This is the 6th of a series of posts dealing with my fourth trip to Eastern Canada. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of a year later or to add further clarification. These are indicated by “NOW”. After I booked the trip I unexpectedly had to move and was staying at a friend’s place at the time of the trip, so I was already pretty tired before the trip back.
Lots of activity in my room during the night. Finally got up in the middle of the night and turned off the lights, but still more comings and goings, even up to 4 am.
[NOW: The hostel I was staying at was The Only Backpackers Inn.]
Finally got up for the day at 4:30 and after checking my e-mail waited for a night bus. A 300 bus from Danforth and Donlands to Yonge and Bloor came pretty soon, but then the 320 bus from Yonge and Bloor to Yonge and Dundas arrived 25 minutes later, along with another one. Had I known I'd have walked it. Both of the above Toronto Transit.
I took a few photos of Yonge-Dundas Square and then walked to the Toronto Coach Terminal, getting a hot dog from a vendor outside the terminal. I zoned out briefly inside and nearly missed the line-up starting to the Megabus, but managed to snag a top front seat of the double decker anyway. Unfortunately even if empty, starting June 18 if you want certain key seats you have to pay extra in advance. Got a pricey bagel and drink in Kingston. Due to sleepiness zoned out here and there but that stopped as we approached Quebec.
I got off the Megabus in Montreal at a slightly different location from last year due to construction, and texted my friend Teresa that I was in town. I crossed Square Dorchester en route to the hostel.
I walked to the same hostel as last year. There had been some renovations. Unfortunately I'm again stuck with an upper bunk and the computer from last year is unavailable so I'm stuck yet again with my clunky mini-notebook. But despite the same number of bunks as Toronto, it's a lot bigger.
[NOW: This hostel is Auberge Bishop.]
I ate lunch at a McDonald's on Ste Catherine nearby and realized I'd left my map book behind. I was almost back to that street when Teresa, sitting with a friend saw me and called me over. We arranged to meet later. I visited two comic shops, Librairie Astro and Capitaine Quebec, then bought a bunch of DVDs from my favourite Montreal video store, MovieLand Dépôt. I visited Odyssey Books and then met up with Theresa. She also wanted to go to MovieLand Dépôt and I was game for another trip over, and in fact found a few more DVDs including two more Mystery Science Theatre 3000 sets.
We chatted a bit at Second Cup Coffee and parted ways soon after. I wandered east along Rue Ste Catherine, passing a music festival of some sort outside by Place Jeanne-Mance, where I relaxed a while by the water jets. Continuing on I visited Boutique Volume, and bought a French word search book from an Archambault that had a SuperClub Vidéotron attached.
[NOW: Place Jeanne-Mance is where you find Place des festivals, which is where the water jets are].
I passed through le Village gai, which had an art fair. Actually saw a number of straight couples holding hands there. Before leaving the village got a frosted drink at Couche-Tard (Mac's in English); their frosted drinks though were closer to DQ's than Mac's.
I did a short stop at Place Émilie-Gamelin and headed north along Rue Saint-Denis, visiting Librairie Planète BD (comics) and Débédé (books) as well as Renaud Bray (variety). On Rue Mont-Royal I got a few DVDs at Librairie L'Échange. Heading south I visited Librairie Millenium (comics) and back on Saint-Denis made the mistake of getting poutine from Double Pizza (English: Pizza Pizza); generous but not tasty.
I walked further south to Vieux (Old) Montreal including the cobble streets and the main cultural area, Place Jacques Cartier. I walked along rue Saint-Paul and left Vieux Montreal via Rue McGill, passing Square Victoria.
Back on Rue Sainte-Catherine, I tried to return to Jeanne-Mance, but it was closed due to the now pay music festival. I walked north and then west along Rue Maisonneuuve, visiting the Illuminated Crowd statue on route. i also got a Canada Dry from another Couche Tard before returning to the hostel.
[NOW: I believe now I was wrong about the pay aspects. I think they just wanted to do bag searches.]