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Lawrence River, draining the Great Lakes , provided a natural waterway and transportation corridor to the heart of the North American continent.

Its location at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers made it an important staging centre for a fur trade to the west and north as far as the Hudson Bay. While the Lachine Rapids on the St. Lawrence just west of the city prohibited some larger vessels from continuing upriver, fur traders were nevertheless able to follow the river to the Great Lakes and, via Lake Michigan , on to the largest river system in North America—the Mississippi - Missouri rivers. The Lachine Canal National Historic Site preserves the path of the ship canal at the southern end of Montreal Island that was used to bypass the rapids until the seaway was constructed.

The need for defense was a major influence in siting Montreal Ville-Marie on Montreal Island, near the confluence of the Ottawa and St.

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The city is built around and up Mont Royal Mount Royal , which rises to feet metres. Montreal has a continental climate, but its proximity to the Great Lakes, in combination with prevailing westerly winds, modifies temperatures for both winter and summer. The prevailing winds and Great Lakes also influence precipitation , which is relatively even year-round amounting to approximately 41 inches 1, mm annually.

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In winter, though, that precipitation is mainly in the form of snow, and totals often exceed 7 feet about 2. A memorable ice storm in took a number of lives, made travel on roads impossible, and caused major damage to hydroelectric transmission lines and trees. The rapid economic growth of Montreal following World War II was accompanied by administrators intent upon grand designs. Expo 67 Man and His World involved massive construction and was located on two islands in the St.

Another significant change to the cityscape was Place Ville-Marie , which comprises a cruciform building more than 40 stories tall and many underground shops, restaurants, and theatres, linked to which are nearby skyscrapers with similar underground complexes. While the Place Ville-Marie remained an important landmark, taller buildings were constructed at the end of the s.

The markets are a favorite stop for locals on Saturday mornings for a boule of coffee and a flaky croissant. Peter's in Rome. The massive statues represent the patron saints of the 13 parishes of Montreal in the 19th century and were all sculpted by Olindo Gratton between and The McCord Museum has an outstanding collection of exhibits on Canada's social history, especially native peoples. Its collections of costumes, clothing, accessories, quilts, and other hand-made textiles total more than 20, objects and include works by Montreal fashion designers.

More than a thousand pieces of furniture, silver, ceramics, glass, and items related to food and household uses, as well as toys, sports equipment, and folk art lend color and domestic detail to the picture of early Canadian life.

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Artifacts and arts of the First Nations peoples include clothing and accessories, hunting and fishing equipment, weapons of war, domestic implements, ceremonial items, and art, as well as archaeological finds from early aboriginal cultures. In the little streets around the tree-shaded square, there are still a few attractive Victorian houses. Some now house pleasant restaurants. At the square's eastern edge and running parallel to St.

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Laurent, Rue St. At one end, St. Lawrence looking for a route to China in French, "la Chine". The It is many years, however, since it was last used for shipping and nowadays, it forms part of a park and offers plenty of opportunities for charming trips along the canal banks. A bike path borders its entire length, through an open green space, and you can also cruise the canal by boat. This colorful neighborhood dates from the late s, when many of the Chinese laborers, who originally came to work in the mines and build the railroad, moved into the cities in search of a better life.

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Today's Chinatown is filled with Asian restaurants and shops, no longer exclusively Chinese, but a place where locals and tourists go to enjoy a good meal. This area of the city is small enough to explore on foot, so any hotel here is in a good location. Below are some highly-rated hotels in or near this area of Montreal:. Mid-Range Hotels : On the edge of Old Montreal and the financial district, and just a short walk from the famous Notre-Dame Basilica, is the Embassy Suites by Hilton , with a contemporary feel and a variety of rooms and suites.

In the heart of Old Montreal, on what was the city's first public square, the popular Le Petit Hotel offers a mix of old world charm and modern comforts. Budget Hotels : In Chinatown, but within walking distance of both Old Montreal and downtown, is the Travelodge , with small rooms but a convenient location.

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  • North of Chinatown, but also in a good location close to some of the major attractions, is the Hotel l'Abri du Voyageur. This hotel offers a variety of budget rooms at various price points.

    The Chateau de l'Argoat is a boutique hotel with plenty of character and large, comfortable rooms, about a minute walk from Old Montreal. This full-day guided tour takes you through the historic streets and sites of Quebec City and lets you see some of the countryside, including the spectacular Montmorency Falls. From May to October, you can also add on a St. Lawrence River Cruise or just wander through Old Quebec.

    Subscribe online and take advantage of the special fare on one-way rides. Read article. Good Routes Pedal There Read article. Stay up to date All network changes are posted daily. Station Map.

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