Anyone who knows me well knows I am a massive Anglophile, entirely obsessed with London, partly due to having spent a fantastic month there in college. But after years of travel, I’ve found a city that is giving London a run for its money.
Mike and I drove up to Montreal for a few days over my birthday weekend. Our Nissan Altima Hybrid took us there on less than two-thirds a tank of gas – all 500 miles!
I was immediately struck by the spaciousness and cleanliness of the city – even on a beautiful weekend evening none of the main streets seemed overly crowded. But my favorite thing about the city is the bike accessibility. Most major streets have wide bike lanes – in both directions! Plus they have Bixi, a service where you can rent a bike every couple of blocks with the swipe of a credit card ($5 for a whole day!) Then you can return the bike close to your destination. So ingenious! And apparently trending in other major cities I have not visited lately like Boston and D.C.
I stumbled upon fantastic sustainable shopping too. Of course, there were the stands selling maple syrup products straight from their local farms. But also dozens of shops specializing in “Made in Montreal” fashion. I was happy to support the local green economy by making purchases at eco-fashion shops like Rien a Cacher, 4 Elements Boutique, and Lole. I had no idea how many green fashion brands I already loved were Canadian, like Nixxi, OOM, Elroy, Deux FM, Lilikoi! And many of the stores I visited had these cool “Wall-E”-looking water filters so you could easily refill your bottles!
Sustainable dining was simple to find as well. We accidentally stumbled into a few places boasting “Cuisine Mets Biologiques.” Even our gorgeous bed & breakfast offered full organic breakfasts!
I actually felt sad driving out of the city. I only wish it wasn’t a nine hour drive away! But I certainly intend to return – especially when Sam is old enough to stick out the ride across the border!