Old Montréal is a gem of classical architecture and Old World charm along the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Co-founded by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance in 1642 at the exact spot where today’s Pointe-à-Callière archaeology and history museum resides, Montréal is laden with historical significance — but it’s also bursting with innovation. Old Montréal remains a vibrant heart of the city with many new features that both you and your attendees will love.
Old Montréal was officially voted Canada’s most Instagrammable destination, based on an analysis of hashtags that put Old Montréal first in the nation’s top 50 tourist hot spots. With sites such as the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Palais des congrès, Place Jacques-Cartier, the Clock Tower and the Grande Roue (and more) all within the neighbourhood, it’s no wonder it invites shutterbugs!
With cutting-edge technology and projections, the storied buildings of Old Montréal have also experienced a photogenic renewal that comes to life nightly before your eyes.
Moment Factory’s Aura transforms the interior of the Notre-Dame Basilica into a symphony of lights and effects that literally bring the building to life. Out on the streets, the ghostly projections of Cité Mémoire tell the story of the city via a free multi-lingual app. And for those searching for a different view over the city, the Grande Roue de Montréal gives visitors and locals alike a bird’s eye view of the angled rooftops of the Old Port.
Historical venues gone high tech
Pointe-à-Callière’s 11 multifunctional rooms include the breathtaking views of the COGECO 360° Space overlooking the old city and the stately Mariners House. Built to showcase the earliest foundations of Montréal, this museum’s spaces showcase a perfect union between history and high tech.
Those looking for the rush of water below their feet without having to step into a boat need look no further than the event spaces of the Montréal Science Centre. Spectacular views of Old Montréal and the St. Lawrence River are sure to keep your attendees energized.
Fresh cuisine in the old city
Fine dining has always been an important part of Old Montréal’s DNA and these spots have drawn crowds to the cobblestone streets. Poké hotspot Venice, vegetarian and vegan hot spot LOV, the handsome brasserie Monarque and beloved café Olive + Gourmando are musts among a list of almost limitless mouth-watering options.
Any visit to the historic district isn’t complete without a look at the Antonopoulous Group’s Experience Old Montréal site, listing 11 of their old city restaurants, each and every one a highlight: Vieux-Port Steakhouse, Pincette, Jacopo, Nelli Café, Taverne Gaspar, Maggie Oakes, Modavie, Méchant Bœuf, Kyo Bar Japonais, Brasserie 701 and Bevo Bar + Pizzéria.
Cafés and bars that amaze
From the breathtaking Crew co-working space to the new Olimpico at the William Gray Hotel, Old Montréal has café choices for every taste and mood — here’s just 10 of our favourites within 10 minutes of the Palais de congrès de Montréal (and for those looking to do some work, Montréal’s co-working spaces are some of the best in the world).
When it’s past coffee hours and time for a cocktail, Old Montréal’s bar scene also holds a wealth of unforgettable options. Keep things trendy yet low-key at Philémon Bar, sample the cool cocktails at Flyjin, travel back to the roaring ‘20s at Bord’elle and seek out the hidden Cold Room on Saint-Paul Street. Jiao Dim Sum Bar on Notre-Dame Street and Clandestino mezcal and tequila bar on Saint-François-Xavier show no signs of the old city slowing down any time soon.
A hotel hotspot
Old Montréal’s hotel scene is both rich and forever changing. The William Gray Hotel is a jewel in the crown of the Antonopoulos Group, whose portfolio of boutique hotels in the historic district also includes the Lofts du Vieux-Port, Hôtel Place d’Armes, Le Petit Hôtel, Hôtel Nelligan and Auberge du Vieux-Port.
Other options include the all-suite Hôtel Saint-Sulpice next to the Notre-Dame Basilica, the futuristic Hôtel Humaniti, the striking Hyatt Centric, the magnificent Hotel Gault and the elegant Hôtel St-Paul, all offering the most modern comforts in distinctly historical settings. And of course, just steps from the high-tech environment of the Palais des congrès de Montréal convention centre, the InterContinental, the Westin and Embassy Suites let conference delegates go seamlessly from meetings with peers to meetings with the past in Old Montréal.
It’s safe to say the only thing that stays constant in Old Montréal is its ability to continually evolve.
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