Destinations Magazine

Finding Europe in the Heart of Montreal

By Livingthedreamrtw @livingdreamrtw
Montreal Montreal is one of Canada's biggest and most visited cities, but it is not these features that draw us to the province of Quebec. Instead, it is the city's unique claim of being the second largest French speaking city in the world, next to Paris, that makes it a must see destination for many in North America. With a large population of French speakers and immigrants, a number of European traditions and styles carry-on throughout the city making Montreal one of the few places where Europe shines outside of the continent! (Photo "Old Montreal" by rossi2213)
Want Similarities? Look For the Buildings
Notre Dame Montreal
If there is one feature about Paris and greater Europe that is present in Montreal, it would be through the style of the many churches found throughout the city. One church in particular stands out as being a match so close to its Parisian counterpart that they even share the same name: Notre-Dame. From the external facade to the intricate details found on the inside of the church, you may forget for a moment that you are in Montreal and not the heart of Paris! (Photo "Notre Dame of Montreal" by edustos)
This architectural similarity should not be surprising; however, as Montreal (and Quebec province) was founded by French explorers before becoming a British colony in the late 1700s, several hundred years after the French counterpart Notre-Dame had already been completed. These similarities continue on throughout the city and make for a great day exploring for all those looking at catching a glimpse of the European inspiration at every turn. From the modern convention center to the remaining buildings from the world expo and Olympics of the past, Europe shines everywhere.
Montreal is Not Just Europe - It is Everything
Calling Montreal a strictly European-inspired city is not entirely a fair statement on our part. While it is true that the culture of Europe thrives in the city from the mannerisms to language and restaurants, there is far more than that. In fact, Montreal is everything!
Over the years immigrants have flocked to the city in hopes of building a better life and ethnic neighborhoods have sprung up throughout all of Montreal and the surrounding region. It is because of this variety that the city can claim that it is far more than any one European city; it has everything, and the subtleties have begun to blend together throughout the years making Montreal one of the most cosmopolitan cities in North America. (Photo "Oratoire St Joseph" by mompes)

Although every culture in the world has influneced how Montreal has evolved in recent years, there are many local specialties that are completely unique to the city. Take poutine as an example. A rarity in Europe, you would have a hard time trying all of the styles found throughout Montreal, as each ethnicity has its own take on the local treat.
While Europe does shine in nearly every corner of the city, through the food, architecture, and even language, a visit to Montreal is what you make of it. For those who take the time to branch out and explore, you'll truly find that Montreal is not only a beautiful city by European standards, it is a city of the Earth- one that all nationalities can enjoy!

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