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I often find myself day-dreaming about moving to Europe, making over a fourth storey walk-up flat, and eating copious amounts of artisanal breads and unpasteurized cheese. And to top it off, I would also jet set to other European cities for long weekends at a fraction of the cost compared to flights leaving from Canada!

While these might remain dreams for now, a flight to Montreal, Quebec (especially when you find a seat sale) is more affordable and offers a little taste of Europe, right in Ontario's backyard!

I recently ventured up with a few friends and fell in love with the city all over again. I have to say, it was my first time visiting Montreal in late summer and the entire place had a buzz about it that was hard to deny. The shops were busy, the patios were packed, and the endless public places were pruned to perfection!

One of the highlights was the hotel we stayed in. Hotel St. Paul (above) is located in the heart of Old Montreal amongst a sea of gorgeous historic buildings.

The interior of the hotel was quite the opposite, however — still stunning, but more contemporary. The lobby was probably my favourite space with its towering alabaster fireplace and sleek banquette seating. I love how they've slung loose hides on the backs and seats of the furniture for a bit of personality and edge.

The room we stayed in was designed in the same aesthetic — comfortable and serene with unique touches like these amazing bronze table lamps.

While walking the streets of Old Montreal, I came across endless beautiful stone buildings. I think what's most impressive is how well preserved these buildings are.

In some large Canadian cities, these architectural gems are scattered in different areas, but in Montreal there are entire districts that feel as though you're strolling through the streets of Paris.

And these areas just get prettier and more romantic at night!

So if a weekend in Paris doesn't quite fit your budget (I'm in the same boat!), take a short flight to Montreal and soak up the Canadian version of French culture, architecture and design. You won't de disappointed.

P.S. I may not have had my artisanal bread and cheese, but I made up for it in poutine!

See our Classic French Style photo gallery for more inspiration.

Photo credits:
1-3. Hotel St. Paul
4-6. PlanetWare

Author: 

Joel Bray

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