I roll up Montreal and Toronto into one post to make easier comparisons between the two. Montreal is a big city at about the size of Seattle. They still speak French there but you find a lot more English in Montreal in Quebec City and certainly than the surrounding countryside. Both Montreal and Toronto are very international cities with vibrant cultural communities, outstanding food, and neat influences on the architecture and mood of different neighborhoods.
Montreal was a bit gloomy weather-wise but we were unlucky with the weather. We made the best of it with indoor activities. We toured the old Olympic facility which they’ve turned into a zoo of sorts with a botanical garden and a mind-blowing museum of insects. I used to want to be an entomologist as a kid so I had my fair share of bug collections but this one was too much. It made my stomach turn but also made me feel like just an ant in the world compared to the complexity and number of bugs on the planet. All in all, Montreal was neat and seemed to be geared more towards a solid going out scene but for us fell between the quaint old-world feeling of Quebec City and the thriving metropolis of Toronto.
We only had a brief time in Toronto but thoroughly enjoyed the city. Toronto is about the size of Boston and felt uniquely vibrant with fresh buildings, bike paths, and public transportation everywhere. The city was surprisingly accessible and when we were hungry, we picked the first restaurant we saw and it was one of our better meals of the road trip. We stumbled upon a trendy beer hall with build-your-own bratwursts, cheap local beers, and fries cooked in duck fat. Toronto unexpectedly jumped up on our list as a potential place to live with all the amenities of a mega city but the ease of a city like Charlotte.
To round out our Toronto experience, we headed to Niagara Falls on our drive to Chicago. Both Sara and I had been before but you just can’t pass up such an awe inspiring natural wonder. It was surely worth the detour as our pictures support.
My wife and I quit our jobs, sold our belongings and are hitting the road for nearly 2 years. We're blogging about our adventures, lessons learned, ideas, and recommendations. Take a gander at the content, leave a comment, or reach out to us to meet up on the road!