Category: Canada

London, Ontario

A- Overview:
This region of south-central Ontario (midway between Toronto and Windsor) was modeled after the best of London, England. Therefore, London has its own Thames River, and nearby Stratford, the namesake of Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon has its own internationally acclaimed theater festival and its own Avon River.

Many of the attractions in London are connected to local history. Fanshawe Pioneer Village is a re-creation of a town from the 1800s that presents crafts demonstrations. At the London Museum of Archeology, visitors can witness an ongoing archeological dig. Iroquoian life around the year 1000 is the focus of the Ska-Nah-Doht Iroquoian Village. Eldon House, built in 1834, is the city’s oldest building, and you can also find and visit many lovely Victorian residences in town.

Museums include the London Regional Art and Historical Museum; the London Museum of Archaeology, which is located next to an ongoing dig site called the Lawson Prehistoric Indian Village; and the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum which displays military memorabilia. There is also the Guy Lombardo Museum, where the legendary bandleader and his talented acquaintances are remembered in photographs and other memorabilia.

London is buzzing with an abundance of festivals throughout the calendar year. Local and out-of-town restaurants compete for the title of Best Ribs at the London Rib Fest in late July, the same weekend as the Balloon Festival where dozens of beautifully covered hot air balloons fill the air. The annual Western Fair runs for 10 days each September with a special children’s midway, top name performers at the Grandstand, home arts and horticultural competitions. Later in the fall, experience the hilarity of the Canadian Comedy Awards Festival at various downtown venues.

Throughout the year visitors to London will enjoy an outstanding selection of interesting attractions. For all travelers on all levels of budgets, London is at its best in its downtown core. If it’s the arts you enjoy, then settle in for pure enjoyment. Take in a play at The Grand Theatre, or enjoy a performance of Orchestra London.

London has seen the richness of the culture and traditions of the Iroquois Nation; the settlement by Colonel John Graves Simcoe and his British associates; the architectural and artistic accomplishments of the Victorian era; the emergence of a big band legend; the discovery of insulin, and much more. London is a city of traditions and treasured memories. It is also a modern commercial and industrial center, and a lively and entertaining place. For the past 100 years, Londoners have planted around 1,000 trees annually to keep the area green, earning the name “Forest City.” This is London: a city that is always advancing and growing, yet one that has deep roots in the past.

B- City Information:
Population: 336,539

Elevation: 850 feet

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time. When it is 12:00 noon in London, Ontario, it is also 12:00 noon in New York City, USA.

Average Temperatures:

Month
High
Low

January
30F
16F

February
30F
15F

March
37F
23F

April
50F
34F

May
63F
44F

June
73F
54F

July
79F
59F

August
77F
58F

September
69F
59F

October
56F
40F

November
43F
31F

December
33F
21F

National Holidays:

January 1 New Year’s Day

Good Friday and Easter Monday (date varies)

Victoria Day (Third Monday in May)

Canada Day (July 1)

Civic Holiday (First Monday in August)

Labour Day (First Monday in September)

Thanksgiving (Second Monday in October)

Remembrance Day November 11

Christmas Day December 25

Boxing Day December 26

Airport

London International Airport

1750 Crumlin Road

London, ON N5V 3B6
(519) 452-4015

The London International Airport is serviced by a handful of airlines which primarily fly in connecting from Toronto or Detroit. The airport is on the fringe of the city, and is thus not serviced by the city bus service.

VIA Rail Canada

205 York Street

London, Ontario, N6A 1B3

519-672-5722 or 1-888-VIA RAIL (842-7245)

Rental Cars are readily available at the airport.

Greyhound Canada provides bus service.

Getting Around

The London Transit Commission operates buses within the city.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Belmont Corn Maze

803 Willsie Bourne Road

London, Ontario, N0L 1B0

This 8 acre corn maze has over 4 km of twists and turns which will surely entertain children and adults of all ages. Picnic tables and benches are provided so you and sit back and have a rest in between the 1st and 2nd part of the maze. After a trip through the maze, walk toward the “Seeds of Knowledge” area where educational posters and other items about corn are displayed.

