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PHOTOS: Spring in Montreal includes a new beach

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Notre-Dame Basilica looms over the beautifully restored 320-year-old Place d’Armes Square. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

Photos by Julia Pelish
Vacay.ca Visuals Editor

MONTREAL — Old Montreal has seen many things in its 370 years, but never a beach. Not until now. The Clock Tower Beach opens in June at Quai de l’Horloge on the eastern edge of the city’s old port, just south of historic Bonsecours Market.

The beach, which is in the process of finalizing its set-up for public use, gives Montreal what Paris, Chicago and Toronto have — urban spaces in major centres devoted to sand and umbrellas. There won’t be any swimming allowed in the waters, because of the boat traffic and choppy waters of the St. Lawrence River. That shouldn’t discourage visitors, though. The sight of pretty blue umbrellas popping up will make you smile and entice you to wander over.

Like so much else in the old city, there’s a touch of elegance and beauty to the beach, and having the view looking back at Montreal is also a nice treat.

A recent visit to Montreal also included some fine dining at Les 400 Coups and Pintxo, which you’ll learn more about in the coming weeks on Vacay.ca, and a tour of the city’s artsy Latin Quarter and lovely Westmount neighbourhoods. Return visitors will also be happy to know that restoration of Place d’Armes Square outside of Notre-Dame Basilica is now complete, so you can enjoy the view of the church without the eyesore of yellow construction fencing.

As always, Montreal charmed with its sophistication, culture, congeniality and class. It’s one of the great cities in the world — not just within Canada.

If you’ve got great Montreal photos or stories, share them with us. Email photos@vacay.ca or editors@vacay.ca and tell us what you love about Montreal.

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A photographer who has worked in the largest media markets in Canada and the U.S., Julia’s travel photos and videos have been featured prominently in the Toronto Star and been exhibited in galleries in Toronto, New York and Vancouver. Her new line of photo jewelry was inspired by her travels. Even though she is an American, one of her favourite travel experiences was spending Canada Day 2000 on Parliament Hill, joining in a parade with then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien and others. Julia is Vacay.ca’s Visuals Editor. See her work at www.juliapelish.com/blog.

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