Access Montreal & Quebec City


With Access Montreal & Quebec City, you'll discover old-world charm and modern-day pleasures in Canada's most fiercely independent and popular city destinations.

Montreal & Quebec City have been divided and organized by neighborhoods, so you know where you are and where you're headed.

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With Access Montreal & Quebec City, you'll discover old-world charm and modern-day pleasures in Canada's most fiercely independent and popular city destinations.

Montreal & Quebec City have been divided and organized by neighborhoods, so you know where you are and where you're headed.

Unique color-coded and numbered entries allow you to discover the best:

hotels • restaurants • Attractions • Shopping sights • Parks and Outdoor Spaces

Large, easy-to-read maps with entry numbers keyed to text ensure that you will instantly find what you must not miss.

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Editorial Reviews

Money magazine
“Its method of organization is ideal. Full of surprising information.”
New York Times
“One of the Best Guidebook Series around…A Breeze to Use.”
Money Magazine
"Its method of organization is ideal. Full of surprising information."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060722173
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/12/2004
  • Series: Access Travel Guides Series
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Access Press is a team of writers from across the United States that travel frequently, and know what you want and need from a guidebook and what you don't like and don't need.

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First Chapter

Access Montreal & Quebec City 4e


The extraordinary geographic diversity of Quebec, Canada's oldest and largest (600,000 square miles) province, is reflected in its confluence of cultures. In the 16th and 17th centuries, French explorers, looking for a shortcut to China via the St. Lawrence River, were met by resident Algonquin and Iroquois Indians, fisherfolk, and hunters, who lived off the land. After 2 centuries of acrimonious encounters between the natives and Europeans, New France took root. For a while the fledgling colony was a major trading center for the mother country, but the advent of the Seven Years' War pitted England against France, and in 1763 Canada was ceded to Britain. Relations between the leaders of the former New France and its new sovereign often strained the reins of diplomacy. The cultural tug-of-war between British, French, and native peoples continues: La Belle Province (the Beautiful Province -- Quebec's sobriquet) is perpetually at odds with its Canadian–British context, and the issue of Quebecois independence fuels ongoing, heated debate.

Nonetheless, Quebec's two major cities (home to more than half of its 7,293,100 total inhabitants) are enriched by this diverse heritage. Montreal is an au courant, cosmopolitan city that boldly flirts with the future; Quebec City's character is more romantic than urbane -- the town remains proud of its history and customs.

Measuring 31 miles long and 10 miles wide, the island of Montreal is linked to the mainland by one tunnel and 15 bridges. Its location at the junction of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers -- the head of the mighty waterway connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic -- has made the city a capital of commerce, a strategic military site, and a formidable political power. This multicultural metropolis is the second-largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris, the second-largest city in Canada (with a metropolitan population of more than three million) after Toronto, and the second-largest port in North America after New York.

The ambiance of Montreal is remarkably footloose. In warm weather, Montreal bares its Latin soul with a host of international festivals of fireworks, jazz, film, and theater. And bilingual punch lines are standard when the largest comedy competition in the world, Just for Laughs/Juste Pour Rire, is staged in July. Even winter doesn't dampen the spirit of the citizenry. Impromptu ice castles and igloos pop up in parks and yards. Toboggans zip down the slopes of Mont-Royal, skaters glide over frozen lakes and canals, and fiddles fire the blood at Quebecois veillées -- lively evenings of traditional music and dance.

Let it be said that Montrealers are also avid restaurant-goers (savoring a gastronomic cornucopia of nearly 5,000 eateries) as well as incurable night owls. Neither whiteouts (snowstorms) nor workdays stay them from their favorite late-night haunts: the jazz clubs on Rue St-Denis, funky Boulevard St-Laurent, and the pedestrian zones of Rues Prince Arthur, Duluth, Bernard, and Crescent. And when they're ready for a break from urban life, Montrealers head for their choice of mountains, lakes, and rivers within just a few hours' drive from the city center.

In contrast to the modernity and Anglophile influences of Montreal, Quebec City -- or at least the Old City -- remains stubbornly, gloriously provincial and Gallic. Its 17th- and 18th-century architecture hasn't lost its luster; the scent of coffee and croissants wafts through the winding, narrow streets; and hurdy-gurdy players stand on street corners to serenade passersby with rousing French folk tunes.

French is the mother tongue of 95% of the metropolitan area's 603,000 inhabitants, many of whose ancestors hail from Normandy and Brittany. Indeed, Quebec City's cobblestoned quartiers (neighborhoods) seem slightly incongruous surroundings for a contemporary seat of government. Compact and laced with a maze of narrow streets that makes driving difficult, the city is best explored on foot, whether you're wandering through the Château Frontenac in Old Quebec's Upper Town, exploring the elegant Dufferin Terrace high above the St. Lawrence River, poking around the antiques district in Lower Town or the open-air market at the Old Port, or taking in the cafés and 19th-century mansions on Grande Allée, Quebec City's Champs-Elysées. The city's history, art, and culture are also celebrated in its museums and historic sites, among them the Citadel, Musée du Quebec, and Musée de la Civilisation. And the rolling hills and country inns of rural Quebec along the North and South Shores of the St. Lawrence River can be explored in one or more quick day trips.

Access Montreal & Quebec City 4e. Copyright © by Christopher Access Press. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2005


    I didn't find this guidebook very helpful. There was hardly any information about the history and cultural sights in Montreal. It seems to be geared mostly to the nightlife of the 20-30 year old, focusing mainly on hip and trendy bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

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