Outside of Paris, my second favorite place to visit in order to get my dose of French essence is Montreal, Canada. Although most of my visits there revolve around family, I manage to sneak in a day to escape the norm and traditions just to reconnect with the city, in my own way.
It isn’t difficult to feel as though you are in parts of France, while in Montreal, because every where you turn there is a reminder of the French culture. Whether in street signs or billboard advertisement, architecture and cobble stoned streets, restaurants and cafes, bookstores and more, the make up of the city exudes a more Parisian feel than most any other place around the globe which is influenced (previously colonized) by French culture.
One of my favorite times of the year to visit the city is in the Fall. According to family, Montreal seldom sees sun and is often times more cloudy and rainy than the locals prefer. Plus the humidity in the Summer months is most unbearable outside air-conditioned interiors. I should know this, because I have been there in the Summer as well.
Fall is ideal to play tourist. It seems as though the entire city is at one’s disposal to experience the culture, since most visitors have returned home. There is a certain crispness to the air outside and in a way the city seems magical with the changing of the leaves all around. One can’t help but take note of the streets that are adorned with the fallen colorful leaves and the unrelenting lights emanating from the stores and restaurants, which add warmth to the gray stoned exteriors seldom definable against the gray skyline.
Walking through any city is recommended and probably the best way to get a genuine sense of the environment or surroundings. And although, I did my walking tour of Montreal in seven hours, I knew that it was most ideal to spend a few more days in order to explore each district or neighborhood in-depth and greater detail.
I know I will return there again soon, but for now, the two hundred plus photos I took in a day will have to do to get me by. I have included some below for your viewing pleasure and want to say, that if you happen to be an American experiencing France withdrawals like I often times do, please consider a quick escape to Montreal, Canada to get your fix.