10 Best Experiences in the City of Festivals

Montreal's Lachine CanalPhoto: Michel Legault/Lachine Canal Multipurpose Path

Paddle the Lachine Canal

The idea of kayaking through a city may raise an eyebrow, but trust us: it’s one of the best ways to admire Montreal’s architecture and get back in touch with nature. If you’re visiting in the spring or summer, H2O Adventures offers kayak, paddleboat and eco-friendly electric boat rentals for tours along the 13.5 kilometre urban route of the Lachine Canal, located in the southwest section of the city. If you’re an intermediate paddler, check out H2O’s tour from Atwater Market to the Old Port, passing by the Saint-Gabriel Locks and Griffintown along the way. Beginners can opt for a two-hour initiation course, but be warned: you may find yourself immediately addicted to this thoroughly rewarding outdoor activity.

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Salmigondis restaurant in MontrealPhoto: Alison Slattery

Feast at One of the City’s Best Restaurants

The restaurants in Little Italy aren’t always Italian. Case in point: Salmigondis, a trendy—and pricey—brunch and dinner spot launched by co-chefs Brian Peters and Robert Kaniak. Discarding any focus on specific cooking styles (Salmigondis translates to “hodgepodge”), the New Brunswick natives instead let the ingredients dictate the dishes: mains like bitter lettuce with Fiji pears, beef flank steak with chorizo, and venison tartare are par for the course on a seasonal, ever-changing menu. As if the food wasn’t enough reason to visit, the interior of Salmigondis—a cream-coloured dining room, dark oak tables and an open kitchen concept—is the definition of chic simplicity.

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Montreal Museum of Archaeology and HistoryPhoto: Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, Jacques Nadeau

Go Underground at a Museum

Old Montreal’s Pointe-à-Callière is not only the largest history museum in Montreal, but also the largest archaeology museum in Canada. Begin your journey with Yours Truly, Montreal: a multimedia show that revisits landmark moments in the city’s history. The main highlight, however, is the museum’s archaeological crypt where you can see firsthand the foundational remains of Montreal’s earliest buildings and water systems. Along with its permanent offerings, Pointe-à-Callière also hosts several temporary exhibitions per year—a retrospective on the classic Montreal sketch comedy series, La Petite Vie, runs until April 7.

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