The last day we were in Montreal, we went to St. Joseph's Oratory and explored Mont Royal, the large hill named after Francis I and for which Montreal was named.
The church is HUGE and constructed into the hill so that you have amazing views when you get to the top. The top of the cupola is the highest point in Montreal.
The interior is also amazing. Since it was completed during the mid-twentieth century, it's all modern, a definite contrast to the Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal.
After we were done gawking over the architecture, I had the bright idea to walk across Mont Royal. The majority of the western half of the hill is comprised of cemeteries, but the highest summit and eastern side are a park that was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead - the landscape architect who designed Central Park - although his design was only partially completed.
I thought it would be fun to explore the park and wind up at one of the belvederes (lodges) that overlooks downtown Montreal before heading back to our hotel and out to dinner for our last evening in town. While I enjoyed the hike and the view was amazing once we got there, hiking three miles uphill wasn't so fun. Alan didn't believe me that we were actually going somewhere and thought we were just lost. But eventually we made it!
Something I thought was so cool was that it was a gathering place for the city. There were kids practicing martial arts up there, street performers and people just enjoying the view. I also loved the fact that there was a community piano for anyone to just sit down and play.
I so wish my town would do something like this!