Our Friend Shauna poses with Junkii at the lookout on Mont Royale.

We’re guilty of neglect. It had been far too long since our last visit. We’re talking years here. (Why do I feel like I should be in a confessional?) Truth is, we had (or at least I had) forgotten how wonderful Montreal is.

But all is well. After a packed weekend, my love affair with the city has been rekindled.

I’m not really sure when the fire had waned. Years ago, Montreal trips were something we would do at least twice a year – even before I met Junkii. They were a source of anxious anticipation. But, gradually we grew tired of always going to the same venues (*ahem*, strip clubs) and hanging around the same places (*ahem*, Gay Village) – and so we started to drift away from the city. Seems like a more measured approach might have been to visit other communities, but there you have it.

More and more, we started to use long weekends for trips to Toronto, where we have both more friends and a pied-à-terre (or two) to help keep hotel costs to a minimum. Toronto became our go-to road-trip destination. And we still love going to Toronto – good friends and great food – but that’s n1o excuse for the neglect we’ve heaped on Montreal.

Montreal is closer.

Montreal has a vibrant restaurant scene.

Montreal has colourful communities to explore, cameras in hand.

Montreal has great shopping and style.

And most importantly, Montreal has friends. True, they’re fewer in number, but they’re just as awesome. And we simply can’t start ignoring them again after this past weekend, when we finally got to reconnect with friends both old and new.

In fact, given the incredibly affordable apartment rental prices there, we even toyed with the idea of renting a small place in Montreal to encourage regular visits. Now that we’ve given up on the idea of buying a cottage, that seems entirely reasonable. But it’s also swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction. Maybe we should rein it in and just look at adding a few trips a year, rather than planning visits for every second weekend!

However often we wind up going, there’s little doubt we’ll have a ball. It’s a world-class city that’s only 2 hours from home (what could be easier?) – but more importantly, we love our friends and want to spend more time with them. So get read Montreal. We’ll be back soon.

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