This trip was the result of me being slightly ashamed of being from the Ottawa area and having never been to Montreal. It’s like being from Philadelphia and never going to New York City. It’s far enough away that you can justify it, but so close that you are daft for not going every chance you get. Also, I went with a friend from undergrad and we even talked about how it felt like everyone went to Montreal in undergrad (even though Guelph is not close to Montreal at all) and we never did (because we were trying to get into vet school, as we also discussed, but that’s another story.
I took the train from Ottawa to Montreal. There are two main ViaRail stations in Ottawa, Fallowfield and Downtown. You can park for free at Fallowfield, so I tried to take the train from there, but the connecting train ended up being over an hour and a half late when I gave up tracking it, so I compared paying for parking down there or taking a cab and it was slightly cheaper to take a cab, so I took a cab from Fallowfield station to the downtown station. Once I was there it was super easy. I adore travelling by train, it is so easy, can be affordable (in most countries it is always affordable, but in Canada you have to watch for sales and cheap seats otherwise it’s not cheaper than flying).
But when I took this, I was literally thinking, we could die in a train crash right now, and with my coffee and my book I would be content. I am however, glad I didn’t die in a train crash.
My friend was super late getting there so I ordered sushi. With the biggest order of edamame I have ever seen in my entire life. I could not finish it. Sushi is one of the biggest things I miss when I am up north.
The hike up Mont Royal is easy until you get to the stairs, and then it gets intense (although I think you could make it intense if you wanted to by taking the side trails and not the gravel trail) but it is so worth it. It is definitely busy, but the views are amazing and it’s not just tourists, there are definitely locals there.
And you get a great view of the Tony Bourdain art.
This is the bagel spot in Montreal, it’s kind of the original. Montreal bagels are supposedly unique because they are boiled in honey water before they are baked and are smaller and not as heavy as New York bagels (that part is my own opinion). I don’t know if I really get the difference, but they were good. They had this rosemary one that was amazing. But we also got the apple cinnamon and all dressed (Canadian for everything) and they were also good.
Around Vieux Montreal. I am obsessed with the statue of the three women.
I had the best dinner at Modavie, I cannot recommend it enough. The service was so good and the vibes were impeccable. Also, I don’t know what this says about me but my ideal meal to get when I am out to dinner by myself is steak frites and a martini (or two).
My friend and I stayed in an AirBNB but to cut costs on my last night when I was alone I stayed in a hostel, the Hygie Hotel. I was really impressed with it as a hostel, checking in and checking out was stressful. I don’t know if it’s the “whole world is short staffed” thing or if it’s always like that but it was really difficult to get a staff to check in and check out. They had a phone number that you could call, but no one answered it. But I was really impressed with the pods themselves, it was nice to have a double bed and the TV in the pod is amazing.
I loved Montreal, I will 100% be back and will actually message my friends who live there this time and see the less touristy parts.