The old port part of old Montreal is a good walk and a chance to see where the big ships would dock to unload their goods. The old buildings and sheds are still there but now they hold exhibits and stores and theaters, restaurants and things that have absolutely nothing to do with shipping and none of it is free. You can rent a horse and buggy or a paddle boat: you can tour the big boats they have moored to the docks, you can take an amphibious boat tour, or a regular boat tour, but you will pay for that as well; you can even get a charter boat if you like and have a lot of dough, but again all of this will cost you.
What is free is the view and it is spectacular and you can take all of the pictures you want for free. There are free music and juggling acts depending on what time you go and guy and gals trying to hock cd’s play for donations. Artists line the walking lanes showing off their stuff for sale and you may watch them draw or look at their works for free.
This is not a nature walk but a blend of the old and new. It is not hard to envision the hustle and bustle of how things might have been down here in earlier years. Just watch as the tourist, the working people of the area and the families out to enjoy a day interreact then magnify it by at least 1000 to account for the loading and unloading of ships and you are there.
I enjoyed looking at the ocean liners and the yachts and the super yachts docked in the harbour; the smell of the river and the children running about plying or paddling boats. I liked looking in towards shore and seeing the old buildings now stores with the new buildings towering over them. The domes of the many big churches are also visible from the port and it was this that drew me out of the port grounds and into the surrounding streets.
Once on the street you may decide to take a horse and buggy tour or just walk like I did. The churches are free to visit but there are tours. They are all beautiful both inside and out. there are places to sit and picnic and when there are performances by local artists this is free to the general public in the main square. they are local entertainers of all sorts, musicians, jugglers actors doing theater in the park. There is a little street called the street of artists where you can view local artists working as well as their finished works for free and buy of course at a reasonable rate.
Where the old market buildings are have been renovated inside and although they still sel things it is shops now, but viewing them from the outside and with a little imagination the smells and the clicking of the horses hoofs could transport you back in time to when the shops were full of produce brought in from the tall ships.
The old hotel nelson is down there as well as a few others and you can get something to eat and drink and rest for a while. there are sao many restaurants down their of every nationality and food type that if you can not find something to eat and drink that yoou like in your price range i would say that you are just not hungry enough and should bring your bagged lunch. (smile)
There was a super yacht moored in amongst the others with all of its bells and whistles so I took a few phoyos of it. I later found out that the Mystere C.I. Was a super Yacht belonging to Soviet-born billionaire Tamir Sapir who was detained in the United States for allegedly having things he shouldn’t have had on his super yacht. To read the story follow the link.
All in all it is a wonderful place to walk and see how things were in the old days of the tall ships. the shops the artists the shows and the old buildings and churches and cobblestone streets make it a worth while to go see on your visit to Montreal. this place is accessible by public transit.