Montreal, Je T’aime

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Montreal, Canada

Montreal is like a French lover. The affair is always energetic, romantic, far too quick and always leaves me wanting more.

And I always come back.

I briefly lived there twice and for the last 5 years the Montreal Jazz Festival has been the highlight of my summer.

Well almost.

Last year I was getting robbed in Nicaragua. Not really as much fun as wandering the city with a pint in hand, listening to great music.

It was completely out of budget to go this year but I was craving the city.

I had been there so many times I didn’t feel pressured to hit all the tourists spots so I didn’t bring my DSLR or point and shoot.

But I couldn’t resist capturing the details on my new iPod Touch. The photos are poor quality but I think captures the spirit of the weekend.

Even though I go for the Montreal Jazz Festival, it’s the small things I find endearing:

Montreal Vietnamese Restaurant

The bahn mi sandwiches in Chinatown to start off the weekend. They have a nice soft bread instead of the crusty bread in Toronto that flakes all over my shirt which someone inevitably teases me about.

On the way to dinner I get distracted again by a group performing. I forget I’m hungry.

montreal graffiti artist

Grafitti is considered performance art with a crowd gathered around.


Sangria is available on every patio.

Walking down the street I am distracted by an impromptu concert.

montreal jazz musicians

Music on the street isn’t limited to guitars, this woman is playing a wash tub.

montreal street light

Green lights on the way to the Montreal Jazz Festival are painted with smiley faces.

I’m already counting the days until we meet again.


Join the Conversation

  1. Michael Figueiredo says:

    I have been wanting to visit Montreal for years. Your description definitely makes me want to go too!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      If I had to recommend one city to visit in Canada it would definitely be Montreal.

  2. Oh, nice! I really want to make it to Montreal sometime for the Jazz festival. When I lived in San Francisco, North Beach (Little Italy) had its jazz festival at the end of July, and it was definitely one of the highlights of my summers in the city.

    Sometimes, like in this case, I really like the look of the iPods grainy quality. Plus, its just so damn convenient.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      The Montreal Jazz Festival makes the rest of them look like backyard jam sessions. They close off the main section of downtown and there are hundreds of free shows, it is really amazing.

  3. Nomadic Samuel says:

    Montreal is easily my favorite city in Canada – Toronto should be very jealous as should Vancouver πŸ˜›

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’d live there in a second if I could, unfortunately my Spanish is now better than my French.

      1. Nomadic Samuel says:

        LOL, I’m in the same boat -my Korean is now better than my French. I didn’t get a lot of opportunities to learn growing up on Vancouver Island. Are you close to fluent now in Spanish?

        1. Ayngelina Author says:

          Oh no, still only conversational. I spent far too much time talking English.

  4. Jeremy Branham says:

    I’ve never been to Montreal but would love to visit one day. In high school, I was one of the few people that took French but never a got a chance to use it until I went to France. Heard a lot of great things about Montreal from others, including Jodi, so want to make it there one day.

  5. Christine says:

    Haven’t been there yet, but it’s been high on my list! When my mom was a high school French teacher, she spent her summers working there and said it’s absolutely gorgeous! I think I’d have a bit of a tough time understanding the accent, but would love to hear a bit of French in North America as well πŸ™‚

  6. The Montreal Jazz Festival is legendary and like Michael I have always wanted to go. That and the Monterey or New Orleans Jazz Festival are at the top of my list.

  7. Eileen Ludwig says:

    Never have made it to Montreal and I love French anything. Nice tour guide through the city and stopping for musicians is my way to travel. Thanks for the tour.

  8. Camels & Chocolate says:

    Um, I was totally there during Jazz Fest this year! I hope we didn’t, literally, cross paths and not know it. That would just be sad!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      That is incredibly sad! Next year?

  9. Mark Wiens says:

    That looks like a lot of fun and with a bahn mi sandwich in hand, it can’t get much better! The wall of graffiti that guy is painting is incredible!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I get one every year from the same place, it is delicious.

  10. I could listen to street performers all day Ayngelina. I just love their music and somehow I think you are really listening to the soul of a city or country when you listen to their art! Even better if they have a CD of their music for sale, they are often better memories than a photo for me.
    Ahhh, that sangria looks good too.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      The woman was a great blue grass singer and even though not an official performer she was a highlight of the festival.

  11. I have only ever heard positive reviews about this annual Montreal event. You make it sound like so much fun that one of these summers I’ll have to visit. I love the fact that someone plays a bathtub – now that’s creative.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Every weekend in the Summer there is a great festival and it makes the city so much fun but Jazz Fest is definitely my favourite.

