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  1. #1
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    montreal or toronto?

    i'm thinking taking my folder on amtrak this summer and visit toronto or montreal? i will be coming from nyc. i never visited canada before. which city would u recommend and why? also which city is more bike friendly?

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    both are bike friendly,different culture though. I'd suggest to bring a good bike lock. theft is ridiculous in this cities.

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    Montreal is both more bike friendly and a cooler palce. I have lived in Toronto my whole life. Toronto is not a bad palce just no Montreal. Toronto is a big more business less pleasure city. Montreal has some great long dedicated bike paths "route vert" Toronto has one OK trail "martin Goodman". Do come to Canada it very nice up here!!!

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    Senior Member psykoocycle's Avatar
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    Hey Vince,

    I'm from Toronto... sorry to say... Montreal is much nicer, with dedicated and seprarate bicycle lanes!

  5. #5
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by transmotion View Post
    I'd suggest to bring a good bike lock. theft is ridiculous in this cities.
    Haha, yeah, Vince, it's not like NYC where you can just leave your bike unlocked on the street overnight.

    My vote?
    Montreal.
    From another born and raised Torontonian.

    More and better sights, culture, nightlife, pathways, ...
    And less smog.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    If you have to choose only one of the two, I'd vote for Montreal, too, because the gallic culture will be more interesting from your perspective.

    But I'd encourage you to go to both if you can, just to experience the contrast. Self-loathing is a common train among Torontonians, but Toronto is a very kewl city in its own right. It's a lot bigger, with a lot more happening. Of course, coming from New York that might not be all that interesting, but still, it's a good place.
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincentnyc View Post
    i'm thinking taking my folder on amtrak this summer and visit toronto or montreal? i will be coming from nyc. i never visited canada before. which city would u recommend and why? also which city is more bike friendly?
    I'll put my vote in for Montreal. It's become a very bike friendly city over the years. All kinds of bike paths link city neighbourhoods and the Route Verte, voted on of the Top Ten cycling networks in the world by National Geographic.

    Don't forget to bring a good bike lock, though. Bicycle theft is part of the reality of cycling in Montreal.

    An interesting side note: This Summer a Self Serve bike rental service will be rolled out in Montreal http://www.bixi.ca/en/accueil/. You'll see Bixis all over the place. The service is similar to the Velov and Velib formulas that have become an instant success in Lyons and PAris in France.

    If you happen to be around the Old Port area on a Friday, drop by the Latitude Amsterdam (our little Bike & Boat cruise ship) and say Hi. We normally come in with a cyclist group on Thursday evening. They leave Friday morning and the next group arrives Saturday afternoon. When leave the port on Sunday morning for the next Bike & Boat Tour.

    Cheers,
    Ron
    Ronald (Ron) Houde
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  8. #8
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    I vote for Montreal, born and raised.
    Bike to Little Italy, drink a nice coffee. You can eat amazing food, I recommend Au Pied de Cochon http://www.restaurantaupieddecochon.ca/index_eng.html

    You will really like Montreal and the train ride from New York is amazing!

  9. #9
    Team ABC Cycles Chris R.'s Avatar
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    I'm biased since I live in MTL but Montreal for sure!!
    Hot ladies, great resto's and bars, good biking with lots of bike paths, nice mountains close by and lots of hot ladies...and hot ladies.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    i forgot to ask....what are the helmet laws in toronto or montreal? for example, in nyc...u need to wear a helmet if u under 14.

  11. #11
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    In Toronto at a party you open the conversation with "Where do you work?", in Montreal its "where do you ski?". The atmosphere is more relaxed in Montreal, and as the city is on an island the urban sprawl is more limited so it is easier to get out into the country. If you come, PM me and I may have a bed available - I am in an inner suburb, less than a mile from the Lachine canal bike path. No helmet laws. No biking on sidewalks if wheels over 20", stop at stop signs and red traffic lights but zero enforcement. Dont bring a ***.

  12. #12
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    ^under 18 in Toronto.
    No law in Quebec. They're more European in pretty much every way.

  13. #13
    Senior Member BikeLover1989's Avatar
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    Even though I live in Toronto, I will say go to Montreal. It is a more relaxed city that you can really enjoy, unlike Toronto, where your buttons are being pushed all the time. And yes, the European feel of Montreal is much better than the American feel of Toronto.
    The bicycle, the world's GREATEST invention!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincentnyc View Post
    i forgot to ask....what are the helmet laws in toronto or montreal? for example, in nyc...u need to wear a helmet if u under 14.
    There are no helmet laws in either Toronto or Montreal. You won't feel out-of-place either way in Montreal. I'm not sure about Toronto as to whether wearing helmets is fashionable or not.

    Cheers,
    Ron
    Ronald (Ron) Houde
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  15. #15
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Another vote for Montreal.

    Just a more fun place.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  16. #16
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Okay, let's nip the misinformation in the bud for our American friend before expectations get out of hand: Montreal is not "European" in the slightest. The French language environment sets it off from English-speaking Canada and the United States, and there is certainly a tendency to longer lunches, but this does not make it "European" (and in most parts of Europe lunches are not longer than in New York or Toronto, anyway, except along the Mediterranean).

