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I think I got it!

New CIty, New York
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I think I got it!

Thank you ALL for the awesome help planning my upcoming trip to Montreal.

I would like to send a VERY hearty shout-out to Montreal_Boy. He has been truly wonderful, answering my questions, tweaking my plans and offering really wonderful suggestions.

Any other suggestions based on itinerary below?

Driving from NY, Sunday, March 24th - Sunday, March 31st.

Family of 5 - 3 daughters (17, 15, 13), visiting McGill. Excellent eaters but one with significant food allergies (thus some of the restaurant choices).

Here goes:

Drive up on Sunday, hope to be there before dinner. Staying at Le Square Phillips Hotel & Suites. Got a great deal.

MONDAY - McGill, McGill, McGill. Tour in the morn, admissions office so my daughter can cry and tell them it is her number 1 choice of school & they have to let her in :). (she has the grades+).

TUESDAY - Fitz & Follwell food tour. All day. Private tour. Expensive, but food for a whole day for 5 people is $$ anyway. Plus, they will take us around the whole city, history, food, etc. I spoke to the owner and he was AMAZING when discussing the food allergy issue. Evening at Eaton Centre Mall for shopping, dinner (ha ha, we'll see if we have any room left), hanging out.

WEDNESDAY - Big breakfast at hotel (included, btw), then Olympic Stadium, Biodome, Insectarium (we'll see) and Botanical Gardens. Then 2:30 afternoon tea at Nocochi. Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, walking, shopping, Birks (too much fish for tea, but we like to look at sparkly things), Ice skating at Atrium 1000 (2-for 1 on Wednesdays for tourists), late dinner at Frite Alors. (ironic counterpoint to afternoon tea).

THURSDAY - True sightseeing day: Palais de Congres, Montreal World Trade Centre, Square Victoria, lunch at Olive & Gourmando, Notre Dame Basilica, Place d'Armes, Bank of Montreal Museum, Caleche (we'll need to rest by then), Bonsecours Market, Notre-Dame-de-Bonsicours Chapel, Place Jacque-Cartier, Montreal City Hall, Champs-de-Mars, Crash at hotel. Dinner at Casa Tapas, dessert at Juliette & Chocolate.

FRIDAY - Pointe-a-Calliere Museum. This is the first day of The Beatles exhibit. Lunch at Porto Mar? or Garde Manger? Metro to Holt Renfrew to start our shopping, onto Ogilvy's, Simon's, The Bay - and stuff in between. Bonaparte for dinner (I have reservations).

SATURDAY - ater breakfast, we're going to check out of the hotel, head out of town, stop at Stanley's Sugar Shack on our way to Ottawa. Check in at the Fairmont (the girls will love that it's a castle), wander around Ottawa. No dinner plans yet. Ideas?

SUNDAY - big brunch at hotel before heading home.

MONDAY - collapse after a long, busy, fun week!

SE Ontario
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1. Re: I think I got it!

Why would you go to the Palais des Congres? It's a convention centre.

For an interesting look at Canadian history you should probably include the McCord Museum. It's directly across the street from McGill ... a nice little cafe for lunch is inside.


Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: I think I got it!

You may want to try Casse-Croute La Banquise, it has the best poutine I've ever had.....just be prepared to wait a bit, it's a hot spot in Montreal....

Montreal, Canada
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3. Re: I think I got it!

Zero-8 has none of the 8 of 9 top allergens in the restaurant. Pintxo and Laloux are both very good with following food restrictions and pointing out what what which allergens or making a special plate without an allergen, including gluten-free.

Without knowing the allergies, I would be cautious about places like La Banquise and Frits Alors, which have small kitchens and may not be able to handle small orders.

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4. Re: I think I got it!

Ottawa dinner: byward-market.com/directory/restaurants.htm

Byward Market...

Montreal, Quebec
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5. Re: I think I got it!

