Montreal is one of the oldest and most charming settlements in North America.
Old Montreal is understandably one of the prime tourist attractions for visitors.
Originally, Montreal was an Iroquois settlement named Hochelaga when Jacques Cartier sailed from France in 1535, seeking a waterway to China and Japan.
The actual founding of Montreal occurred in 1642, when it was named Ville Marie, was by Paul Chomedey, who was the sieur de Maisonneuve.
Below, a gallery, one of several fine galleries that feature original art and sculpture in Old Montreal.
Reviewers report that the braised rabbit and salmon are tender, the price reasonable and the service superb.
Le Papillon offers continental service, which is rare in the U.S., except in the most expensive restaurants, but such service is common in Old Montreal.
Le Senateur restaurant is another fine dining establishment in Old Montreal (not shown) that offers exquisite dishes, white linen tablecloths and continental service.
Bonsecours Street above, was laid out in 1665, along with Jacques Cartier, St. Sulpice and a few others.
The building foreground right is the Maison Pierre du Calvert; the red building is the restaurant Maison Pierre du Calvert.
Benjamin Franklin stayed here and sought Calvert's support for troops for the Revolutionary War.
Calvert complied with Franklin's request, but was imprisoned for this.
The inn is now for sale, a tragedy, since this historic site is truly one of the most luxurious hotels and restaurants around.
Brad Pitt and many other celebrities have stayed here.
The Bonsecour church was built over ruins of the first chapel in 1771 and is situated over the ruins of the first chapel built in 1655 and burned in 1754.
This church is commonly called The Sailor's church after sailors made offerings in gratitude to the Virgin Mary for delivering them safely to the port of Montreal.
Below, the Verre de l'Ange looks enticing but reviewers say that the ownership has changed and that the food is not well prepared.
Old Montreal always teems with life.
There is simply no such thing as a bad day in Old Montreal, weather not withstanding.
During inclement weather, tourists and residents alike take to the indoor cafes.
The architecture in this office building seems bombastic by our simpler contemporary tastes, but in its day, this building was an excellent example of the Art deco period.
It also resembles a certain building named "The Architect's" building of the same era and of a similar style.
The Architect's building was destroyed in the 1960s to make way for newer buildings.
Below, tourists enjoy a ride in a horse-drawn caleche.
In Montreal, the caleche has been a tourist attraction for at least five decades.
Recently, advocacy groups have attempted to ban the caleche, because of collisions with automobiles.
The Basilica Notre Dame sits at 110 Notre Dame West on the corner of Rue St. Sulpice in Montreal and is one of four basilicas in Montreal.
The first church on this site, built in 1672, was the parish church for Ville Marie, the former name of Montreal.
By the 1800s, the congregation had outgrown the original church building and plans for a new building were made.
The groundbreaking for the new building was in 1823 and was completed in 1843 in a Gothic Revival style.
At the time, the Notre Dame was the largest church in North America. Pavarotti sang in the Notre Dame and Celine Dion married in the Notre Dame.
Its pipe organ dates from 1891 and includes more than 9000 pipes.
It was elevated to the status of basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1982.
The church now charges an entry fee of $5, unless visitors are attending mass.
A special light show runs Tuesday through Saturday. Tickets: $10 adults; $9 seniors; $5 children and teens.
Copyright © The Insider's Pocket Guide to Montreal, Kathryn Esplin. 2006-2017. Photos copyright © Kathryn Esplin 2006-2017. All rights reserved.