3 days in Montreal: Part 2 - Old Montreal, Jean-Talon Market and the Mount Royal Park

On the second day of our trip we did the walking tour of Old Montreal. The free guided walking tours were all booked so we explored on our own. I liked the Old Town very much. We live next to Manhattan and I felt that Montreal is very similar to midtown Manhattan in many ways. It didn’t feel different enough for me. Old Montreal on the other hand is unique and looks completely different from where we are from. The walk from our hotel to old Town was also quite pleasant.

On the way to Old Montreal we passed by this lovely Jean Paul Riopelle fountain in front of the Palais des Congres with colorful windows.

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Charming cobblestone lane Rue St. Paul with Bonsecours Market (arts and crafts and souvenirs market) and Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel

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The statue of the Virgin Mary as the Star of the Sea by Charles Dauphin on top of the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel overlooks the Old Port

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Montreal City Hall is not only grande and impressive but also features beautiful green plant designs in front. We were told that we could go inside the city hall. We couldn’t miss the opportunity to see the building’s ornate lobby.

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Nelson’s column in Place Jacque-Cartier next to City Hall. The square is one of Montreal’s famous public squares full of ice cream vendors, street performers, portrait artists and cafes.

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Colorful chairs to relax in on de la Commune street

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Old Port of Montreal features La Grande Roue de Montréal, Canada’s largest observation wheel


After a wonderful time strolling around Old Town we took the metro to the largest market in Montreal - the Jean-Talon Market.

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Franky speaking, it was somewhat disappointing. I guess we have seen enough markets in Europe including Russia where I am from that are more interesting. It was nice for a quick stroll but nothing more.

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There are different stalls with items to buy to bring back home like chocolates, cheese or maple syrup but we are not big shoppers and weren’t looking for anything.

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The Flowers and Plants section was my favorite. Who doesn’t like flowers?

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It was lunch time and we were planning to have tacos at Cochinita Pibil in the market. That was the highlight of our time there.

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The tacos were so juicy and flavorful! We ordered 6 tacos first but then had to go back to order more because they were so delicious! It turned out to be the only meal that I miss from the whole trip to Montreal. I would go to Cochinita Pibil if it was in NYC or Hoboken.

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Havre des Glaces has an outpost in the market and Brian tried their salted caramel ice-cream. It was good but a bit too sweet for our liking and not as good as our beloved Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream in NYC.

After our lunch we took the #11 bus to Mount Royal park. The bus ride was quite nice. When you are walking so much and it’s hot outside, it’s nice to be able to sit and relax while seeing a new city. At this time of the day buses were not crowded and there were plenty of seats. We got to ride through Le Plateau which we were planning to return.

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As it was advised by many on the TripAdvisor Montreal forum we got off one stop before the Kondiaronk Belvedere at Belvedere Camillien-Houde.

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We enjoyed walking along the path in woods. We were mostly in the shade and got to see several vistas on our approach to the main viewpoint.

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The lookout offers incredible views of Montreal

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The views on our scenic hike were beautiful but the view from the Kondiaronk belvedere blew us away. The view is spectacular.

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After hiking we went to our hotel room to rest and recover from heat in the AC environment for a couple of hours. As it was so hot during the day and night we didn’t want anything heavy to eat. So it was salmon poke for dinner.

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Salmon poke bowl at Club Soya

From the restaurant we walked to the Quartier des Spectacles to enjoy another night of music. We had an hour break between the two shows we planned to see.

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It was perfect amount of time for us to see MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art). We thought we would get a 50% discount (Wednesday night) but were pleasantly surprised that it was gratis during the festival. Because it was free we enjoyed the museum.

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It was mostly installations, some of them quite fun. As a painter myself I wished there were more paintings. Had we payed for the entrance we would have regretted it but it was nice to see art installations and be in an air-conditioned environment as a little recovery break during the festival evening.

After the museum we enjoyed more music.

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Our trip to Montreal, specifically the Botanical Garden and the Jazz festival inspired me to paint these paintings:

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Bromeliad Garden and July Garden, acrylic on canvas

I also painted a series of multi panel abstract paintings inspired by the Montreal Jazz Festival:

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Abstract Multi Panel Painting 180728-1 and Abstract Multi Panel Painting 180728-2, oil on cradled panels.

Please check out my paintings on my website. Thank you!