I have a 16 year old son… just turned… so I wanted to do something to honour this special birthday. He’s been studying French in immersion since kindergarten, so I thought it would be nice for us to visit Montreal together!
There was a catch. We would do ALL of the things Montreal can offer in a week in winter, but on one of the days, he had to speak French to everyone we encountered, order our food, and organize our directions and travel plans that day, all while I did not say a thing. I have baby french. Actually, it is worse than baby French. One thing we quickly learned was that the way he has learned the language in Winnipeg is a totally different accent, and spoken much slower!
We also realized that as soon as a server or someone heard us speak english to each other, they would switch to speaking english to us, so we dealt with that by whispering.
Sadly, we did not get photos of the two of us together, but my son was able to explore and capture the beautiful architecture with his new camera. We visited McGill University, where he practiced with their soccer team, ate poutine at the famous La Banquise.
The NHL Jets happened to be in town, so we expected a slaughter from “us” against the Canadiens’, brought our signs to show our support, wore our jerseys, etc. It was the other way around, if you recall the game on February 7th. That was a sad day, but we still enjoyed ourselves.
On one of the days, we visited Notre Dame Basilica. I think it may have been the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited. I was in complete awe of the craftsmanship and care taken to build this structure. You must visit.
Other places we visited: Mile End, Le Plateau, Old Montreal, Downtown, Old Port, and so many amazing restaurants.
Every place I visit has me curious about the region's real estate. I learned about the market there, which is currently experiencing a strong sellers market, and their prices for a residential average home is approximately $100,000 more than our average here. Same rings true for purchasing a condo! Winnipeg is still one of Canada’s most affordable city’s to live in, but it surprises me how affordable a place like Montreal is when you compare with our other major city centres across the centre.
My son conquered the all french speaking day, and we didn’t get lost once. I can’t wait to go back. Next time I will visit in summer.
All photos were taken by my teen.