In our modern, fast-paced environment where technology allows limitless possibilities to occur, it is often up to us to decide where to live. Do we prefer Vancouver’s laid-back attitude, sandy beaches and craggy mountains? Are we more at ease with the plains of Saskatchewan? Or do we want to live in Montreal?
With a population of over 4 million, Montreal can justifiably be called a booming city these days. Although Toronto is still recognized as the capital of commerce and business, Montreal is hailed as an urban center that distinguishes itself for the attention it pays to design, architecture, artistic flare and culture. After all, Montreal was cited as “Canada’s Cultural Capital” by Monocle Magazine and was celebrated as a UNESCO “City of Design”.
Thanks to its small yet thriving ethnic neighbourhoods including China Town, Little Italy and Little Portugal, Montreal is a haven for all things cultural. You can easily find restaurants dishing up steaming bowls of Chow mein, platters of Arancini, or dishes of Shish taouk. The distinctly European nature of the Old Port coupled with the Parisian style of streets in the Outremont, Rosemont and downtown section make Montreal all the more enticing to North Americans who are tired of Tim Hortons and strip malls.
Although Montreal’s winters are known to be harsh and grueling, the city is transformed into a dynamic hotspot in the summers. Street festivals like Just for Laughs, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Montreal World Film Festival, as well as the Montreal Fireworks Festival are major events that lure in people from all walks of life.
In retrospect, it is tempting to argue that one of Montreal’s biggest assets remains its unfailing dedication to the arts. Nightclubs like Muzique, Stereo After Hours and Le Rouge Bar are always buzzing with activity. Institutions like McGill University and Place des Arts are always staging theatrical performances or hosting open-mike poetry readings. In short, there’s something for everyone in this oasis of culture. All you have to do is walk down the street to chance upon some event or another. Sounds good, doesn’t it?