The Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip! {Letter “M”}

A to Z Challenge

I am very excited to be taking part in the Blogging A to Z Challenge 2013.  This is actually my third challenge; the first year I featured a recipe for each letter and last year I drew on  my nursing background and used “parts of the human body” as my inspiration!

This year I have decided to change things up a bit.  I live in Canada and believe it is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet; so I have decided to feature a different Canadian “place”, for each letter of the challenge.

I am very much looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets the Challenge and I would love to have you join me, as I crisscross this vast country on my Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip!

I feel “M” is the perfect letter for this lag of the challenge, as the city I will be taking you to today, I have travelled through, twice in the past ten days.  If you are just dropping in for the first time, I had to take a few days off last week as I had a totally unexpected, but fun, “actual” road trip to participate in.  You can read more about it at, Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 – Virtual Road Trip & Actual Road Trip!

So, as I resume this amazing virtual road trip and without further ado, “M”  is for  Montréal, Quebec!

Population:  City 1,649,519 / Metro 3,824,221 {2011 census}

Language:  French is the city’s (as well as the province’s) official language and is also the language spoken at home by 56.9% of the population in the city of Montreal proper.

Some Notable Residents:  There are many, many notables who hail from Montréal;  in fact there is an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to them.  I’ll mention just a few here:

  • Jean Béliveau – former NHL hockey player
  • Pierre Trudeau – former Prime Minister of Canada
  • Leonard Cohen – poet and singer
  • Marc Gagnon – Olympic Gold Medal speed skater
  • Samuel Bronfman – liquor magnate
  • Céline Dion – singer
  • Guy Laliberté – founder and CEO of Cirque de Soleil
  • Dr. Wilder Penfield – pioneering neurosurgeon, founder of the Montreal Neurological Institute

A to Z ChallengeCLIMATE – Montreal lies at the confluence of several climatic regions and enjoys four distinct seasons. Usually, its climate is classified as humid continental.  Montreal’s summers are humid, and range from warm to hot, with a daily average of 21 to 22 °C (70 to 72 °F) in July; temperatures in excess of 30 °C(86 °F) are not uncommon.  Winter in Montreal usually brings cold, snowy, windy, and, at times, icy weather, with a daily average of around −10 °C (14 °F) in January.

The lowest temperature in Environment Canada’s books was −37.8 °C (−36 °F) on January 15, 1957, and the highest temperature was 37.6 °C (100 °F) on August 1, 1975.

HISTORY – Archaeological evidence demonstrates that various First Nations native people occupied the island of Montreal as early as 4,000 years ago.  By the year AD 1000, they had started to cultivate maize. Within a few hundred years, they had built fortified villages.

The Island of Montréal was long inhabited by the St Lawrence Iroquois, one of the tribes who formed the Five Nations Confederacy of Iroquois. In 1535 French explorer Jacques Cartier visited the Iroquois village of Hochelaga (Place of the Beaver) on the slopes of Mont Royal, but by the time Samuel de Champlain founded Québec City in 1608, the settlement had vanished.

In 1642 Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve founded the first permanent mission despite fierce resistance by the Iroquois. Intended as a base for converting aboriginal people to Christianity, this settlement quickly became a major hub of the fur trade.  After the British conquest of Montréal in 1760, Scottish fur traders consolidated their power by founding the North West Company.

Montreal was incorporated as a city in 1832 and was the Montreal was the capital Canada from 1844 to 1849, but lost its status when a  mob burnt down the Parliament building and for strategic reasons, the government established Ottawa as the capital, as it was located more in the interior of the nation.

The Canadian Confederation of 1867 gave Quebecers a degree of control over their social and economic affairs and acknowledged French as an official language.

A to Z Challenge

Mount Royal Montreal Lookout {Photo attribution: Jeangagnon (CC)}

A to Z Challenge

Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal {Photo attribution: Jeangagnon (CC)}
A to Z Challenge Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  {Photo attribution: Tango7174 (CC)}

A to Z Challenge

Bonsecours Market in Old Montreal {Photo attribution: {Photo attribution: Tango7174 (CC)}

Our visit to Montreal has been very exciting, all the walking, great food and fun has made me very sleepy; time to head to bed for a good nights sleep because tomorrow we will be saying au revoir to Montréal and heading to our next destination, somewhere beginning with the letter “N”.

Past visits on the A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip:

Complete listing of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 participants.

CREDITS – Map source – Canada Travel (altered to add place name).  Information contained in this post was obtained from AC CanadaWikipedia, Montreal Archives and Tourisme Montreal.



  1. Your descriptions and those pictures leave not one shread of doubt Montreal is a beautiful city.
    I’ve never been, and I really should … I have friends who travel from California all the time.
    Great choice for M. I really like the photo showing Notre-Same Basilica. Simply spectacular!

    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

  2. Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice says

    Yay, I guessed this city for M”M… not only that I actually have been there! Went through Notre Dame Basilica, enjoyed the bonsecours market.( it was autumn when I was there so it looked a lot like the pic). Also some unique and taste tempting restaurants!

  3. Indeed, restaurants, serving some very tasty food and wine. We also got some fresh Montreal bagels. Old Montreal has such a charming street of outside tables, overlooking the water. The Notre Dame Basilica is beautiful both outside and inside. I was fortunate to have seen and heard classical music played there, one time.
    Great ‘M’ post.

    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

    • Great idea to pick up some bagels, last time we were there we had some delicious Montreal smoked meat sandwiches but never thought to grab some bagels.
      Old Montreal is certainly a gorgeous area and a must see on any visit!

  4. I would love to go to ANYWHERE in Canada.

  5. I have never been to that part of Canada, but have been to Vancouver three times and absolutely fell in love with it!! Great post and the pictures were stunning!!

  6. I loooooooove Canada. My Canadian friends have given me Honourary Canadian status. I am hoping your V post will be about my fave rave city, the Provincial capitol city on the island that also begins with a V.

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