Discover the neighbourhood of de Ville-Marie (Downtown and Old Port).
The Ville-Marie borough is alive with festivals and shows of all kinds. The city’s main cultural district, the Quartier des Spectacles, draws crowds to Place des Arts. There is so much to see, hear and even enjoy. Every year, it’s a rendezvous: the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Francofolies, the Nuits d’Afrique International Festival, Montreal High Lights combining performing arts and gastronomy animate the area day and night. Everything from art installations to light projections, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC Montréal) and the Maison symphonique create a cultural and festive atmosphere. Nearby, the Latin Quarter offers its cinemas, theaters and lively terraces.
Between culture and tradition, Ville-Marie is also a blooming of historical buildings, trendy places, public and educational institutions, ultra-luxurious skyscrapers, old warehouses converted into art galleries. The Notre-Dame Basilica is a magnificent illustration of this historical wealth. An architectural richness that can also be seen on the facades of public buildings such as the Bonsecours Market, the Montreal Science Centre, the Montreal History Centre and the Bonsecours Basin Pavilion. On the way to the offices attached to the architectural past, let’s note the Royal Trust building, the Montreal Street Railway, the Bank of Montreal building, the 435 McGill.
The borough of Ville-Marie is also home to a large number of higher education institutions that attract thousands of students from all over the world: the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), and the two English-language universities, McGill and Concordia, whose reputations extend beyond the metropolis. Inspiration can just as easily come from the corner of the Latin Quarter, Chinatown, the Museum District, the International District and Innovation District. And it’s an urban space that reinvents itself… Its modernism, dynamism and creative diversity will delight curious minds. Ville-Marie never stops reinventing itself… with an eye to what’s moving in this metropolis.
Sometimes, in the middle of winter, you’d like to walk around the city without looking like a mountain dweller. In Ville-Marie, this is possible thanks to the 30 km of tunnels and the metro lines linking the major shopping centers, office towers and some residential buildings. Montreal’s subterranean environment makes it easy to stroll through stores, movie theaters and basements of fountains and food stands.
Why not look out over the Lachine Canal or the St. Lawrence River, with a view of the Quai de l’horloge in the Old Port? Luxury condominiums and boats moored at the quay are not a dream but an idyllic reality, often unsuspected by tourists. Old Montreal is the historic district of Montreal where residents and vacationers mingle along the river. The real estate boom of luxury towers, 5-star hotels, galleries and restaurants has spread to the coveted banks of the St. Lawrence River. Horse-drawn carriages, Ferris wheels, skating rinks, fireworks… animate the Old Port where the spirit of freedom is omnipresent.
La Ronde, an amusement park created in 1967, imbues Île Sainte-Hélène with a joyful, free and festive energy. The rides open their doors to thrill seekers. Like Parc Jean-Drapeau, which offers a multitude of activities and events throughout the seasons. With more than 25 kilometers of roads, trails and bike paths, between the Floralies gardens, the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit and the Tour de Lévis, the park provides that breath of fresh air just a few steps from downtown. In the middle of winter, cross-country skiing, skating, tobogganing or snowshoeing will melt your reluctance like snow in the sun. In the spring, tulips and daffodils bloom and dominate the landscape inhabited by squirrels and marmots.
Population : 87 168
Density : 6 414 inhabitants/km2