In this column, I usually hate on Montreal. Not as a whole, but specific aspects of the city that really piss me off. But I thought that in the spirit of the holidays, I would give Montreal the respect it deserves. Yes, I hate the price of transportation and the fact that I can't jaywalk without getting ticketed makes my blood boil, but Montreal is a great city and there are lots of reasons to love it. We've already gone over traditional reasons why people tend to love Montreal. The food, the bilingualism, the party scene. But that's only part of the magic. Montreal is an understated city with lots of subtle beauties and they deserve to be acknowledged and appreciated.
1. Amazing architecture
Okay, I know we've already written about this, but it needs to be said again: Montreal is a beautiful place. The traditional architecture of Old Port with its cobblestone streets transport you back in time, while the Plateau and Mile End apartment buildings, duplexes, and triplexes have a beautiful individuality. Not to mention the amazing staircases that every house in the Plateau has.
2. Passion for sports
Montrealers love their Habs. Since the days of the Original Six in the NHL and through the golden era, the Canadiens de Montreal have been an integral part of this city's culture. Even now, when the team hasn't won the Stanley Cup in a decade, people still love their team. Now, if only Montreal could bring back the Expos and set up an NBA team, then it would be a great sports city.
3. Student city
This city is crawling with students. Montreal is ranked the 9th best student city according to QS Top Universities, just behind Boston and Hong Kong (Paris, France is number one). This young atmosphere accounts for the energy of this city and the renowned nightlife in Montreal.
4. Cheap Rent
Not only are the apartments beautiful inside and out, they're dirt cheap! According to Numbeo, a 3 bedroom apartment in downtown Montreal will cost you about $1,550/month, which comes out to $516.67/month per person. The same 3 bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto will cost you $917/month per person and in Vancouver it's $967/month per person. Conclusion: Montreal is a helluva lot cheaper for a helluva better time.
Call it hipster, progressive, or whatever else you want, Montreal style is off the charts. Our residents can rock a classic suit with a modern twist or push the envelope with a hip style you won't see anywhere else in the country. Boutiques like Les Étouffes and Off the Hook celebrate Montreal's eclectic street fashion.
6. We have a freaking mountain in the middle of the island
Now that's epic. Even more epic, it was designed by the great Frederick Law Olmsted, the original don of landscape architecture who also designed Central Park in New York City. You can hike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski up the mountain. You can sled down or ice skate on Beaver Lake. No matter how you experience the mountain, you're going to have a good time. You get to escape the city without spending the time and money it would take to get off the island.
You're not perfect, Montreal but that's fine, you're far better than average. Keep it real and happy holidays y'all.
The Angry Anglo
Do you love these things about Montreal? What did I miss on my list. Let me know in the comments below. I know you will.