Old Port (Vieux-Port), Montreal

Old Port (Vieux-Port), Montreal (must see)

Located on the north bank of the Saint Lawrence River, the historic Old Port of Montreal (Vieux-Port de Montréal) stretches for over two kilometers (1.2 miles) south of Old Montreal, in a natural harbor that was once frequented by Amerindian canoes and then by barges and ships of French fur traders and others.

In service from as early as 1611, the port bore witness to the economic and cultural development of Montreal and remained in use until 1976, when the present Port of Montreal was launched further east. In the early 1990s, the territory was redeveloped and in 2005 changed its name to The Quays of the Old Port of Montreal. Today, it serves as a recreational and historical area, attracting annually over six million visitors.

A place for all seasons, there's always something happening here! Summer is great for all sorts of riverfront activities such as rollerblading, cycling, quadricycling, and pleasure boating. Taking a boat cruise on the Saint Lawrence river, or renting a pedal boat for a trip around Bonsecours Basin is also available. A thin park, running the entire length of the Old Port Promenade, offers tourists and locals an ideal spot to relax and catch a cool breeze off the water.

Winter is ideal for skating on the outdoor rink or just playing in the snow. At all times of the year, the Saint Lawrence river is awe-inspiring and powerful.

The on-site attractions include a "labyrinth" in Shed 16 (which is a maze of alleys and obstacles built inside an old waterfront warehouse), the Montreal Science Centre (complete with an IMAX Theatre) on King Edward Pier, and the Montreal Clock Tower.

One of the Port's gems is the Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil which approximately every two years, in spring, launches a new show from the Jacques Cartier Quay by setting up its signature blue-and-yellow-striped tents. In June 2012, an urban beach, called the Clock Tower Beach (Plage de l'Horloge), was opened adjacent to the Clock Tower.

Cultural events in the area include the Montreal High Lights Festival (Festival Montréal en lumière), Igloofest, and the Matsuri Japon festival.

If you have a couple of hours to kill in Montreal, wandering around the Old Port is worth considering.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Montreal. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Old Port (Vieux-Port) on Map

Sight Name: Old Port (Vieux-Port)
Sight Location: Montreal, Canada (See walking tours in Montreal)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Montreal, Canada

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