We’ve been in Montreal since Monday and enjoying it. A very nice town with lots of eclectic things to do.
The Old Port
Our marina is right in the downtown at the Old Port where the big cargo ships used to come to collect mostly grains from Western Canada for shipment to Europe or to move it by train to the US. The heyday was from the turn of the century through the 60’s. In 1920 more grain moved through Montreal than any other North American port. Impressive! Some of this structure still exists; some still in use, some derelict, others converted to museums or other uses. Lots of urban renewal going on in the old port with old sheds converted to luxury condos. The main port is not a bit down the St Lawrence.
Montreal Botanical Garden
We’ve been doing the typical touristy things, visiting the botanical garden, walking the old port, visting museums, taking a ride in the dinghy. I think I’ll let this post mostly talk through the pics with commentary. We had to work around the weather a bit as we knew one day would be rather rainy. So, the 1st full day was the botanical garden.
Montreal Art Museum
On day two, we visited the Montreal Art Museum. An interesting museum focused mostly on Canadian artists. Interesting in that Canada has a relative young arts scene and seemingly not as developed as that in the US, Mexico or Europe. It was not until the 1920’s that formal art schools were opened in Canada with a sense of creating a Canadian identity to artistic endeavors. Amazing! Julia, Jim and I had lively discussions on the cause of this slowness to develop. Ultimately, Wikipedia lead us to believe it was the fault of the British. Well, not exactly, but continual fighting for “ownership” of the Canadian territory stunted artistic pursuits which took a turn for the worse after Britain ultimately gained control of Canada.
The Lachine Canal
Day 3 had the hope of minimal rain and sunnier skies. So…., lets get that dinghy down and take a day trip on the Lachine Canal. Another historical lock system now managed by Parks Canada. Originally opened in 1825, the locks and canal circumvented a piece of rapids on St Lawrence near Montreal. This small 8 mile section that cuts through a part of Montreal linking the Great lakes to the Atlantic. With the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway (the locks and canals much bigger and better known), the Lachine became unused. In 2002 Parks Canada took it over as one more of their historic locks and canals.
Wrapping up Montreal
Julia left yesterday so we had a relaxed morning before getting her to her Uber for the airport. Jim and I managed to get the mast down for a 2nd time, using the windlass and some dock hands for help. The process is getting slightly easier, but still rather a pain in that the dinghy has to be deflated mostly and moved off center line on the boat.
We don’t know how we’ll raise it again once we reach Lake Champlain as we’d like to anchor out for a few days. Maybe we’ll just anchor and not dinghy anywhere. We are going to visit friends in Ticonderoga, so we have to either get the mast up and the dinghy off, or stay at a marina. Not many choices close to Ticonderoga. In any case, the mast must then come down again for the Champlain Canal. Jim is really wanting this mast gone. But, it has it’s uses for getting the bikes off the boat and things like anchor lights. All changeable, it just takes money!
Today is grocery shopping, a few boat chores, bills, and perhaps a bit of trinket shopping. We’ll see.
Now, to set routes for tomorrows departure back toward the US. We’ll take a faster trip south so should be back in Lake Champlain by Tuesday.