I'll be in Montréal, Québec, Canada this weekend attending the Atheist Alliance International (AAI) convention, Atheists Without Borders (Atheés Sans Frontières).
I'm arriving around 6pm on Thursday and leaving Sunday afternoon. Anyone else going? Contact me by email so we can get together. Maybe food and beverages on Thursday evening? (My address is at the top of the left sidebar.)
Most of Montréal is on a large island in the middle of the St. Lawrence river. The site was occupied by the St. Lawrence Iroquois when the first Europeans arrived in the 1530's. They had established a large village called Hochelaga but this village was largely deserted by the time Europeans constructed the first settlement in 1611.1 My ancestor, Barthélemy Montarras, was a soldier in the Compagnie Froment, Le régiment de Carignan, based in Montréal around 1665.
The dominant feature of the city is Mont Royal (Mount Royal) a group of hills right in the middle of Montréal island. The hills were first scaled by Jacques Cartier in 1535. A wooden cross was erected in 1635. The giant illuminated cross that we see today was built in 1924.
Montréal has several half-decent universities but, more importantly, it has many excellent bistros and cafés. I hope to try several of them this weekend. There are some special dishes that you just can't get in Toronto—or if you can get them, they're not nearly as good. It's sad that some of my friends won't be able to sample the smoked meat or the poutine due to restrictions imposed by their doctor.
1. Quebec City was founded in 1608. Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1608 and the Mayflower arrived in Massachusetts in 1620.