22 PCMA CONVENE JULY 2014 PCMA.ORG
Almost every memorable city is defined by its neighborhoods, and Montreal is no exception.
But the city’s famous multiculturalism —
it was colonized by both the English and
the French, and is officially a bilingual
city — has helped give its neighborhoods
particularly distinctive personalities.
And if it seems easy to enjoy your-
self in Montreal, that may be because
maintaining a high quality of life is city
policy. As a UNESCO City of Design,
Montreal has set out to become “one of
the most attractive cities in the world,”
according to a document outlining the
plan. “Quality of life is a critical factor
in the success of cities.”
During a recent press trip to Mon-
treal, sponsored by Tourisme Montréal,
we spent most of our days at C2MTL,
a business and creativity conference.
(Look for more about C2MTL next
month.) That left our nights free to
experience the joie de vivre and the
cuisine that the city has become known
for. On three nights, we visited three
GRI FFI N TO WN In Griffintown, a former industrial area, an ambitious plan
to create new housing and jump-start
and nurture creative and innovative
businesses is under way. Renovation or
new construction seems to be occurring on nearly every block — the ALT
Hotel, where we stayed, is Griffintown’s
first and only hotel, having just opened
in May. The modern hotel’s strategy
could be described as selective luxury:
Each guest room is compact but furnished with Egyptian-cotton bedding
and a goose-down duvet, free Wi-Fi, an
ergonomic workstation, and one perfect armchair. There is no room service,
but a selection of pastries and fruit is
available in the lobby in the morning.
The hotel also offers 4,500 square feet
of high-tech meeting space, plus a terrace, which can accommodate groups
of up to 150.
CONVENE ON SITE
Tastes of Montreal
Top 5 Rubyisms
There’s really no such thing as
happy hour in Montreal, according to tour guide Ruby Roy — and
that’s not because Montrealers
aren’t fond of wine and beer and
hanging out together in sidewalk
cafés. It doesn’t exist, Roy said,
“because we’re already happy.”
An expert on neighborhoods,
cuisines, architecture, and much
more, Roy gave members of our
press trip a highly personal tour
around her much-loved hometown. Along the way, she shared
her top five “Rubyisms” — things
she thinks everyone should know
1 Hockey is the city’s religion
—the local team, the Canadiens, is
nicknamed “the Habs.”
2 Montrealers are passionate
about food and drink; no other
city spends a bigger percentage
of its income on being well fed.
The Quebec province is also one
of the largest purchasers of red
wine in the world.
3 Montreal is the No. 1 city
for bicycling and cyclists in
the world — the city launched
the first public bicycle-sharing
system, “Bixi,” in 2009.
4 The city, where Cirque de
Soleil was founded and is based,
loves and supports the arts.
5 No other city dances as much
as the residents of Montreal,
where dance-studio rental is subsidized by the government.