Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sightseeing: Montreal

After the 3-day comics-cartoon convention, Doug and I extended our stay in Montreal to do some sightseeing since I'd never visited the city.
We started our 3-day "exploration" with a 3-hour bus tour of the city.  The Biosphere was created for Expo '67; the dome now acts as an Ecowatch Centre and a museum dedicated to the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes.

Although it was mid-September, the gardens at the Oratoire St-Joseph, located to the west of the Parc du Mont-Royal, were still lovely.

Montreal's Oratoire St-Joseph began with the construction of a tiny chapel in 1904; decades later the basilica welcomes two million visitors a year.

There are several monuments in Square Dorchester; one is Place du Canada, established to commemorate the nation's war dead from both World Wars.

On our way to the Basilique Notre-Dame, we stopped at the headquarters of the Bank of Montreal, which is the oldest bank in Canada (1817).  It houses a small, but interesting, currency museum.

One of several displays in the Bank of Montreal currency museum.

The square/fountain facing the Basilique Notre-Dame, built between 1824-1829.

One of many lovely, quiet parks in downtown Montreal.

We spent one day at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the oldest and largest Quebec museum containing works dating from antiquity to contemporary masters.  We especially enjoyed "Pop Art of Tom Wesselmann."  (I took this photo from the second floor balcony overlooking the main lobby.)

Museum restaurants typically offer good value, interesting menus and an inviting decor; the on-site Cafe des Beaux-Arts featured delicious French bistro cuisine in a sunny, yet cozy venue on the second floor.

Instead of visiting the Basilique Notre-Dame during the day, Doug and I decided to attend an evening sound and light show; the  Gothic Revival interior with walnut wood carvings, stained glass windows and 24-carat gold stars in a vaulted blue ceiling was truly magnificent.

In the early 1950s Doug was a boarder at Psi Upsilon, a fraternity house at McGill University.  Before we left Montreal to visit Quebec City, we drove back to 3429 Peel Street at Sherbrooke to see what the property looks like now.  It houses diplomatic offices.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

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