While you are attending this year’s BIO 2015 World Congress, let The Wall Street Journal enrich your experience by showing you the best places to eat, shop and stay in La Belle Ville—the beautiful city—Montréal! Being the second-largest city in Canada, this island encompasses a historical and modern, French and English, elegant and colorful way of life. The WSJ provides you with expert, insider advice from famous Montréal natives, each sharing their favorite spots in town along with addresses to precisely lead you to their suggested destinations:
Marie Saint Pierre, the director of her own fashion label, suggests treating yourself to her favorite lobster rolls at Muvbox Lobste and relaxing at the Bota Bota spa; however she demands that you must take a look at the Place Jean-Paul Riopelle.
My very favorite place in Montreal is the Place Jean-Paul Riopelle, in the International Quarter. The big fountain there, originally created for the 1976 Olympics by Quebecois artist Riopelle, shoots fire and water and is like a symphony.
Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, typically treats himself to French-style brunch at Brasserie Bernard and enjoys visiting the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which not only exhibits show arts but releases staged “Scenography.” He also suggests taking a trip to Old Montreal to get a taste of the city’s unique cultural history.
Old Montreal is where I go for inspiration. It combines the richness of our cultural heritage with the modern vibrancy of the best and coolest restaurants. Many startups and dot-coms also are located there, so it has a youthful, energetic crowd that’s a reflection of the city’s joie de vivre.
Martha Wainwright, the nationally famous folk-rock singer, shares some of her more quirky destinations, like seeing one of the biggest organs in the world at The Montreal Symphony House, and nightlife locations. Regardless, taking a stroll down The Marché Jean-Talon, she suggests, is pleasing both to the stomach and the eye.
Filled to the brim—especially in warmer months—with local produce and gorgeous meats and cheeses, this market in Little Italy is also brimming with French Canadians who really care about what’s going on their plates. I always get fiddleheads in the spring. In summer, I like to ride my bike there.
Author Josip Novakovich shares the location of his favorite English-language book store. He suggests dining at the Résonance Café, a bohemian restaurant and jazz club, and then finishing off your long day with one of the local craft brews at Vices & Versa.
With more than 30 different craft brews from the broader Montreal area, this pub and restaurant is a place where a city that can be divided by language comes together. You can have a good time here, no matter how bad your French or your English is.
Let this World Congress be successful and educational, but let it be memorable, too, and enjoy your stay!