Toronto to Montreal: North America meets Europe

4 people, 600 miles, 2 days

by Tvrtko V.

One of the main reasons I moved to Canada from the United States two years ago was that it has always been described to me as a wonderful blend of Europe and North America, with the advantages of both. However, since the last two years have been quite busy, I haven’t had a chance to visit the most European, and some would argue the most exciting, part of Canada — Quebec. To rectify that before moving back to the States, my girlfriend (a French-Canadian herself) and I, along with two dear friends (one of whom was visiting me from my hometown in Croatia), set out for a fun road trip to the beautiful city of Montréal.

We had the pleasure of driving the superbly comfortable new Volvo XC90, which was quite different (given its size, sheer luxury, and automatic transmission) from most vehicles southern Europeans, such as my friend and myself, are used to driving.

Volvo awaiting the adventure in front of the house.

The team is ready for the road! My girlfriend and I resting in the back for now, while the two expert chauffeurs are navigating in front.

Halfway to Montréal, we made a quick stop and had a delicious brunch at a cute coastal city of Kingston, the former capital of Canada.

Montréal was everything that we expected and so much more! Its joie de vivre was ubiquitous and intoxicating. We explored the beautiful Old Montréal with its history and narrow cobblestone alleyways, always hiding yet another restaurant around the corner. The famous Mount Royal — after which the city was named — is surrounded by two outstanding universities with beautiful campuses: the English-speaking McGill University to the east and French-speaking Université de Montréal to the west, reflecting the bilingual nature of the city.

Pictured above is James McGill — McGill University founder — and myself, staring the future bravely in the eyes!

While sightseeing was the main objective, we made sure to also experience the staple Quebecois and Montréal dishes such as poutine, Montréal bagels, and sandwiches at Schwartz’s Deli. We rounded off the lovely weekend with beavertail pastries before David’s Volvo XC90 took us safely and comfortably back to Toronto!

The joy of tasting poutine for the first time!
Beavertail or Queues de Castor is a popular Canadian pastry (don’t worry, no actual beavers are involved in preparing it! It derives its name from the shape that resembles beaver’s tail).
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