i Heart Montreal

Our regular author is sady incapacitated due to an IRI injury (ouch!), I've offered to step back into the blogosphere after many years absence for a quick post...

Four and a half years ago I left New Brunswick to move to Toronto and I’ve never looked back. In February of this year, work asked me to “temporarily relocate” to Montreal for a year or so. Six months into the relo, I’m still pretty homesick for my life in Toronto and try to get back several times a month.

But I have to admit, it’s not all bad being in Montreal. Aside from the obvious perks of having a house in downtown Toronto and a beautiful pied-de-terre in a trendy Montreal neighborhood (the Plateau), Montreal has a lot more to offer than just a second closet far from the judging eyes of my boyfriend (Is that new? Did you need another pair of shoes?).

A few months ago I discovered that underneath the mounds snow in my backyard that I had not only a lovely lilac bush (favorite flower), but a beautiful magnolia tree in the middle of my private, fenced-in backyard. Then I started to spend some time discovering my neighborhood and found that it is full of adorable clothing stores and great restaurants (hello, five-course gourmet meal + BYO wine + no corking fee = $50. No, really). I slowly started to warm to the city.

And then the weather really warmed up and festival season was upon us. It was Nuit Blanche in my neighborhood and Grand Prix Weekend (Old Port & downtown) and I talked my boyfriend into spending the weekend walking the streets of the city. We loved it.

Then the mega festivals started – the Jazz Festival (largest in the world apparently) where me and tens of thousands of people crowded the Saint Catherine street stage to watch the Leonard Cohen tribute show (free!). Next was the Just for Laughs festival, where I saw the “South Park Live” show featuring Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Hilarious. Amazing.

Each week, although I miss Toronto no less, I’m definitely enjoying Montreal much more. Be it dinner and drinks at great restaurants (for half the cost of the same in Toronto), experiencing the fantastic indie music scene (can you believe that Radiohead tix in Montreal are not yet sold out?), or going to cool events like the Fantasia Film Festival (Asian films) or DJ Battles (as also seen at the Toronto Press Club this weekend) – Montreal is growing on me.

I suspect that once the summer fades away and snow is again on the ground, I’ll be ever more homesick and looking forward to moving my life back home to Toronto. But I doubt anyone will accuse me of not appreciating the city…

Author bio:
Brown Eyed Girl is a lapsed blogger that spends her time bouncing between cities, going to shows and films and pestering friends and family with invites to visit Montreal.

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJuly 30, 2008

    Brown Eyed Girl! We've missed you!!