This article is from the July 2017 Issue of Forever Young

 2017 July Feature

 

Canada at 150 is in its youth when compared with the City of Montreal that is 375 years old

Joining the party this summer will make a visit to Canada’s second largest city even more memorable. Like a giant anniversary cake glowing with candles the 2.5 kilometre expanse of the Jacques Cartier Bridge is illuminated with 2,800 lights. The “Living Connection” display can turn 365 shades of colour to showcase the historic gateway into the city throughout the anniversary year.

The experience of exploring Canada’s second largest city and its diverse attractions should begin with a bird’s eye view from the 46th floor of Au Sommet Place Ville Marie Observation Deck. The 360-degree view is fantastic, revealing virtually every Montreal icon, from the Olympic Stadium to the Mount Royal Cross. Informative displays, curated by Heritage Montreal, highlight notable landmarks and help visitors choose and locate destinations. An interactive bracelet lets visitors pick favourites and receive further information via text or email about how to experience their “missions”.

Visitors will want to be down at street level to experience some of the special events that are happening throughout the year and if you’re considering a visit this summer Les art de la rue, the largest street theatre event in North America is a great way to join the celebration. It brings more than 800 of the world’s performers to the city that becomes an open-air theatre throughout July.

Expo ’67, the crowning achievement of Canada’s centennial is revisited 50 years later. Check out Echo 67, at the iconic Biosphere and explore Expo’s legacy through history, photos and audiovisual production. Explore Expo’s environmental legacy through history, photos and audio-visual production, until December 3.

At the McCord Museum, Mode Expo 67 presents its magnificent collection of clothes and accessories as well as its Expo archives. Visitors can see more than 60 costumes, flight attendant outfits from different countries and provinces and designer clothes as well as photos and testimonials by people who were there. The exhibit runs until October 1.

The Notre-Dame Basilica is a must-see landmark that is even more impressive when experienced during a series of sound and light shows. The Aura show guides visitors to the heart of the church, where “light, orchestral music and grandiose architecture (will) combine to create a unique, three-act multimedia spectacle”. The 60-minute presentation showcases the188-year-old Gothic Revival-style church’s architecture, sculptures, paintings and stained glass. It runs until the end of the year.

La Grande Roue ferris wheel will start operating in the Old Port in mid-July. Putting a new spin on site-seeing, the ride provides panoramic views of the river, Old Montreal, downtown and the mountain. The ferris wheel will operate year-round from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. with its air conditioned cabins that will be heated in the winter. There is also a bar, bistro and coffee shop on site.

There’s more excitement on the water at Montreal’s Old Port during Montreal Avudo, a multimedia extravaganza that unfolds during a series of free shows this summer to commemorate the 375th. Presented until September 2, Avudo pays tribute to the St. Lawrence River and its impact on the city. Viewers time travel through a moving show that features archived images, illustrations and 3D animation projected on to massive water screens.

Life-sized wax human figures reflect history and popular culture at the Musée Grévin Montreal at Eaton Centre in Ville-Marie. Meet representations of personalities that range from Pierre Trudeu to Ghandi and from John and Yoko in their bed to Hollywood stars enjoying a party that visitors can join in the large ballroom at the end of the tour. It makes for great photos.

For a self-guided experience above ground in Old Montréal check out Cité Mémoire, a free mobile app (montrealenhistoires.com/home). Loosely inspired by the history of Montreal, the app introduces a number of characters who’ve witnessed the city’s evolution first-hand. Projected throughout Old Montreal, the work appears on walls, the ground and even the trees.

For more about Montreal’s 375th go to www.375mtl.com.