  12. The Travel Chica says:

    Definitely looks like a city I would enjoy.

    The smiley faces on the green lights are a nice touch.

  13. Roy Marvelous | cruisesurfingz says:

    If not for the winters in Montreal, I would live there!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh me too! Well also except for the not being bilingual thing too…

  14. Meg | One Love Meg says:

    I love jazz festivals and this one looks amazing. I dropped the ball on my end and the jazz fest I was wanting to go to is sold out. I guess I will have to press my luck. It doesn’t look like you need a ticket for this event. I need some live music. Inspiration time.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      In Montreal there are hundreds of free events, they outnumber the paid events 3-1, it’s a really special time.

  15. I thought the Brogan house was going to be offering Sangria as well.

  16. I have fallen devastatingly, uncontrollably, overwhelmingly in love with Montreal. I have complete plans to move there short-term over the next year or so. Care to join me?

    You still have to come to St. John’s though. πŸ˜‰

  17. I think these pictures are fantastic on your iPod Touch! Seriously though – I think it captured the personality quite well.

    Although now I’m hankering for a Vietnamese sandwich…

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      They are sooo good.

  18. “Montreal could be the best city in Canada, but don’t tell Toronto that.”

    It IS!

    But don’t tell Vancouver that either πŸ˜‰

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      So true, I can’t decide who is number 2. I lived in Toronto for ten years so I have a soft spot for it but Vancouver is so laid back.

  19. Colleen Friesen says:

    Just found your blog and love it…I agree that Montreal is an amazing city. Everything about it is wonderful, and though I live in Vancouver (which is not too bad:), I still dream of living a year or two in Montreal and studying French.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thanks Colleen! I love Montreal and it really is a wonderful city to live in, although they can pick out that you are English from a mile away and will speak English to you first. But if you go off the island it’s pretty much only French with a lot of people who don’t speak English at all.

  20. The photos look great, give the whole thing a vintage vibe!

  21. Yay I’ve been waiting for you to get back to Canada!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Me too, now I just need to figure out what to write about it!

  22. Raymond @ Man On The Lam says:

    I lived in Montreal for a year and loved it! I also have an extensive collection of washtub music, so this one hit for me… πŸ™‚

  23. Bluegreen Kirk says:

    I’ve been trying to visit Toronto for the past couple of years but looks like Montreal might just give it a run for the money. That sangria looks refreshing!

  24. How fun!! I’m aching to visit Montreal one day, but I shall have to put it off for awhile. Love this little venture of yours and that you really took time to simply soak it all in instead of recording everything for posterity. πŸ™‚

  25. The shots are awesome!Montreal is really very interesting place and worth seeing it.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’d rate it as one of the best cities in North America for sure.

  26. If Montreal had Vancouver’s geographical location, it’d be *the perfect* city, IMHO. It’s still my favourite city in Canada though. If it hadn’t been for the crazy political instability of the 60s, 70s…and well 90s… it might still be the powerhouse that Toronto is now. But that’s actually one of the things I like so much about it… it feels surprisingly un-big-city-like.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Agreed, Montreal has the arts scene that Toronto has but needs the weather of Vancouver.

  27. Wow, considering you took these with your iPod Touch, I’m impressed. πŸ™‚

  28. You have some beautiful pictures!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thanks, they are easy to take when the city is so wonderful.

  29. Mack Reynolds says:

    i’ve never been to montreal but it sounds like a really fun place. i really liked the photo of the graffiti artist. when i was in australia i made it a point of taking photos of all the good graffiti i saw.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Montreal is a wonderful place and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to travel in North America.

  30. renee@sweetsugarbean says:

    I lived in Montreal in the early/mid ’90s and it really is an amazing city – I had the best time there! Montreal exudes class and beauty and sexy that no other city in Canada can match. Great photographs!

  31. Montreal was the 4th trip I ever I made in my life and I still miss every single moment of it.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I love how you count your trips πŸ™‚

  32. I used to live in Vancouver and it was quite common at gatherings to muse over our jealousy of the awesomeness of Montreal. Now that I’m only an hour away in Tremblant I get to lord it over all my westcoast friends. As for the Jazz festival, Montreal’s is the best I’ve ever been to. I wish they’d coordinate it a little better though and have Mont Tremblant’s right after instead of in August:(

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It is definitely the best and I also think it may be the biggest.

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