Double Decker Bus Tours
391 Wellington Street

London, Ontario N6A 1H2

519-661-5000

Tours begin June 28th until
September 6th at 10am.
Tours are 2 hours in length and depart and return from 391 Wellington Street at Dundas. There will be one stop at Storybook Gardens which will be approximately 20 minutes (included in the admission fee).

East Park/Intencity & Wally World

1275 Hamilton Road East

London, Ontario, N5W 1B1

A fun spot for kids of all ages that is now open year round. East Park is located on 100 acres of parkland and offers the Wally World water park, go-karts, batting cages and picnic grounds, as well as an 18-hole golf course, minature golf, and a driving range. Open April through October weather permitting.
In July, 2000 East Park opened. Intencity, it’s new Year-round Indoor entertainment and educational centre featuring a 40’ high rock climbing area, bumper cars, kid’s jungle gym, video games and a restaurant.

Fanshawe Pioneer Village

1424 Clarke Road

London, Ontario, N5X 4A1

A living history museum that specializes in fun for children of all ages. Experience London’s past and see weavers, printmakers, blacksmiths, and farmers demonstrate their trades of the past. See farm animals, more than 25 restored buildings and many artifacts of bygone days.

Good Time Music Hall, The

Labatt Breweries Tour

150 Simcoe St

London, Ontario, N6A 4M3

It was on this same location more than 150 years ago that John Kinder Labatt started brewing beer. It was the beginning of a Canadian company success story so impressive that today the name Labatt is synonymous with great tasting beer. Since the company’s founding, the Labatt Brewing Company has become an internationally renowned brewer. In 1847, Labatt produced about a 1,000 bottles of beer a year. Tours include a Labatt video, a guided tour of the production facilities, taste sampling, question and answer period, and free souvenirs. Today, Labatt is part of Belgium-based Interbrew S.A., forming the one of the largest brewing group in the world with more than 110 countries worldwide.

Banting House National Historical Site

442 Adelaide Street North London ON N6B 3H8

519 673-175

Dr. Sir Frederick G. Banting was the co-discoverer of insulin, as well as a distinguished war hero and a Nobel Prize Laureate. The exhibits at the Banting House outline his contribution to the discovery of insulin, his war efforts, many of his paintings and his visit by the Queen Mother.

Guy Lombardo Music Centre and Museum

205 Wonderland Road South London ON N6K 3T3

519 473-9003

The Guy Lombardo Music Centre, established in 1984, houses artifacts and memorabilia relating to Lombardo and his band the Royal Canadians. Among the memorabilia found here is one of Lombardo’s original recordings, as well as his famous speedboat the ‘Tempo 7’.

Laser Quest

149 Carling Street

London, Ontario, N6A 1H5

Laser Quest is live action laser tag at its best! The game is tag, hide and seek, cops and robbers, capture the flag and Buck Rogers all rolled into one, enhanced with modern technology.

Lickety Split Ranch

1292 Scotland Drive

London, Ontario, N6N 1L2

A family owned and operated zoo featuring jungle cats, monkeys and much more. Approx. 40-50 species of animals (including birds) to view. Play ground, picnic area. Come & bring a friend.
Open May 24 weekend until Labour Day

London Museum of Archaeology and Lawson Prehistoric Village .

1600 Attawandaron Road London ON N6G 3M6

519 473-1360

This unique museum focuses on studying and interpreting the past 11,000 years of human life in Southwestern Ontario. Guided tours are available. Next door to the museum is a reconstructed Iroquoian village that is open during the summer months, visitors can observe archaeological excavations and ask the experts questions.

London Regional Art and Historical Museums

421 Ridout Street North London ON N6A 5H4

519 672-4580

The London Regional Art and Historical Museums provide visitors to the city with a unique blend of both history and culture in one location. The museum is home to a collection of artifacts, as well as historical and contemporary art. Visitors will also enjoy London’s oldest mansion, the Eldon House, which has been well preserved and still contains many of its original furnishings.

London Regional Children’s Museum

21 Wharncliffe Road South

London Ontario N6J 4G5

519 434-5726

At the London Regional Children’s Museum, there are three flors of hands-on, interactive experiences designed especially for children from infants to 12 years of age. Children are encouraged to learn about their favorite subjects through activities and play in the 9 galleries. Little ones can dig for dinosaur bones, crawl through caves, travel to the stars, run their own McDonalds and more. Themes are Dinosaur; Street Where You Live; Arctic Adventure; Science in Your World; My lace in Space; Child Long Ago; and Caves.

