15 Facts You Didn’t Know About Montreal

Canada’s second-largest city and the cultural capital of Quebec, Montreal is a vibrant city that warrants a visit no matter who you are. Teeming with the best food, people, culture, and nightlife, Montreal will make you fall in love instantly. Check out these 15 facts about “The City of Saints” that will amaze you!

  1. If you are a foodie, you will be pleased to know that Montreal has the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada. While you’re there you have to try some Montreal classics like poutine, a Montreal style bagel, and a smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen.
  2. After Paris, Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world. Don’t worry if you can’t speak French though as most Montrealers are bilingual. In fact, many downtown shopkeepers will greet you with a “Bonjour, Hi”.
  3. Too hot or too cold? Just head to RÉSO, also known as the Underground City which is a 20-mile underground labyrinth of tunnels full of shopping malls, banks, museums, and food courts.
  4. Long before Google, three students from Montreal created the world’s first search engine called “Archie”. Sadly, “Archie it” doesn’t sound quite as good.
  5. The famous “Give Peace a Chance” song by John Lennon and Yoko Ono was recorded in Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel during their second “bed-in” for peace.
  6. If you’ve ever wondered why Montreal doesn’t have gigantic skyscrapers, it’s because no building is allowed to be taller than Mount Royal which is 233 meters high. Incidentally, that’s where Montreal gets its name from.
  7. Montreal’s flag used to have five symbols: the heraldic cross to represent Christian principles, the shamrock for the Irish, the fleur-de-lis for the French, the Lancastrian rose for the English and the thistle for the Scottish. In 2017, a sixth symbol, a white pine was added to the flag to represent the original indigenous population called the Iroquois.
  8. For a truly unique dining experience in Montreal, try the O.Noir restaurant where you can dine in complete darkness! The visually impaired staff make the experience extra special.
  9. If you love architecture, it’s worth noting that Montreal is officially a UNESCO city of Design. Old Montreal and the Old Port are particularly stunning!
  10. Any Walking Dead fans here? The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies in Montreal is, as you guessed, a school dedicated to horror movies. They have two semesters with courses that include topics like reality horror, zombies in horror, and Shakespeare in horror.
  11. Do you believe in aliens? Well, you just might after you read about the “Place Bonaventure Incident”. On November 7th, 1990, a woman reported seeing strange lights coming from a circular object when she was on the roof of the Place Bonaventure hotel. Apparently, it stood there motionless for almost 3 hours! What makes it more credible is that more than 30 people including journalists, policemen, and scientists saw the same thing and there’s photographic evidence as well. Spooky!
  12. If you’re in the mood for something “out there”, head to the Le musée de l’absurde or the Museum of the Absurd. It’s a pop-up museum that has an ever-changing collection of weird posters, objects, and collages that are bound to make you giggle.
  13. In 1998, Montreal became the sister city of Hiroshima to promote peace and develop a relationship between the two cities.
  14. There’s evidence that the CIA conducted mind control experiments at the Allen Memorial Institute in Montreal from 1957 to 1964. While most of the records were (obviously) destroyed in 1973, some records were found in 1977. Say, what?!
  15. The metro network in Montreal actually has no heating system! This may sound unbelievable given how cold it can get during winters but other than the STM staff areas and ticket booths, the network is heated by the movement of trains, the passengers’ body heat and the heat that comes from nearby buildings. You’ve got to love science!

 

 

 

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