Crowning of Miss Niagara, Lumberjack Show, The Annual Rod and Classic Car Show and much, much more!! ENTERTAINMENT, FOOD AND FESTIVITIES GALORE (11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
Contact: Vito Scaringi, Community Development Coordinator, City of Niagara Falls, Parks, Recreation & Culture 905-356-7521 Ext. 4326

Battle of Lundy`s Lane and Chippawa (Centennial Event) Don Johnson Park, Spring Street, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Come witness the Battles that decided the fate of a Nation and forged the destiny of two Countries. See period camps, merchants, artisans, and battle re-enactments. Hourly tours of Drummond Hill Cemetary, tour the Lundy`s Lane Historical Museum, the Battle Ground Hotel Museum and much more!
Contact: Lundy`s Lane Historical Museum at Phone: (905) 358-5082

August

Annual Niagara Bigga Tomatafest
The main Sunday Family Day event includes entertainment at the Queenston Heights Band Shell, a food Fair in the two Pavilions- a bocce tournament in the Park- children`s activities with inflatable air bounce rides- ballons and games- special interest groups such as the Niagara Nutritionists Healthy Living Programs- Master Gardeners of Niagara- a prize wheel- a giant tomato weight-off competitiion- and the highly celebrated tomato stomping contest.
Contact: Carol Stewart-Kirkby at the Niagara Falls United Way Office

September

Annual Blues in the Park Fireman`s Park, Mountain Rd, Niagara Falls
An outdoor blues festival where all profits go towards the many charities of the Stamford Centre Volunteer Firemans Association. Children under 12 years of age are free. Runs Friday 5:00pm to 11:00pm and Saturday 3:00pm to 11:00pm. Discounts available for tickets purchased in advance.
Contact: 905-658-8219
Email: info@bluesinthepark.con

Niagara Wine & Food Classic Queen Victoria Park, Niagara Falls ON
Join us in Niagara for a spectacular wine and culinary event held during the autumn wine harvest. Your luxurious weekend registration includes premium Grand Tasting receptions, food and wine pairing events, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations and a passport tour of the Niagara Wine Route…all set against the breathtaking backdrop of Niagara Falls. To request a complimentary information and registration kit for the next Niagara Wine and Food Classic, please call Niagara Falls Tourism at 1-800-563-2557 (1-800-56FALLS)
Contact: 1-800-563-2557 or 905-356-6061 Fax: 905-356-5567

October

Art by the Falls -Annual Falls Festival Art & Craft Show Optimist Hall & Park, Morrison St. & Dorchester Rd, Niagara Falls Ontario
Over 100 juried designers and craftspeople from across Ontario participate in this two day event. Entertainment for both children & adults. Time: 10:00am to 5:00pm Admission Price: $3.00
Contact: Cathy Henderson 905-227-7248

Casino Niagara International Marathon Buffalo N.Y. , Niagara Falls On.
Starting in Buffalo N.Y. the marathon runs for five miles in the USA before crossing the Peace Bridge to the Historic town of Fort Erie, then heads north on the beautiful Niagara River Parkway to finish at the magnificent Niagara Falls.
Contact: Jim Ralston, Race Director 905-356-9460

December

Annual `Festival of Lights` Cheerleading Championship Niagara Falls Memorial Arena, 5145 Centre Street, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Friday from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Times are subject to change. Contact: Nick Nero, 24 Grove Street , Welland, Ontario L3B 4B4 at 1-905-734-9518 (905-734-3444 Fax)

Art by the Falls Annual Christmas Art & Craft Show Optimist Hall, Dorchester and Morrison Street in Niagara Falls, Ontario
Juried designers and craftspeople from across Ontario participate in this two day event – last minute Christmas shopping at its best! Admission price: $2, Seniors & Students over 12: $2, Wheelchair access and washrooms. 10am – 4pm
Contact: Cathy Henderson 905-227-7248 or fax 905-227-8037
Email:

Ice Festival Niagara/Niagara Falls Ice Festival City of Niagara Falls & Niagara, Stage at Holiday Inn
Ice and Snow carvings on display at the Holiday Inn by the Falls. Also, we invite the community to participate with their children and friends of all ages to make their own snowman to win prizes. Enter at Website or by mail. Admission: $Free Prizes
Contact: 905-371-2718

New Years Eve in the Park
Welcome in the New Year 2005 with the Winter Festival of Lights New Year`s Eve Outdoor Concert Extravaganza in Queen Victoria Park!!
Contact: 1-800-563-2557 or 905-374-1616

Several major horticultural floral displays occur throughout the year, including:

Spring Show
Mid January to Easter. Primula, Calceolaria, Cyclamen, Cineraria, Schizanthus, Forced bulbs and Shrubs.

Easter Display
Easter Weekend, lasting 2-3 weeks. Easter lilies, Forced Spring bulbs, Schizanthus.

Hydrangea Show

May. Hydrangeas, Delphiniums, Digitalis

Regal Geranium Show

June. Regal Geraniums, Fuchsia, Caladiums

Summer Show
July to Mid September. Geraniums, Coleus, Mixed Annuals

Hiemalis Begonia Show

Mid September, October. Rieger Begonias, Coleus

Chrysanthemum Show

November. Cascade, Exhibition and Bush Chrysanthemums

Christmas Show
November. Poinsettias, Cyclamen, Azaleas, Christmas Cactus

All dates are approximate and include set-up times. For show completion dates please call the Greenhouse at:

(1-877-642-7275)

Toll Free in North America

Within the local calling area dial 371-0254

Fax: 1-905-356-8448