Ulysses Travel Guides – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Ulysses Travel Guides Montréal 2001 is a comprehensive softbound guidebook concerning the largest French-speaking city in North America, Montréal.
The authors, Francois Rémillard (Exploring) and Benoit Prieur (Portrait) have done a masterful job of writing a succinct guide that appeals to the traveller, tourist and even the locals.
The book divides itself into eight sections pertaining to history, restaurants, accommodations, practical information, exploring, outdoors activities, entertainment and shopping.
What is extremely useful to the traveller is the section dealing with exploring, wherein the guide indicates twenty interesting tours of Montréal. These tours point out over three hundred sites that are graded as either interesting, worth a visit or not to be missed. You can enjoy the tours by either walking, cycling or driving to many hidden treasures of Montréal.
The descriptions of the tours as well as the directions as to where to start and terminate them are very concise and informative.
For example, the tour pertaining to Vieux Montréal (Old Montréal) directs us to begin the tour in the west end of Old Montréal on Rue McGill. We are given a brief history, as it was on Rue McGill that a surrounding wall was located separating the city from Faubourg des Récollets (It is to be noted that Faubourg des Récollets was the first suburb of Montréal).
Points of interest are mentioned to the reader, such as Tour de la Bourse, Square Victoria, Place D’Armes and many more landmarks far too numerous to mention in this review.
The reader will also notice that within the section dealing with the tours there is an index as well as a map indicating all of the attractions to watch for and where feasible, accommodations and restaurants along the way. This simplifies life for the newcomer to Montréal who may want to be close to certain attractions or who wishes to know how far their accommodations are situated from a certain locality.
For anyone not too familiar with the French language, although most Montréalers are bilingual, there exists a brief glossary of practical terms that one can try out when shopping or perhaps stopping someone for directions on the street. Like every other city, people appreciate when you try to speak to them in their native tongue.
Various photos and maps of some of the famous Montréal landmarks are sprinkled throughout the guidebook and even after you have used the book it still will serve as an excellent souvenir and reminder of the great time you had in the Paris of North America.
The authors also present brief essays pertaining to such topics as growing up English in Montreal, cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges (where many famous Montréalers are buried), the pull of Montréal and traditional music in Montréal.
Favourite restaurants are mentioned where you may enjoy a terrace, view, cuisine or a romantic ambiance. The restaurant section also divides these eating establishments into neighbourhoods, price ranges and their main interesting features.
As it is aptly mentioned on the back cover, the travel guide was written by Montréalers for Montréalers and visitors alike.