Montréal was the departure point for two major explorers: Louis Jolliet, who was born in Québec City and discovered the Mississippi River in 1673, baptizing it the Colbert River; and Cavelier de La Salle, who took possession of Louisiana in 1682 in the name of the King of France.


One of the world’s largest French-speaking cities, with some 1.7 million people (3.8 in the metropolitan region), Montréal is also a melting pot of cultures from the world over—as witnessed by its mosaic of ethnic neighbourhoods and the diversity of its restaurants. An island city that’s open to the world, Montréal is a lively town that’s always ready for a party!

The heart of MontréalLife in the 'hoodAn island in the river
Around the island

Vélo à MontréalUnparalleled family destinations, Montréal’s nature parks offer a wealth of outdoor pursuits winter and summer alike. Among the most popular are Cap-Saint-Jacques and Bois-de-l’Île-Bizard to the west and Pointe-aux-Prairies to the east. Equally worthy of a visit is Île-de-la-Visitation, across from the old quarter of Sault-au-Récollet: a setting dominated by the steeple of one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the city.

 Must-see attractions

Freewheeling adventure

Support à BixiThe island of Montréal boasts an immense bike path network that extends over 560 km (350 mi.). Without a doubt, the two all-time favourite sections are along the Lachine Canal to the Old Port, and the St. Lawrence waterfront path with its spectacular views of the Lachine rapids. The self-serve Bixi bike system, in turn, is increasingly popular as people discover this affordable, practical and enjoyable way of getting round the city.

Discovery destination

Musée de LachineLachine, in the Pôle des rapides, holds a number of little-known gems: its old canal (1825), home to the Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site; its museum partly housed in a 17th-century building; and its sculpture park. On warm summer nights, strollers and sailors alike enjoy the lively restaurants and cafés along the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue locks, a glorious setting between the two lakes of Deux-Montagnes and Saint-Louis.

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