|In the heart of Old Montreal, the gentle slope down from the Nelson monument affords a superb view of the Old Port. A major gathering place and entertainment site in Old Montreal Place Jacques Cartier draws passers by and visitors who enjoy street artists, roving entertainers, jugglers, mimes, face painters and caricaturists.
Victorian street lamps and flowers galore win over visitors immediately. In the summer the surrounding sidewalk cafés and lively restaurants create a festive atmosphere, both day and night.
Built in 1804, and restored in 1998, on the old site of Chateau de Vaudreuil, Place Jacques Cartier was used as a public market for many years. The Nelson column, erected in 1809, and a number of other buildings from this era blend harmoniously with the hotels and commercial structures of the 1850s and 1860s. Facing City Hall, Place de la Dauversiere is a magnificent public garden restored in 1997.For years, St. Paul Street which is one of the main thoroughfares in Old Montreal, was Montreal's main street. Many of the buildings, which date from the 19th century and some of which were warehouses, have been renovated and today serve as boutiques, artists' studios and even homes.
The street overflows with warm and inviting restaurants offering traditional fine French and Quebecois fare. Busy nightclubs and jazz clubs add spice to the neighborhood nightlife. The cobblestone road, particularly East of St. Laurent Blvd., is crowded with horse-drawn carriages and fascinated pedestrians discovering the history of Old Montreal. Stroll along de la Commune Street and take in the magnificent view of the Old Port.