My favorite multicolor places to visit in the multilingual city of Montréal.
Montreal, Québec is one of my favorite places in the world and my adopted home. I didn't know where to start when it came to writing about Montreal: the language? the culture? the cafés? the cold? I settled on the colors. Montréal is a fiercely design-conscious city with touches of beauty and whimsy almost everywhere you look. Here are a few of the colorful places in Montréal that fill me with joy.
LE PALAIS DES CONGRES: Welcome to my favorite place in the world: a convention center. I visit this colorful beauty every time I'm in the city. Walking in the entrance feels like walking through a rainbow. If you're sneaky enough, you can even head up a flight of stairs to get a glimpse of the rainbow windows' reflection. If you're not sneaky enough, you'll be kindly asked to leave — speaking from experience.
If the multicolor windows aren't enough, the building also features this installation by Claude Cormier + associés. The Lipstick Forest features neon pink life-size indoor tree sculptures. Because, pourquoi pas?
Pass the rainbow windows and lipstick forest and you'll run into the entrance for the Place-d’Armes métro station on the orange line. I recommend cutting through the Palais des Congrès in the biting Montreal winters — every block you can walk in the heated indoors counts!
The Lionel-Groulx métro station is a bit outside of the main drag, but worth a detour. Or, if you're taking the 747 bus from the airport (which you should do — don't pay for a cab onto the island. More on that in a future post.), the bus will spit you out here.
For more beautiful views of the Montéal métro check out two of my favorites: AJ Korkidakis' looping cinemagraphs:
Chris M. Forsyth's photography project featuring the Montréal Metro:
NOTRE DAME DE MONTREAL
Montréal's Notre Dame cathedral is a must-see. Yes, even if you've seen 12 Notre Dame de [whatever city] in your life. Its unassuming exterior (well, as unassuming as a cathedral can be) opens onto a colorful interior as beautiful in the day as it is at night.
I recently experienced Aura, a laser light and sound show at the Notre Dame basilica. It. Was. Stunning. It takes a lot to get me to spend a Saturday night in a church. This experience was worth it. P.S. If you're visiting the church, I recommend just paying the entrance fee and exploring on your own instead of paying for the guided tour.
Les Boules du Village
If you want to catch this colorful sight along Montreal's Ste Catherine's Street it sounds like 2019 might be your last chance. The colorful balls that span a full kilometer in Montréal's quartier gai are one of the happiest sights I've ever seen. I especially liked 2018's rainbow edition which strayed from the all-pink balls of years past.
Le Plateau Montréal's Plateau neighborhood is home to some of the most charming buildings you'll ever see (not to mention great shopping, eating, and drinking). You can stroll just about anywhere on le plateau and you'll pass charming brownstones with the quintessential Montréal external spiral staircases and splashes of bright, happy colors. Here are a few of my favorites.