Back to Montreal

Early fall found us back in Montreal again. This journal is the 2002 update of 'Montreal Meltdown' written in 2001, covering a few more points of interest.

Back to Montreal

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Foxboro Marmot on October 26, 2002

Rent a bike in the Old Port and ride over to Ile Sainte-Helene and Ile Notre Dame to explore the remnants of Expo 67, the Grand Prix race course and beautiful gardens. Then, if you have the legs for it, ride up to the summit of Mount Royal for a view of the city, the Saint Lawrence River and the islands.${QuickSuggestions} ${BestWay}

Marriott Residence Inn

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Foxboro Marmot on October 27, 2002

The Montreal Residence Inn is a 24 story hotel on Peel Street, convenient to Crescent Street restaurants, the Museum of Fine Art and McCort Museum on Sherbrook Street and McGill University. While it's 24 floors high, it's also fairly narrow with only 10 rooms on each floor. This leads to occasionally long waits at the three elevators. Rooms, like most Residence Inns, have small fully equipped kitchens and dining tables in addition to all normal hotel amenities. Some rooms are oddly shaped to fit around elevator shafts and stairs, but they appeared to compensate by being slightly larger.

There's a small indoor pool on the top floor and a laundry and outdoor deck on the floor below. If the weather's good, pick up breakfast in the hospitality room and eat out on the deck with a partial view of Mont Royal in one direction and the city all around.

Like all Residence Inns, breakfast is included in the cost of the room, as is a late afternoon hospitality hour. Unlike some other locations, the hospitality hour here does not include beer or wine, only soft drinks, juice and snacks. Fruit - apples, bananas, oranges - is available at all times.

WARNING: If you have a larger vehicle - a van, truck or SUV - you probably do NOT want to stay here. The hotel parking garage has low ceilings and guests with larger cars are directed to a mall garage about two blocks away. The walk is inconvenient enough, but if you come in late, after the mall has closed, or God forbid on a holiday when the mall is closed, getting you car in or out of the garage is an extreme nuisance... plan on spending a minimum of 20 minutes of standing around, speaking into an intercom, explaining to people who may or may not know what you're talking about.... The people who eventually let you in and out are, however, exceedingly polite and understanding when you finally get through to them. This bumped my overall rating down from 'highly recommended' to 'recommended.'

Our room rate was $139 CDN with $12 add-on for parking with unlimited ins and outs.

Residence Inn by Marriott Montreal Downtown
Montreal, Quebec, H3A1T6


Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Foxboro Marmot on October 26, 2002

Gibby's is one of our old restaurant standbys in Montreal. It's in an old, 200 year old stable building on the edge of Old Port. Low ceilings and large dark wood beams give the dining room an old colonial atmosphere. There's an outdoor courtyard that's a pleasant place to sip a drink and wait for your table on a warm evening.

While there's a full menu, Gibby's is best known for its steak. The filet mignon was excellent. It was preceeded by a salad or gaspacho. A small cup of lemon sorbet followed to cleanse the palate before the main course, the filet along with baked potato and vegetable garnish. Unlike many steakhouses, the salad and potato were included in the price of the steak.

Service was excellent. Attire is casual early in the evening, but becomes more formal later in the evening.

For celebrity watchers, we sat next to three members of the Montreal Expos dining with friends following an afternoon game. In the back of the room, Manager Frank Robinson ate with his wife and another couple. A player from the Montreal Alouettes (Canadian Football League) was a few tables over.

Our trips to Montreal always include a stop at Gibby's!

298 Place D'youville
Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2B6
+1 514 282 1837

Ca Roule

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Foxboro Marmot on October 26, 2002

When the weather's good, it seems all Montreal wants to be outdoors. Join them! Bike rentals are available along the pedestrian walks at Old Port, but save a couple of dollars by renting from Ca Roule on Rue de la Commune - it's the shop with bikes in front of it not far from Place Jacques Cartier. The guys will fix you up with a relatively new bike, a map and help with directions.

It's an easy ride on clearly marked bike paths to Iles Saint Helene and Notre Dame, the site of Expo 67. Ile Notre Dame is nicer, with well maintained formal gardens and small canals occasionally cutting through. The island hosts the Montreal Grand Prix, so you'll have a chance to bike along a Formula One race course. If you're feeling lucky, have someone stay with the bikes while you run in to take a chance or two in the Montrreal Casino. Then bike over to Ile Sainte Helene... it's a bit more rustic in places, hillier, with remnants from Expo 67 including what's left of the US pavillion.

You can easily bike around the islands and back in under two hours without much stress. For more adventurous or energetic folks, don't go directly back to Old Port. Make a bigger loop: follow the bike paths to the south bank of the Saint Lawrence and take the bike-only bridge across to Verdun's Ile des Soeurs. From here it gets a bit more congested and confusing. Take a map and watch out for cars!

If your legs can do it, another good trip is to fight through city traffic to make your way up to Mont Royal Park. Fortunately, drivers here are used to sharing the road with bikes. Once in the park, gravel roads for bikers and walkers wind through the woods. Keep going up to the chalet with its spectacular view of the city. Once you've rested, turn the bike around and just scream down those park roads on your way back to Old Port... gravity is your friend!

Two hour weekday rental, $12CDN. Ride to islands: beginner; Return via Verdun: intermediate; Mont Royal Summit: hard-working intermediate.

Ca Roule Montreal
27 Rue De La Commune Est
Montreal, Quebec
(514) 866-0633

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