Back in the 1930s, Montreal’s cultural scene was very lively. Cabarets, movie houses and vaudeville theaters abounded and the nightlife was so renowned that people boarded trainsevery weekend from nearby provinces and states in order to join in on the fun. As the years passed, many of these beautiful venues closed down and they were either destroyed or they changed purposes. A few of these places have remained open and are being actively restored by owners who want to keep these architectural gems a part of Montreal’s past and present. Here are 5 beautiful Montreal cultural venues that will take you back to the 1930s.
Hidden in plain sight, the Belgo Building in Downtown Montreal is heaven for contemporary art enthusiasts. Though it spans the size of one block on one of the city’s busiest streets (Sainte-Catherine Ouest), the indistinct entrance, sandwiched between souvenir shops, discount shoe stores and fast food restaurants, reveals little of what is to be found once you pass through the glass doors and head up a few flights of stairs. (more…)
Montreal is home to a slew of interesting history museums but people tend to stick to the ones that are located in the district of Old Montreal. Throughout the city, small museums operated by passionate historians cover specific elements of the past, like the history of audio recording or the evolution of medicine. Here’s a list of 7 off-beat history museums that are often overlooked by visitors:
Craving French specialties but don’t want to buy a plane ticket to Paris? Montreal has you covered. A few months ago, Untapped Cities’ Laura Itzkowitz suggested spots that you can visit in order to have a Parisian day in NYC. Here you’ll find a few suggestions on how to eat like a Parisian but this time, in another French-speaking metropolis, Montreal.
The art nouveau entrance of this Montreal metro station is a gift from the city of Paris.
Travel guidebooks often refer to Montreal as Little Paris. Whether that nickname is deserved remains debatable. However, in these last few years French expatriates have been moving to the province of Quebec in large numbers due to a precarious economic situation. Walking around the streets of certain Montreal districts like the Plateau Mont-Royal or the Mile End, you may find yourself hearing nearly as many Parisian accents as Quebec ones. These French expats have crossed the ocean and brought along their love of good pastries, charcuteries and cheese. In order to cater for those needs, many restaurants and bakeries have opened. Here is a list of great places to discover so you can eat like a Parisian in Montreal. (more…)
The former prison camp now houses a history museum
World War II ended nearly 70 years ago but to this day, many little known facts about the local repercussions of the war remain under wraps. Throughout Canada and the United States, thousands of people were held prisoner in internment camps for months, even years, often simply because of their origins or religious beliefs. In Montreal, the fort of Ile-Sainte-Hélène was turned into an internment camp for up to 401 men between July 1940 and October 31st 1943.
Located in the neighborhood of Little Italy, the church of Madonna Della Difesa is but one among a large number of churches in Montreal, which has acquired the nickname of “City of 100 Bell Towers.” What sets this particular church apart, other than its impressive Romanesque architecture, is the fact that one of the frescoes depicts former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.