The best of Montreal

This former French colony still retains much of its Gallic joie de vivre, and visitors are likely to come for a promenade along the port or the frequent large-scale festivals. A combination of ethnic and architectural diversity creates an ideal destination for business or pleasure.

Serge Grimaux
owner, Ticketpro

Favorite hotel: Hotel Le Germain, 2050 Mansfield, tel.: +1-514-849 2050
Favorite restaurant: Le Latini, 1130 Jeanne-Mance corner René Levesque Blvd., tel..: +1-514-861 3166
Favorite attraction: Mezinárodní jazzový festivalThe International Jazz Festival
Best-kept secret: Trattoria, 1237, Crescent Street, tel.: +1-514-866 3226, Italian rotisserie
Favorite shop: La Cordée, 2159, Ste-Catherine E., tel.: +1-514-524 1106, selling outdoor equipment
Advice: Go to Excentris, 3530 boul. Saint-Laurent. – Café Melies, cinema and more!
Sylvie Scott
vice-president marketing, retail and business sales, Český mobil
Favorite hotel: The Ritz-Carlton, 1228 Sherbrooke street W., tel.: +1-514-842 4212
Favorite restaurants: Chez Queux (Old Montreal), 158 Rue St.-Paul E., tel.: +1-514 866 5194,
Restaurant Globe, 3451 St-Laurent Street, tel.: +1-514-284 3823
Favorite night club: Too many to choose just one.
Favorite shops: department stores Holt Renfrew St-Laurent & St-Denis streets
Favorite attractions: Molson Centre, 1260, De la gauchetie`re street W., tel.: +1-514-932 3720, watching a Montreal Canadians hockey game and the International Jazz Festival
Best-kept secret: Montrealské uzené maso v podnicích Schwartz’s. Montreal-style smoked meat at Schwartz’s.
Advice: The fall is the best season to travel. Take a day trip to the Eastern Townships in the country to see the changing colors. Have lunch at the Auberge North Hatley (325, Chemin Virgin, North Hatley, tel.: +1-819-842 2451) or visit Knowlton village on a weekend.
Martin Eger
director, Pražský klub Favorite hotel: Days Inn Downtown – City Centre, 215, René Levesque Blvd. E., tel.: +1-514-393 3388
Favorite restaurant: Reuben’s Restaurant, 888, Rue Sainte-Catherine W., tel.: +1-514-861 1255, delicious viande fumée
Favorite night club: Chez Parée, 1258, Stanley, tel.: +1-514-866 0495, but avoid weekends, it’s too busy there
Favorite shops: Marché Bonsecours, 350, Saint-Paul Street E., tel.: +1-514-872 8477, very pleasant boutiques and galleries
Favorite attraction: Biodome, 4777, Pierre de Coubertin Ave., tel.: +1-514-868 3000, you can see penguins there
Best-kept secret: La Belle Provence, A 50’s-style day club; they make delicious breakfasts
Advice: Avoid globally-known spots, enjoy local atmosphere and don’t spend too much time in night clubs.
Jan Kužel
director, America Tours Favorite hotel: Hotel place d’armes, 70, Coté de place d’armes, tel.: +1-514-842 1887
Favorite restaurant: Area, 1429, Amherst Street, tel.: +1-514-890 6691
Favorite night club: Jello Bar, 151, Ontario E. corner de Boullion, tel.: +1-514-285 2621, it has home-like atmosphere, very in and very eclectic
Favorite attraction: Botanical gardens, 4101, Sherbrooke E., tel.: +1-514-872 1400 – especially when the lilacs are in bloom
Best-kept secret: Montreal has the best bagels in the world!
Favorite shop: Ailes de la Mode, 677, Sainte-Catherine W., tel: +1-514-282 4537Z. The brand new shop in the historic Eaton’s building is worth visiting.
Advice: Be sure to allow plenty of time to just appreciate the genuine warmth of a Montreal welcome, one that very few cities can duplicate.
Basic factsLocation: Province of Québec, Canada
Population: 1,016,376 (city); 3.4 million (metropolitan area)
Ethnic mix: 27% Canadian, 26% French, 8% Italian, 6% Asian, 4% Haitian, 3% British, 26% other
Time zone: GMT – 5 (GMT – 4 from first Sunday in April to last Sunday in October)
Electricity: 110 volts AC, 60Hz; regular two-pin and grounded three-pin US-style plugs are used
Average January temp: – 6° C (21° F)
Average July temp: 26° C (79° F)
Annual rainfall: 723 mm (28.5 inches)

Where on the web?
For further information, we suggest the following websites dedicated to Montreal: – a sort of hotel-sponsored page with a decent travel/tourism overview, but not very in-depth info. A good starting point. – fairly comprehensive listings of bars, clubs, and major venues that offer live music, DJs and more. There’s also a useful Yellow Pages link. – as the URL implies, this site is heavy on hotel special offers, luxury accommodation, restaurants, city maps and other essential travel information for the business traveler. – nothing special on the homepage, but by signing up as a member, you can enter the forum and ask locals or tourists specific questions about the city.


one-liter bottle of mineral water: CAD 1.50
33-cl bottle of beer: CAD 1.50
Financial Times newspaper: CAD 2
36-exposure color film: CAD 8.50
city-center bus ticket: CAD 2
adult football ticket: CAD 15 – 47
three-course meal with wine/beer: from CAD 15

CAD 1 (Canadian dolar) = CZK 20.36; EUR 0.66; GBP 0.42; USD 0.64 (currency conversion rates as of press time)



Business PROFILE

A turnaround in recent years has seen Montreal become a major center for the aerospace, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and IT sectors. Multimedia and special effects software companies have developed in a city with a formidable telecom sector, dominated by Bell Canada (BCE) and Nortel Networks, and the Cité du Multimédia enterprise zone has been a huge success.

The city ranks third in North America for hosting international conferences, and this is likely to increase with the doubling in size of the Palais des Congre`s convention centre.

Although more English is spoken in the business world than on the streets, a few words of French before switching to English will be considered a beau geste. Usually first-name terms (or from “vous” to “tu”) are used after initial introductions have been completed.


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