The Palais de Congres and the world trade center aren't exactly sights to see. The former is just a more or less empty convention centre, the latter just an office building. The same goes for Marche Bonsecours, it's really just a few tourist shops inside the bulding (which is a pity since it's a beautiful wbuilding in a great location). It's nice to look at from the outside but i doubt you'll spend more than 5 minutes there.

If you have the time, head to Marche Jean Talon or Marche Atwater, the city's two indoor/outdoor markets. Especially if the weather is nice, since you can grab some fresh local cheeses and produce and picnic.

Also if you're having lunch at Garde Manger make sure you make a reso asap..as in yesterday. Expect not cheap food but it's veeery good, namely the seafood (get the jerk crabs legs...spicy as all hell but so ridiculously good).

Most importantly, sicne you mentioned in your psot that its hard to figure out where things are in relation to eachother, make sure you take a walk (or drive) up to the top of Mount Royal. There is an amazing lookout where you can see all of downtown, Old Montreal and even Nun's Island (as well as the Laurentian mountains) as well as all of McGill campus. If your daughter gets in, she'll spend a lot of time on the mountain and it'll also be a great way to show her how the school is laid out.

have fun

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6. Re: I think I got it!

Totally agree with DB1987. Don't bother with buildings...head over to Marche Jean Talon or Marche Atwater...or both! We go each year and always hit up both markets. It's a joy to see such a wonderful marketplace as we have nothing like it in NJ. Granted, the outdoor area (a/k/a flowers galore!) won't be open, but the indoor market is a sight to behold.

At least go to one of them!

New CIty, New York
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7. Re: I think I got it!

Let me clarify - the buildings are just to walk past and see what they are - not true destinations.

During our Fitz & Follwell tour we are going to either Marche Jean Talon or Marche Atwater - part of the tour. That was something I made sure was there. :)

THanks for the reminder about Mont-Royal. It was on my itinerary - not sure where it went? I think as I was adding things, I must have deleted that. Definately going.

Destination Expert
for Montreal
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8. Re: I think I got it!

Actually, I particularly like the Palais des congrès for its hugely long promenade, and the World Trade Center is beautiful inside, too -- especially given that it's from the 1990s and still looks fantastic. It was billed as a "horizontal skyscraper" and its furniture and signage has a slight steampunk flavour to it, plus the building hosts a piece of the Berlin wall, a nice reflecting pool, and an 18th-century statue of Amphitritis, wife of Poseidon, from Italy (we didn't have no statues like that here at the time :) Close by is an authentic Parisian métro entrance to Square Victoria, too. As well, the CDP building there has an impressive atrium, and at night the Place Riopelle park's sculpture is very nice and takes half an hour, with steam starting at the end of the park, slowly making its way to the fountain, then fire, then water, and then it stops and starts again.

As well, across the street from the World Trade Centre on Saint-Jacques is the Royal Bank Building with its very impressive church-like interior and indeed, everything is grandiose -- gold money pieces around the door, oversized windows, oversized bars covering them, oversized cut stone. All to send the message that "we're big, we're powerful, your money is safe with us" and it's Canada's largest bank so it seems to work.

The tunnel at the east of the the World Trade Centre that leads to the Palais des congrès has a model of the Pointe-à-callières museum in it, and I actually prefer the underground passageways in this part -- they're funded publicly, not privately, so instead of advertising and stores you have art, and the new tunnels are quite science-fictiony zen-like.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: I think I got it!

It looks like you have planned a great trip to Montreal. I see you are all excellent eaters and food is a focus, as it was for my wife and me when we were recently there. We have compiled a list of the best traditional Montreal foods for our website that may also be useful if you find you have some meals to find.


A bunch are in Mile End, where we stayed and that is a great neighborhood to explore as well. Definitely use the bike system because parking can be tough. Enjoy!

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10. Re: I think I got it!

Who did you book your accomodation through - I would also like to see if I can score a deal! thank you in advance for your help