Montreal: The Bilingual City

Historically Montréal, the only de facto bilingual city on the continent, has been torn right in half, the ‘Main’ (Blvd St-Laurent) being the dividing line between the eastend Francophones and the west-side Anglos. Today French pockets dot both sides of the map, a new wave of English-speaking Canadians have taken residence in some formerly French enclaves and thanks to constant waves of immigration, it’s not uncommon for Montréalers to speak not one, or two, but three languages in their daily life. With the new generation concerned more with global issues (namely the environment), language battles have become so passé.

One thing not up for debate is what makes Montréal so irresistible. It’s a secret blend of French-inspired joie de vivre and cosmopolitan dynamism that has come together to foster a flourishing arts scene, an indie rock explosion, a medley of world-renowned boutique hotels, the Plateau’s extraordinary cache of swank eateries and a cool Parisian vibe that pervades every terrasse (patio) in the Quartier Latin. It’s easy to imagine you’ve been transported to a distant locale, where hedonism is the national mandate. Only the stunning vista of a stereotypical North American skyline from Parc du Mont Royal’s Kondiaronk Lookout will ground you.

Read more: Lonely Planet


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