Montréal Destination Guide

Music Notes
music icon
Montreal has a long and colorful musical history, including serving as the backdrop for John Lennon and Yoko Ono's legendary "bed-in" at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in 1969. To keep more current, go to montreal.about.com.

Local Update
Le Centre Sheraton Montréal has undergone a $40 million renovation, which has refurbished its 825 guest rooms, spa and fitness center, restaurants, meeting rooms and public spaces. At the heart of the renovated lobby is the [email protected] communication hub, which, in partnership with Microsoft, provides a space for quick and easy face-to-face and webcam meetings. The property offers a total of 51,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 12,885-square-foot ballroom. 

In June 2012, the Ritz-Carlton Montréal, nicknamed "the Grande Dame of Sherbrooke Street," reopened following a facelift, with 50 luxury residences and 130 redesigned guest rooms and suites. It is now home to two upscale tenants: Tiffany & Co. and the café Maison Boulud, whose seasonal menus, based on local products, are concocted by world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud. 

The 212-room Courtyard Marriott Montreal Centre-Ville is set to open later this summer in the heart of downtown. With meeting space for up to 300 attendees, the property is just steps away from the official street site of the Montreal Jazz Festival, one block from the Montreal Convention Center and within walking distance of Old Montreal.

The $13 million Grévin Montréal wax museum, an offshoot of its landmark French namesake, opened in April on the fifth floor of the Montréal Eaton Centre. Along with more than 120 wax figures of notables ranging from Céline Dion to Queen Elizabeth II, the facility includes a rentable ballroom that accommodates up to 350 people for a reception and glimmers with "patinated mirrors, lofty columns, fresco paintings and optical illusions," according to the museum.

Meeting Hotels
Major properties include the 1,037-room Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, 825-room Le Centre Sheraton, 711-room Delta Centre-Ville, 611-room Marriott Cha­teau Champlain, 605-room Hyatt Re­gency Montreal, 487-room Holiday Inn Montreal Midtown, 453-room Delta Montreal and 395-room Hilton Mon­treal Bonaventure.

Find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, at mcvenues.com.

Convention Center
Montreal Convention Center; exhibit space, 551,520 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 113 (plus four terraces); (514) 871-8122; congresmtl.com/en

Airport Transit
Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is approximately 11 miles and about a 20-minute drive from downtown. Transit cost to downtown via taxi, US$43; via shuttle (line 747), US$9. The shuttle pass gives riders unlimited access to buses and subways throughout the city for the duration of day of purchase.

Taxes
Hotel tax, 3.5 percent; general services tax, 5 percent; Quebec sales tax, 9.975 percent; total tax on hotel rooms, 18.475 percent

Group Venues
In Old Montreal, the historic Marché Bon­secours is awash in exquisite 18th-centuryarchitectural details. At one time a colonial residence, the building features four reception halls, including the 14,000-square-foot De La Commune Hall and a 9,500-square-foot ballroom. The venue can accommodate groups of 100 to 975 people. (514) 872-7730; marchebonsecours.qc.ca/en

The newly renovated Saint-James Theatre reopened in December 2012 in the same building that housed the agency that sold tickets for the Titanic's ill-fated voyage. The theater consists of three meeting rooms for a total of about 13,000 square feet of space, with the largest being a ballroom of 7,000 square feet. The entire venue can host groups of up to 850. (514) 922-2301; theatrestjames.ca

The Montréal Science Centre is a perennial favorite with meeting planners. The facility, in the Old Port, an urban park between the St. Lawrence River and historic Old Montreal, features interactive exhibits on science, technology and the natural world, along with approximately 24,000 square feet of majestic meeting space. (514) 496-4724; montrealsciencecentre.com

The Phi Center is the newest addition to Montreal's event spaces. The six-story center features six flexible meeting areas, the largest of which can host up to 400 people for a reception, as well as a terrace overlooking Old Montreal that can hold up to 60. (514) 225-0525; phi-centre.com/en

For an urban, artsy feel, Arsenal is a great pick. The converted 19th-century shipyard is now an exhibition space for all manner of contemporary art and features a total of 41,000 square feet for events, including a 2,000-square-foot catering kitchen and a 22,000-square-foot main hall. (514) 931-9978; arsenalmontreal.com/en

Contact
Tourisme Montreal, (514) 873-2015; tourisme-montreal.org