Monday, March 30, 2015

Les 3 Brasseurs, Montreal, QC

Gord and I spent a couple hours walking around Old Montreal this afternoon ... there are a lot of cool old buildings!

Afterwards we stopped in at Les 3 Brasseurs (3 Brewers) on rue St-Paul E for a couple beer.  We've been to a couple of their locations in Toronto and have had good experiences and so-so experiences.

Apparently it is in one of the first Bank of Montreal sites ... they have been there for about ten years.

Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal, QC

Gord and I walked around Old Montreal this afternoon for a couple hours.  We spent some time at Notre-Dame Basilica.

Dedicated to Our Lady the Blessed Virgin – “Notre Dame” – the small original chapel was operated at first by the Jesuits. Then came the Sulpician Fathers, who in 1657 undertook construction of a larger church. The Sulpician François Dollier de Casson was its architect, and the present-day Notre-Dame Street served as the original site. Its construction, in Baroque style was completed between 1672 and 1683.

By 1800, Dollier’s church had become too small and the Fabrique decided to build the church we know today. To design the new church, the building council engaged the services of the New York architect James O’Donnell – himself an Irish Protestant by origin. O’Donnell and the Fabrique opted for the Gothic Revival style then in vogue in England and the United States. The main construction work took place between 1824 and 1829.

O’Donnell did not live to see his work completed. He died in Montreal in 1830. Just prior to his death, he had converted to Catholicism, and was buried in the new church’s crypt, where his grave is marked by a plaque.

The old church set back from the road was demolished in the summer of 1830, except for its bell tower, which survived until 1843, when Notre-Dame Basilica’s twin towers were completed by the architect John Ostell. The western tower, nicknamed La Persévérance (Perseverance) and finished in 1841, houses the great bell christened “Jean-Baptiste,” weighing 11 tons (11,000 kilograms or 24,000 pounds). The eastern tower, nicknamed La Tempérance (Temperance), was completed in 1843 and houses a carillon of 10 bells.

A new chapel In 1889, Curé Léon-Alfred Sentenne commissioned the architects Perreault and Mesnard to build a chapel that would accommodate ceremonies for smaller congregations, such as marriages and funerals. Named the Chapel of Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur (Our Lady of the Sacred Heart) and consecrated on December 8, 1891, the date of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, it was built in Gothic Revival style with a wealth of sculptural motifs.

Admittance was $5 each.

I'm not religious but I find old churches interesting ... and this one is beautiful.

Dunn's Famous, Montreal, QC

Montreal is famous for its smoked meat sandwiches so Gord and I had lunch today at Dunn's on rue Metcalfe (at rue St. Catherine O).

Myer Dunn founded Dunn's Famous Restaurant in 1927. Due to his unique recipes and high quality standards, Dunn's Famous quickly became a local institution for Montrealers and visitors alike.  His grandson now runs Dunn's.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

McKibbin's Irish Pub, Montreal, QC

Gord and I had supper tonight at McKibbin's Irish Pub.

It's a cute spot.

Gord ordered the Belfast Chicken Wings with no sauce.  The wings were HUGE and they were delicious (I had one).

Dieu du Ciel, Montreal, QC

Gord's a big fan of craft beer so we went to Dieu du Ciel for a few pints of beer.

They brew some of their beers onsite but most are brewed at their other location in St. Jerome.

Mount Royal, Montreal, QC

Gord and I climbed to the top of Mount Royal this afternoon.

The jewel of Montreal’s city parks is, without question, Mount Royal. This 200-hectare park occupies part of the mountain that lies in the midst of Montreal island, and includes the highest spot in the city (234m). In the 1860s, mass cutting of trees on the mountain for firewood outraged the populace and led to the area’s designation as a park in 1876. It was originally landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted, perhaps best known for New York City’s Central Park, although not all his proposed plans for Mount Royal were eventually carried out.

The lookout facing over downtown towards the river was first built in 1906 and is now officially known as the Belvédère Kondiaronk, named for the Huron chief who signed a major peace accord with the French regime in 1701. 

Mount Royal is where Montrealers go to get a breath of air on a hot day, to cross-country ski without leaving the city, to walk off a hangover or a bad mood, to picnic, to jog, to ice skate, to look out over the city, rest their eyes on the horizon and dream.

Peel Pub, Montreal, QC

Gord and I had lunch today at the Peel Pub.

Gord ordered a Meat Lovers pizza.  He said it was good and he'd get it again.

I ordered a BBQ Bacon Burger with mashed potatoes.  It was delicious and I'd get it again!

The Montréal Tower, Montréal, QC

It was a bright sunny day today and Gord and I took the metro (subway) to the Montréal Tower this morning.

At 165 metres, the Montréal Tower is the tallest inclined tower in the world! Its 45-degree angle is awe-inspiring, especially when you consider that the Leaning Tower of Pisa’s tilt is only 5 degrees!

From its summit, visitors can admire the entire Greater Montreal region and up to 80 kilometres of the St. Lawrence River valley. A breathtaking panorama, it has been awarded a three-star rating - the highest available - by the renowned Michelin Guide!

A common question from visitors is how can a structure with an incline as dramatic as the Montreal Tower stand?

The answer to this riddle lies in mass ratio: the top of the tower has a mass of 8,000 tonnes which is permanently attached to the infrastructure and the solid concrete base buried ten metres below ground level. This base has a mass of 145,000 tonnes, or the equivalent of three aircraft carriers!

Visitors can reach the top of the Montréal Tower on a mesmerizing climb in a glass-encased funicular that holds up to 76 passengers.

The funicular is the only one in the world that operates on a curved structure. It has a hydraulic system that allows the cabin to remain horizontal during the two-minute ride to the top.

Time to get on the funicular that will take us to the top!