I’m back in the United States! My October can’t get much better than this: spending prime fall color month in beautiful Burlington, Vermont, another new-to-me state. I need to get through a full weekend of photo excursions before I post anything from here. (Spoiler alert: everywhere I look the views are unreal.) On my way from Toronto to Burlington, I spent an incredible weekend hanging out with a new friend in Montréal.
Earlier this year, one of my big clients was a Saint Paul-based animation firm where I helped with business operations, payroll, and production management on an animated series for Apple TV+. We worked with a bunch of other animators and animation studios throughout the world, and one of the many awesome people I got to know lives in Montréal. When he found out about my digital nomad adventures, he said I should come to Montréal sometime.
I realized my journey from Toronto to Vermont would take me through Montréal and had to reach out. He offered me a place to stay in his extra bedroom but said I must stay for at least a couple of days to truly experience Montréal. Sign me up!
I said goodbye to Toronto and my perfect apartment on Saturday morning and headed east toward Québec. The 5.5-hour drive was uneventful, which is always good. It took a good hour or so before the urban landscape of Toronto turned into farmland, eerily like southern Minnesota which I’m very familiar with.
Crossing the border from Ontario to Québec, I quickly realized the highway and other signage were in French only. Goodbye, English! Ok, this will be an adventure for sure. I honestly don’t know what I’d do on my travels without my phone’s map apps. Thank you, technology!
I arrived at my friend’s apartment in the hip Le Plateau-Mont-Royal neighborhood late afternoon, and it was great to finally meet him in person. Within minutes it’s as if we’d been friends for decades. I was excited for him to show me his city.
Life on the road can sometimes get lonely, so it’s probably not surprising that we talked nonstop for the rest of the evening. I got a tour of his neighborhood, and he took me to a great taco restaurant, and we went barhopping while continuing our conversations. He knows enough French to get by, which was great for me since all the servers and locals communicate in French.
Sunday morning, I hiked up Mount Royal which is only a couple blocks from the apartment. Overlooking Montréal and inaugurated in 1876, Mount Royal Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York City. Like most of the continent lately, Sunday morning’s temp was much warmer than usual, so the hike was definitely a workout.
After too much great food at an English brunch spot, we met up with my friend’s best friend in Old Montréal where they showed me all the great sights. I felt like I was in Europe the whole time I was walking around.
Monday morning, I drove to the cute Atwater Market and then left Montréal for Vermont. My place here is less than two hours from Montréal, so I may be back before the month is over!
Here is a photo gallery of favorites from my weekend in Montréal. Enjoy!