Montreal has changed.
Bixi bikes (pictured above) were everywhere to be found. Dedicated bike lanes in the downtown corridors. High-end American shops dominate Rue Sainte-Catherine including this one.
I was in Montreal for a few days on business. There was some time in the evening hours to walk and explore.
I was born in Lachine and I used to spend a lot of time in Montreal although almost forty years ago now. Then I knew the city and my French was strong. Walking around the city it became quite clear to me that I had become a tourist. The sights and sounds were new and different.
I decided to trace the walk from the train station to the old campus of Marianopolis College. I used to take the train from Baie D’Urfe to downtown Montreal and walk up the hill to the college when I was a student at Marianopolis. I was shocked at the hike. It was much farther than I remembered and the climb up Le Mont-Royal was quite demanding. This would have been one heck of a commute for a student. Likely 90 minutes or more from the house to the college.
I walked along Rue Ste-Catherine, Rue Sherbrooke, Rue Ste-Urbain and most of the major downtown streets. The city itself felt alive and vibrant. A surprising amount of English in the area.
Of course, the time in Montreal brought back many memories of my childhood days. Those were challenging years and in many ways I am glad that they are behind me. As I took the train home to Kingston, I reflected on those memories.
Last summer I visited Minneapolis for the first time in ten years, they have a similar bike program: