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Tennis Camp in Massachusetts
 
Sunset Over Lake Champlain
 
Burlington, Vermont
 
Lake Champlain Ferry to New York
 
Oh Canada!
 
Home Base in Historic Vieux-Montréal
 
La Basilique Notre Dame
 
La Place Jacques-Cartier
 
Evening in Vieux-Montréal
 
Excursion to Mont Royal
 
Detour to Le Parc Olympique
 
Exploring the Vieux-Port
 
La Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours
 
Farewell Québec

If the Basilique Notre Dame is the most popular "attraction" in Vieux-Montréal, then Place Jacques-Cartier is the most popular gathering place in the old town. It is a pedestrian-only plaza that slopes downhill for two blocks south from the Rue Notre-Dame to the port. It is lined by restaurants and shops, and populated by artists, vendors, and street performers. On a warm summer evening, it was a great place to be.

On the northeast corner of Place Jacques-Cartier is the unmistakable sea-green-capped Hotel de Ville. Built in the late 19th century, the iconic building currently serves as City Hall. I'm not sure if it ever was a real hotel, but if it was, it looks like it would be a pretty sweet place to stay.


Next to the Hotel de Ville, a small square marks the north end of Place Jacques-Cartier. Named Place Vauquelin after a French naval commander (I'm not kidding!), it has a statue depicting the same guy along with this fountain. Look, I know you think I'm joking about this, but apparently there really is or was a French navy, and a commander was worthy enough to be commemorated in stone. Stop laughing and read on!
A large grassy courtyard stretches to the north behind Place Vauquelin and the Hotel de Ville. Called Champ de Mars, it contains the most visible remnants of the original city wall that enclosed the old town. (See the short wall in the picture below.) Beyond this park, there is a good view of downtown Montréal. You can also see a small part of Mont Royal in the upper right of the pic.

This is the only picture I have of the actual Place Jacques-Cartier. In the evening it was a very busy place, and I guess I was just too involved in checking out the scene and didn't think to take a better pic. This view is looking downhill from the north end of the plaza.

One of the best things about this place was that there was always some kind of music or entertainment going on. Numerous artists were willing to draw your picture (for a fee of course), and bands or other musicians often played in the streets. In the pictures below, you can see a Reggae band, an entertainer who used cigar boxes for props, and another performer doing fire tricks. The guy with the fire had the crowd wrapped around his finger. He was speaking in French, English, and Spanish, and did a good job of separating people from their money.


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La Basilique Notre Dame Evening in Vieux-Montréal
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