Museum London

421 Ridout Street North

London, Ontario, N6A 5H4

Special events focused on the visual and performing arts.

Beautiful parks and pathways and great sports facilities exist in the Forest City. Family entertainment takes many forms from the lively new Covent Garden Market in the heart of the downtown to the ever-popular Storybook Gardens in Springbank Park. If you are there during the summer months, your visit would not be complete without a Double Decker Bus tour.

Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

750 Elizabeth Street London Ontario Canada N5Y 4T7

This museum celebrates the achievements of Canada’s oldest regular infantry. The museum has four main areas: The Centennial Room, the War Memorial Room, A Library and Quiet Room for reflection and prayer.

Ska-Nah-Doht Iroquoian Village & Museum

8449 Irish Drive

Mount Brydges, Ontario, N0L 1W0

Ska-Nah-Doht, a recreated Iroquoian village of 1,000 years ago, is located in the beautiful surroundings of Longwoods Road Conservation area and is owned and operated by the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority. The name Ska-Nah-Doht is from the Oneida language meaning “a village stands again”. Although not built on an actual site, the village is based on data collected by archaeologists and from the traditions passed down to today’s Iroquoian people.

Explore the village with its 18 outdoor exhibits. Find your way through the palisade maze. Then enter a longhouse and imagine cooking supper in a clay pot over a roaring fire. Pretend to grind corn into flour in a wooden mortar and pestles. The village is wheelchair accessible, weather permitting. The Museum, located in the Longwoods Resource Centre, offers hands-on exhibits of Iroquoian culture and displays of artifacts from the archaeological collection.

Storybook Gardens

Springbank Park

London, Ontario

Located in Springbank Park, this theme park has enchanted children with its animals, displays and playground equipment since its opening in 1958.

Wally World at East Park

1275 Hamilton Road East

London, Ontario, N5W 1B1

519-451-2950

East Park has purchased the heart of Wally World with the acquisition of Wally World’s 55′ high 5 slide tower and the wave pool generating equipment.
The 5-slide tower features 2 body flumes, 2 extreme speed slides and a tube ride. Wally World at East Park will compliment the existing seasonal and year-round attractions at East Park.
In addition to an 18 hole executive golf course, East Park features a driving range, 36 holes of mini-golf, batting cages, waterslides, go-karts and a year-round indoor facility featuring rock climbing, bumper cars, video games and a kid’s jungle gym.

Western Fair – IMAX Theatre

900 King Street

London, Ontario, N5W 5K3

Western Fair Racetrack Slots

900 King Street

London, Ontario, N5W 5K3

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Adventures on Wonderland

3198 Wonderland Road South

London, Ontario, N6L 1A1

London’s Largest Indoor Playground for children 13 years & under.
Complete with a Four Level Jungle Climb, Laser Tag Adventure, Wee One’s Underwater Play World, Karaoke Sing-A-Long Stage and Video & Redemptions Games.

East Park/Intencity & Wally World

1275 Hamilton Road East

London, Ontario, N5W 1B1

Fanshawe Pioneer Village

1424 Clarke Road

London, Ontario, N5X 4A1

A living history museum that specializes in fun for children of all ages. Experience London’s past and see weavers, printmakers, blacksmiths, and farmers demonstrate their trades of the past. See farm animals, more than 25 restored buildings and many artifacts of yester-year.

London Regional Children’s Museum

21 Wharncliffe Road South

London, Ontario, N6J 4G5

A museum where you can touch, play, make noise and have a great time. A museum where you can dig for dinosaur bones, crawl through caves, run your own McDonalds, travel to the stars, and travel back in time. A museum where learning is an adventure.

Ska-Nah-Doht Iroquoian Village & Museum

Longwoods Road Conservation Area

Mount Brydges, Ontario, N0L 1W0

a recreated Iroquoian village of 1,000 years ago, is located in the beautiful surroundings of Longwoods Road Conservation area and is owned and operated by the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority. The name Ska-Nah-Doht is from the Oneida language meaning “a village stands again”. Although not built on an actual site, the village is based on data collected by archaeologists and from the traditions passed down to today’s Iroquoian people.

