Montreal, Canada Tourist Attractions and Travel

The duality of Canadian life has been called the "Twin Solitudes." One Canada, English and Calvinist in origin, tends to be staid and smug and work obsessed. The other, French and Catholic, is more creative, lighthearted, and inclined to see pleasure as the end purpose of labor. These two peoples live side by side throughout Québec and in the nine provinces of English Canada, but the blending occurs in particularly intense fashion in Québec province's largest city, Montréal. French speakers, known as Francophones, constitute 66% of the city's population, while most of the remaining population are speakers of English--Anglophones. (Those few residents who speak neither, or who have another primary tongue, are called Allophones.) While both groups are decidedly North American, they are no more alike than Margaret Thatcher and Charles de Gaulle.

Montreal travel, Canada Tourist Attractions

Montréal is a modern city in nearly every regard. Its downtown bristles with skyscrapers, but these are playful, almost perky , with unexpected shapes. The city aboveground is mirrored by another below, where an entire winter can be avoided in coatless comfort. To the west and north of downtown are Anglo commercial and residential neighborhoods, centered around Westmount. To the east and north are Francophone quartiers, centered on Outremount and Plateau Mont-Royal.


Montreal, Canada

Montreal attractions


Over the past decade, there has been the undeniable impression of decline in Montréal. A bleak mood has prevailed in many quarters, driven by lingering recession and uncertainty over the future. There is some truth in the perception. After all, it remains possible that Québec will yet choose to fling itself into an unknown independence from the rest of Canada.White House


Lately, ripples of optimism are spreading through the province and its largest city. Unemployment, though still high, shows signs of shrinking. A new $900 million high-tech theme park is to be installed near the Port of Montréal, a project wrested away from the Montreal tourism city's bitter rival, Toronto. Favorable currency exchange and the presence of skilled workers have made the Montreal travel city a favored site for Hollywood film and TV production, last year attracting movies starring Bruce Willis, John Travolta, and Eddie Murphy, among others, that brought in over $700 million in revenue. That success inspired the construction of two major film studios, one completed and another expected to be Canada's largest.


To many American city dwellers, Montréal already might seem an urban near-paradise. The subway system, called the Métro, is modern and swift. Streets are clean and safe. There are rarely more than 60 homicides a year in Montréal, compared to the hundreds of murders annually in every American city of comparable or greater size. Montréal's best Canada Tourist Attractions restaurants are the equal of their south-of-the-border compatriots in almost every way, yet they are as much as 30% to 40% cheaper. And the government gives visitors back most of the taxes they collect.


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