CBC ♥ Montreal: Locations we love

Montreal is often described as a city that’s multicultural, with a vibrant nightlife, many green spaces.

We asked some of our CBC Montreal personalities to share their favorite spots in their neighborhoods.

Debra Arbec, anchor of CBC Montreal News at 6 pm

My favorite thing about NDG is the alleys in the neighborhood. As a dog owner, I love to stroll through them. It’s a different dynamic than walking on the street. People stop, chat and get to know one another while their dogs play. Beyond a playground for dogs and their owners, the alleys bring the community together. In the spring, there’s a great spirit when neighbors gather to clean and sweep up, and children flood into them to play. In my back alley, there’s always a summer block party too.

“The alleys bring the community together,” says CBC Montreal news anchor Debra Arbec. (Etienne Leblanc/Radio Canada)

Jeanette Kelly, arts reporter

My favorite place is the grounds of the Villa Maria school in NDG, especially in the spring when the apple trees lining the gray stone facade of the building are pink with blossoms and you can walk through the maple-lined driveway looking out over the city. It’s a quiet space when the girls aren’t playing soccer and an example of the architectural heritage of so many religious buildings in the city.

“It’s a quiet space,” says CBC arts reporter Jeanette Kelly about the grounds near Villa Maria High School. (Jeanette Kelly/CBC)

Shari Okeke, Daybreak writer/broadcaster

Parc Lafontaine is by far my favorite spot in our neighborhood. It’s a great place for long walks any time of year. In the winter we enjoy the lights, the skating rink and the kids love to toboggan there.
During the summers, we’ve enjoyed many birthday parties in the park, the wading pools, the tennis courts, many many picnics and cardio classes too!
It’s also been the starting line for Tour la Nuit and I’ve run a few 5-kilometre races at the park… oh, and my kids LOVE the ducks!

“It’s a great place for long walks any time of year,” says Daybreak’s Shari Okeke about Parc Lafontaine. (Charles Constant/CBC)

Sean Henry, weekend anchor, news reporter

It’s pretty easy for me: the Tim Horton’s on Ontario at the corner of de Chambly in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. It’s part of my daily routine, so much so that most of the staff know my coffee order. The Tim Horton’s is at the heart of Promenades Ontario and is always a flurry of activity. This is the one place where you will meet just about anyone.

“This is the one place where you will meet just about anyone,” says CBC reporter and weekend anchor, Sean Henry, about his neighborhood coffee shop in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. (Sean Henry/CBC)

Andrea Stanford, researcher

My favorite place in my neighborhood is a cozy café in Valois Village called The Den. I spent a lot of time there while on maternity leave, so I have fond memories of sipping coffee and chatting with the super friendly staff while my daughter dozed in her car seat.

“I have fond memories of sipping coffee and chatting with the super friendly staff,” says Andrea Stanford about this coffee shop in Valois Village on Montreal’s West Island. (Andrea Stanford/CBC)

Molly Kohli, social media editor & tech columnist

I love almost everything about Little Burgundy. I love how it has all these small oases in the heart of the city. I spend most of my summer somewhere along the Lachine Canal, in the grass by the water. There’s something to do for every mood; I can watch people (and dogs), I can take in the sun, set up a picnic, or even exercise (okay let’s be honest, I don’t do this). It’s sad to see all the new condos by the water take up so much space and create so much traffic, but luckily, even with all the people, it’s still easy to find a little nook away from it all.

The Lachine Canal makes it “easy to find a little nook away from it all,” says CBC’s social media editor and tech columnist, Molly Kohli. (Melinda Dalton/CBC)

Melinda Dalton, digital journalist

Living downtown, it can sometimes feel like you lose a bit of a sense of community in the hustle and bustle. The one place that remains a feel-good oasis is the place of the festival. No matter the season, Montrealers of all ages mingle with delighted tourists, as giggling children run through the fountain or big kids relive their youth on the glowing teeter-totters. People collectively pause for a conversation or to experience a moment of joy in their day before returning to the busy pace of the city. It never fails to make me smile and reaffirm my sense of pride in Montreal’s joie de vivre.

Downtown’s Place des Festivals is CBC digital journalist Lelinda Dalton’s favorite place to witness Montrealers’ joie de vivre. (Ulysse Lemerise/OSA)

Elias Abboud, news reporter

My favorite place in my neighborhood is the Jean-Talon Market. Wandering through the market aisles in late summer and early fall, when the local fruit and vegetables are abundant, I call it my “happy place.”

Walking through the aisles of the Jean-Talon Market is where CBC reporter Elias Abboud finds his “happy place.” (Elias Abboud/CBC)

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