Prior to visiting Canada for the first time I asked some of my colleagues for some advice as to where I should go. Many of them said Vancouver and Toronto, some others said I should go to Calgary but for Pietro Triassi Montreal was the place that I should go. This piqued my interest as the others were basing their recommendations on what they had seen and read, Pietro on the other hand had indeed spent a lot of time in the country. I took my friend at his word and whilst I did ensure that I’d spend a night or two in Toronto, I decided to spend the large majority of my time in Montreal, and I absolutely loved it.
City of Change
One of the coolest things about this city is how it reacts to the changing seasons. So during the summer months in the city temperatures reach around 28 – 30 degrees celsius, a beautiful climate with warm evenings and bright nights. What happens in the winter however is a complete reversal and you can expect to see temperatures of around minus 25 celsius. This is of course a shocking change but what I loved was how seamlessly the residents were able to switch from their cold lives, clothing and activities and switch them up for summer.
Toronto does have a great mix of different restaurants from all over the world but there is no doubt that my best experience from a foodie perspective was up in Montreal. I think what I loved most about this city was the fact that nobody takes themselves too seriously so even though there is a foodie scene here, I never experienced the pretentiousness that so often goes along with it. If you are a food, lover, this is the place you are going to enjoy.
When I heard that they spoke French in Quebec I figured that there would be one or two speaking it or perhaps the odd sign in French like you see in New York with the Spanish signs. What I hadn’t realized however was that French was spoken just as much as English here, in fact some times more. I met so man people who couldn’t even speak English and that was so crazy for me to understand. What I love about this however is that the city is very much a product of these two cultures. There is both a French and a Canadian twist to the people, the food and the general way of life.
Some cities around the world you really have to work at them to get the most out of it, London and New York for example are bustling cities which require patience and smart planing to really get the most out of it. With Montreal however I really never got this feeling, it was calm, everything felt easy and enjoying the place was just something that felt very natural indeed.
If you are going to Canada, be sure to see Montreal.