Explore the village with its 18 outdoor exhibits. Find your way through the palisade maze. Then enter a longhouse and imagine cooking supper in a clay pot over a roaring fire. Pretend to grind corn into flour in a wooden mortar and pestles. The village is wheelchair accessible, weather permitting. The Museum, located in the Longwoods Resource Centre, offers hands-on exhibits of Iroquoian culture and displays of artifacts from the archaeological collection.

London Museum of Archaeology

1600 Attawandaron Road

London, Ontario, N6G 3M6

The London Museum of Archaeology is a unique Canadian museum devoted to the study, display, and interpretation of the human occupation of Southwestern Ontario over the past 11,000 years. The Museum is located beside the Lawson Prehistoric Indian Village, a site occupied by the Neutral Iroquois in the 15th century A.D.

Laser Quest

149 Carling Street

London, Ontario, N6A 1H5

Laser Quest is live action laser tag at its best! The game is tag, hide and seek, cops and robbers, capture the flag and Buck Rogers all rolled into one, enhanced with modern technology.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Annual Events

New Year’s Day Levee

January 1: Eldon House

Saturday, January 1, 1:00 – 4:00 pm Welcome the New Year at a traditional New Year’s Day Levee. Exchange greetings and gather with friends for refreshments in the Interpretive Centre. Admission by donation.

Contact: 519-661-5169

Snowfest International

Late January

Snowfest International takes place at various downtown locations. Call 633-9224

London Golf & Travel Expo

Mid-February

Annual London Golf & Travel Expo takes place February 11 – 13 at the Western Fair Event Centre. Show hours are: Friday from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, and Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

The Fanshawe Sugar Bush

Throughout March

The Fanshawe Sugar Bush takes place on weekends throughout March and during March Break. Call 461-1073 for hours of operation and additional information.

Late March

Annual London Orchid Society Show

Show takes place Saturday from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm at the Agri-Plex, Western Fairgrounds (900 King Street). Call 434-6831 for additional information.

Late July, early August

London Air Show and Balloon Festival

Held at London Airport. More than 75,000 attend this event at which dozens of beautifully covered hot air balloons fill the air.

Late July, early August

Best Ribs at the London Rib Fest (same weekend as the Balloon Festival)

Late Fall

Experience the hilarity of the Canadian Comedy Awards Festival at various downtown venues.

Mid-Late September

Western Agricultural Fair

Western Fair Event Centre

316 Rectory St
London, Ontario
N5Y5P8

800-619-4629 or 519-438-7203

London’s Major event: The Annual Western Agricultural Fair. The annual Western Fair runs for 10 days in September with a special children’s midway, top name performers at the Grandstand, home arts and agricultural and horticultural competitions. Over 300,000 attend.

Winter Wonderland

November 26 – January 3

Winter Wonderland takes place in Victoria Park from November 26 – January 3. The Lighting of the Lights takes place November 26 at 6:00 pm. The City Hall Promenade Deck will be open for viewing the park from 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm on the following dates: November 26-28, 30, December 2-5, 7-12, 14, 16-19, 21-24, 27-30. Although the lights will remain on until 11:00 pm on January 3, the promenade deck will only be open until December 30. Please call 661-5230 for additional information.

December and January

Victorian Christmas at Eldon House

Early December – January 2: Eldon House

The Garden Club of London and Eldon House staff create the sights and smells of an old-fashioned Christmas in which the house is festooned with decorations of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Contact: 519-661-5169

Mid-December

Children’s Christmas Parties at Eldon House

December 11 – December 12: Eldon House

Saturday, December 11, Sunday, December 12, 1:00 – 4:00 pm Hour-long parties for children 10 years old and younger. Stories, entertainment, treats and all the Christmas highlights of Eldon House bring the season alive for youngsters. Pick up your tickets at Museum London or Eldon House.

Unique Gifts for the Festive Season

Throughout December: Inuit Gallery

To celebrate each Festive Season many unique gift items from $20 are brought into the gallery. Contact: 519-672-7770

New Year’s Eve Party

December 31: Tourism London Aeolian Hall presents its New Year’s Eve Party. Event takes place from 9 pm – 3 am. Call the Palace Theatre Box Office at 432-1029

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.