    It feels different from Ohio because anywhere in Canada feels different from Ohio. Having said that, it feels different from Toronto for reasons of its distinct French-Canadian language and culture. Europe doesn't enter into it. Montreal is French-Canadian. The people there are French-speaking Canucks, not Parisians who've been airlifted in with their poodles.

    The perceived superiority of female pulchritude in Montreal over Toronto is a relic of the 1950s when the city was so bland that people in Toronto went to Buffalo for wild times. Toronto is a different animal now. It is over 50% foreign born, giving it the highest proportion of residents from "somewhere else" in the world save for Miami. Miami is pretty much all hispanic, though, so, ipso facto, Toronto is without a doubt the most ethnically diverse city in the world (NYC is 36%). Meaning? There are more smoking hot wimmens from Russia and India and Somalia and China and Brazil and Iran and Jamaica etcetera on one downtown city block in Toronto than on the whole of the island of Montreal. It really is that amazing.

    Of course, this has nothing to do with cycling! I think Montreal has better infrastructure set up for cycling than Toronto does. Though, then again, that's something of a moot point during Montreal's brutal winters--it's frigid, and the city is smothered under metres upon metres of snow for four months of the year (it's significantly more miserable than Toronto in winter, and that's saying something!).

    I personally find Toronto more entertaining than Montreal, and there's a heckuva lot more to do in T.O., but many people say that Montreal is more fun and has a more laid-back vibe. That, and the more marked cultural differences, would make Montreal the obvious first choice for an American looking to check out one of Canada's two urban metropolises.
    Last edited by rousseau; 03-18-09 at 10:20 AM.
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  17. #17
    Senior Cyclist forresterace's Avatar
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    +1 - for the voice of logic and reason
    2008 Specialized Sirrus Comp (dropbar touring bike), 1988 Fiori Italia, 1990 Norco Bushpilot shopping bike, 1971 Claud Butler Tipo Stada (under resto)

  18. #18
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Montreal is not "European" in the slightest.
    Really? Not even in the very slightest?

    http://media.photobucket.com/image/m...l%202/4edc.jpg
    http://media.photobucket.com/image/m...ontreal-02.jpg
    http://media.photobucket.com/image/m...Heather045.jpg
    Last edited by Metzinger; 03-23-09 at 07:43 AM. Reason: photobucket images were upsetting to people with tiny monitors

  19. #19
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Nice pics of Montreal, of course. So which city in Europe do those scenes resemble? Answer: none, really. They actually look more like New York, Boston or Philadelphia. Surprise, surprise.

    P.S. Shrink your photos a bit, they're spreading the screen too much.
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  20. #20
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    u guys said montreal is bike friendly? but looking at the last 2 pix...those cobblestones....it looks otherwise...my bun is gonna be sore after 10 blocks of that...lol...jk.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincentnyc View Post
    u guys said montreal is bike friendly? but looking at the last 2 pix...those cobblestones....it looks otherwise...my bun is gonna be sore after 10 blocks of that...lol...jk.
    This Montreal institutionalized version of the Butt Toner 2008!!!

    But seriously (pun intended), the bike path in this part of town is just one block away.

    I'll let you judge for yourself as to whether Montreal has a European feel...

    It's sure that Montreal shares a significant part of its architectural heritage with Boston, Philly and the Big Apple, having been influenced by the same European trends that drove the architectural styles of the 18-19th Century.

    Ron
    Ronald (Ron) Houde
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  22. #22
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Can we get a shrinkage on those photos, please?
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  23. #23
    MCJ
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    montreal or toronto?

    I would suggest Ottawa as a better alternative. Great cycling - great roads, lots of touristy things, bakeries etc. Town of Gatineau across the river in Quebec is fun. You can leave the city areas quickly and have a variety of types of riding, eg Gatineau Hills. You could also ride to Montreal from there in one long day (or two shorter days).

    We have affordable group tours, and one that goes from Ottawa to Quebec City, via Montreal we've added an extra date in June. You'll find information here: www.CycleCanada.com

  24. #24
    Air
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Can we get a shrinkage on those photos, please?
    As an FYI the forum now shrinks images down to 1280 width but if the OP would like to post smaller images and link them to the larger ones.... (Flickr gives several resized image choices to use when you upload, not sure about photobucket).

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCJ View Post
    I would suggest Ottawa as a better alternative. Great cycling - great roads, lots of touristy things, bakeries etc. Town of Gatineau across the river in Quebec is fun. You can leave the city areas quickly and have a variety of types of riding, eg Gatineau Hills. You could also ride to Montreal from there in one long day (or two shorter days).
    Since vincentnyc rides a folder, I think he is looking more for urban itineraries. But that said, I second the motion. Ottawa is a great cycling destination. Sundays are always special there in the Summer, as many parkways in the area are closed to automobiles and are accessible only by foot, roller blade or bike. Ottawa is a quick train ride from Montreal (with VIA Rail).

    The Rideau canal is another definite "must ride".

    Ron
    Ronald (Ron) Houde
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