June 3, 2019

Montreal, Canada: Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel + Underground City; hotel review + things to do


Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel  900 Rene Levesque Blvd. W, (866) 540-4483, (514) 861-3511.  950 rooms; 21 stories.  Pool; full-service spa; exercise room.

exterior of Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada
exterior of Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada


Opened in 1958, this was one of the first hotels in North America with escalators, centralized air conditioning, and direct dial telephones in each room.  It is located conveniently adjacent to the train station.  In 1969, the hotel shot to superstardom when Yoko Ono and John Lennon stayed here on their honeymoon in suite 1472.  Their “bed-in for peace” lasted two weeks, and during this time they composed and recorded “Give Peace a Chance.”  And now it is possible for guests to book this suite!  The Marche Artisans gift shop purveys items from local makers as well as food treats.  Offering low-key luxury, this hotel remains the largest in the city and offers an entrance that was the first link into the Underground City.

lobby of Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada
lobby of Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada


Marche Artisans gift shop at Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada
Marche Artisans gift shop at Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada



Underground City  Montreal's underground pedestrian network extends for about 20 miles and is the world’s largest.  It connects shopping centers, performing arts venues, and other buildings, but also has shops lining its tunnel passages.  The entrances are in different areas of the city, and some sections are connected by subway (so the tunnel is not continuous; it has lapses).  And though the network is not always underground, it is always indoors, and it is especially popular in summer, when it is air-conditioned, and in winter, when it is heated.

Information Map at Underground City in Montreal, Canada
Information Map at Underground City in Montreal, Canada

shop in Underground City in Montreal, Canada
shop in Underground City in Montreal, Canada


entrance/exit in Underground City in Montreal, Canada
entrance/exit in Underground City in Montreal, Canada



More things to do in Montreal.

More things to do in Canada.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


May 30, 2019

Montreal, Canada: Montreal bagels might be the best in the world!


Montreal bagels might be the best in the world!

baskets of fresh bagels at St-Viateur Bagel in Plateau area of Montreal, Canada
baskets of fresh bagels at St-Viateur Bagel in Plateau area of Montreal, Canada


Montreal bagels are boiled in honey-infused water before they are baked, making them much sweeter than their famous NYC counterparts.  It seems to be generally agreed that the two best places in Montreal for bagels are these two places, which are positioned quite close to each other.


St-Viateur Bagel  263 Saint Viateur Ouest, Plateau Mont-Royal/Mile End, (514) 276-8044.  Open 24/7.

exterior of St-Viateur Bagel in Plateau area of Montreal, Canada
exterior of St-Viateur Bagel in Plateau area of Montreal, Canada

Serving bagels warm from the oven since 1957, the sesame here is the hands-down favorite.  I became an immediate fan, and would even go to say that it might be the best bagel I’ve ever eaten.  Who wouldn’t be won over by eating one of these warm-from-the-oven bagels that is  completely covered with fragrant little sesame seeds on the top and the bottom.  More St-Viateur Bagel  outlets and several cafes are scattered around the town.

St-Viateur Bagel & Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

bagels fresh from the oven at St-Viateur Bagel in Plateau area of Montreal, Canada
bagels fresh from the oven at St-Viateur Bagel in Plateau area of Montreal, Canada


purchase counter at St-Viateur Bagel in Plateau area of Montreal, Canada
purchase counter at St-Viateur Bagel in Plateau area of Montreal, Canada


Fairmount Bagel  74 Fairmount Ouest, Plateau Mont-Royal/Mile End, (514) 272-0667.  Open 24/7. 

This nearby bakery seems to have just as many avid fans, so I’m sure you can’t go wrong, but I didn’t get to personally try one of their bagels.  So if you have time, you might want to do a comparison.



●At the airport on my way out of town, I settled for a sesame bagel from the Montreal Bagels, and it was definitely very good.  I was not disappointed.  However, it wasn’t a St-Viateur Bagel and it was lacking some sesame seeds.



More things to do in Montreal.

More things to do in Canada.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers