Can't say enough nice things about our 48 hours in Montreal visiting old college friends at -19 degrees Celsius. The city has really been spiffed up. We had a delicious French dinner, only $50 US, including appetizer, soup, main course, and desert (BYOB) at O Thym restaurant.
Next day, it was a walking tour of Old Montreal/Vieux Montreal, where we saw evidence of the failed American Occupation of 1775-1776.
Photo: Chateau Ramezay, Montreal, Quebec. This revolutionary epsiode was explained in an article by Norman P. Goldman on Suite 101:
On a Sunday Nov 12th 1775 the Americans under the leadership of Major General Richard Montgomery landed on the Island of Montreal...General Montgomery did not stay very long in Montreal and his replacement Brigadier-General David Wooster proved to be a very harsh and oppressive administrator. As a result, the possibility of gaining the support of the Montreal inhabitants slowly dissipated.Result of all this? The Quebecois preserved their language, religion, culture and privileges, avoiding the fate of the Irish, Scots, and Welsh, among other victims of the Saxon oppressor--forming some sort of buffer province to keep British Canada from attacking the USA, at least after the War of 1812 had been concluded.
In order to save the situation Benjamin Franklin was sent to Montreal a few months after the American invasion in order to see if he could win the support of the citizens. Franklin was even accompanied by a Jesuit priest, Father Carroll, in the hope that the latter may have some influence over the Catholic clergy. However, all of this maneuvering proved in vain and the Americans were never able to win over the support of the citizens.
After 188 days the Americans retreated and the British were once again in control...
Overall, the shrewd Quebecois seemed to have negotiated a good deal for themselves--and preserved a charming place with delicious French food, where Americans can enjoy the equivalent of a weekend in Europe, at dollar (not Euro) prices.