Montrealers feel that they live in one of the most romantic cities in the world. Sure Paris has it’s charms, New York is the Big Apple, and Vancouver doesnt have winter, but Montreal with its two-cheek kiss, its indescribably delicious bagels and year long-long pothole festivals- is our first love. We manage its tangled political realities, its historic (and expensive) world-class expositions and sporting events, and its salt-laden, slush-filled winter boulevards, and we love it all the more for its imperfections. We hosted (and still talk about) Expo 67, the 76 Olympics and the Canadian Formula One. We love our history and our future and find romance in cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and the Cirque du Soleil. It’s not perfect, but frankly, its perfect for us.
Here’s our top 10 most romantic things to do…
1. Anyplace just after snowfall when the air is clean and fresh, the snow is white and the city looks beautiful and crisp.
2. The lingerie department at Lyla on Laurier. Doesn’t romance begin with lingerie?
3. Dinner at Le Filet on Mount Royal – the room is stylized without being cold. The food is innovative without being derivative, and the wines are exquisite.
4. Bicycling or walking along the Lachine Canal to St. Anne de Bellevue and picnicking in the sculpture park by the water.
5. Café au lait on a terrace – any terrace – in April when hardy Montrealers finally decide that although there may still be some snow on the ground, spring is here and it’s time to end our annual hibernation.
6. The Atwater Market – fresh produce, beautiful flowers, engaging vendors -all the sights, sounds, and aromas we love. We especially like the Delices du Marché with their exotic spices, witty repartee, and hand-made chocolates!
7. A late breakfast at Beauty’s – any day of the week – after waking up, in love, and ravenous (for any number of reasons).
8. The look out at the top of Mont Royal – either late at night when the lights are twinkling all over the city or early in the morning when most of the city is still sleeping.
9. Late night jazz at any of our favorite haunts – Upstairs, Jello Bar, Sofa, or Billy Kun.
10. On a snowy evening, just before going out for dinner, one of the most romantic things we can offer is a lovely glass of fine red wine, a private tour of a small vintage poster gallery we know, and the promise of finding a poster you love and can’t live without!