10 Things That Make Montreal The Most Unique City In Canada
What makes Montreal unlike anyplace else.
Cover photo cred - Paul Eifert
No one can deny that Montreal has a certain culture, vibe, or whatever you want to call it, that is unique to everywhere else in Canada. The people, places, and even weather of Montreal all combine to make a city with a personality that is one of a kind. You could probably list over 100 things that make Montreal different/special but ya aint no one got time for that many lol.
#1. Montreal is an Island
1 of 400 off of the St. Laurence River, Montreal is entirely surrounded by water. Cities in PEI can claim this too, but we're an island ourselves, not just part of a province. Screw NYC, Montreal is the best island around.
#2. Largest Festivals in the World
Montreal is home to many festivals, all of them entirely unique. Three festivals are the largest of their kind in the entire world: Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal International Fireworks Festival, and Francofolie (largest French music festival). No other city on the globe can claim that, literally.
#3 Habitat 67
Created by Israeli–Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, Habitat 67 is a structure unlike any other in the country, or world for that matter. A combination of suburban homes and urban spaces that looks kind of like a bad Tetris game, Habitat 67 is one of the city's most recognizable landmarks.
#4. Montreal is Built on a Mountain
A reason for the city's namesake, Mount Royal is a defining feature of Montreal. The mountain stands above the entire city, offering a great view of the skyline, and will stay that way due to building height restrictions which limit any construction from being higher than Mount Royal.
#5 The Underground City
One of the largest underground networks in the world, Montreal's underground city is a series of subterranean structures and tunnels which offer citizens cool shortcuts and safety from the cold in winter months. You can literally live underground if you wanted to.
#6 Citizens Aren't Afraid to Fight Back
The Montreal population is unique for many reasons, such as our inherent style and party-lifestyle, but it's our willingness to cry out against injustices that make Montrealers unique among all Canadians. Brave and unafraid to battle oppression, Montrealers are willing to fight for what they believe to be right.
#7 Massive Student Population
Montreal is home to 4 universities (5 including Sherbrooke), many Cegeps, colleges, secondary schools, and even circus schools. With so many schools, the city is always alive with youth and filled with students from around the world. Plus, Frosh, which is good and bad, but still awesome.
#8 The Metro System
Okay, so Montreal's metro system is known to shut down at times, but it still is one of the best in Canada. Officially, Montreal's metro is Canada's busiest subway system, North America's third busiest in total daily passenger usage, built on rubber tires (making it very quiet), and the city hosts one of North America's largest urban rapid transit schemes. We may bitch about buses being late and random metro closures, but the city would be lost without it.
#9 Things to do in Every Season
Summer and Spring in Montreal are beautiful and crazy, with tons of festivals, events, and nearly everyone outside drinking in parks. Unlike other cities, however, Montreal still rocks during every other season. Fall is beautiful and has festivals of its own (POP, Nouveau Film) and winter is awesome for Igloofest and all the fun snow-sports available throughout Montreal. Montreal never shuts down, no matter the season.
#10 A Enormous Art and Graffiti Culture
Montreal loves its artist, and the city doesn't play favourites. Unlike other municipalities that discourage graffiti and street art, Montreal celebrates all aspects of art culture. The many murals and graffiti works throughout the city are a testament to this.
Bonus: You can get Poutine ANYWHERE
Poutine is a Quebec thing, but nowhere in the province does it like Montreal. You can go for the grease and hit up Belle Provence, get mad toppings at La Banquise, or get super fancy at Au Pied de Cochons.
Did we forget a crucial reason why Montreal is one of a kind? Tell us so in the comments below!
For more on the magic of Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte