With its Place des Arts, museums, public libraries, art galleries, bookshops in most European languages, symphony orchestra, publishing houses, theatre companies, and free public lectures at the universities, Montreal must be accounted a major cultural centre.
The Place des Arts is a complex of concert and theatre halls in downtown Montreal. Adjacent to it is the Museum of Contemporary Art, which was founded in 1964 and moved to its present location in 1992. Also nearby is the Complexe Desjardins, an exciting example of modern architecture; the complex, with its multilevel terraces, balconies, mezzanines, and sunken plaza, comprises three office towers, a public square, a hotel, and several restaurants and retail stores. Art instruction is given, among other places, at the Museum of Fine Arts. Besides a conservatory of music, faculties or schools of music offer instruction at the universities.
In the 1930s only a few bookshops existed, but today bookshops can be found in all districts and shopping centres; and “new Canadians,” as new immigrants are called, can buy books, reviews, and magazines in their native languages. The Municipal Library has several branches, and special libraries are located throughout the city. Publishing houses, both English and French, prosper.
Montrealers are great sports enthusiasts. Ice hockey is foremost, the Montreal Canadiens being one of the most storied franchises in the National Hockey League, but other indoor and outdoor sports have many adherents. The city also has a professional Canadian gridiron football team, the Alouettes.
In winter the slopes of Mount Royal are covered with skiers. The Montreal Olympic Park, site of the 1976 Summer Games, has a sports stadium seating more than 70,000 spectators; Montreal Tower, an inclined structure 552 feet (168 metres) tall with three observation floors that are accessible via cable car; Montreal Biodome, in which four separate ecosystems have been re-created; and a sports and fitness complex containing six swimming pools. Adjacent to the park is the Montreal Botanical Garden, with more than 20,000 plant species and an insectarium. Lachine Canal National Historic Site preserves the path of the ship canal at the southern end of Montreal Island that was used to bypass the rapids there on the St. Lawrence River until the seaway was constructed. "Canada" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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