The song says it, enough café sandwich boards say it, and it’s time for us to admit it too. At Fitz & Follwell it’s well known that we love the outdoors year-round: our bike and walking tours prove it, as does our newer-found passion for fatbiking. And Montreal in winter is a sight to be seen for those who love the snow. But, we know that’s not everyone. And while the outdoors is core to our business, as important is our love of Montreal.
See the sights while staying warm
This winter we’ve got something in store for those who want to stay toasty and warm, but not miss out on the city’s offerings. While our other tours focus on above-ground sights, there is also a whole underground cityto explore in Montreal, known as RÉSO to locals and as the Underground City at large. Spanning 32 kilometres (that’s 20 miles, American friends)—it's the longest in the world! What’s down there? A lot of what you’re likely to find above ground in any big city bustling with tourists, businesses, and a cultural life: hotels, offices, banks, residences, subway and commuter train stations; public art, museums and galleries, even nightclubs and venues, schools and libraries—and of course lots of shopping, eating, and drinking.
Take it all in
No need to feel like you’re missing out on the downtown or Old Montreal, these are the exact areas the indoor tour covers, as does our River to Mountain outdoor tour. We know the tunnels well and weave around to make sure the best parts are seen—gorgeous atriums, retro and historical spots, and an impressive indoor ice rink. Have you ever wondered how a mall could be constructed underneath a church? You haven’t, but it’s something you’ve got to see (hint: the church was first placed on stilts, and it’s all in the underground city). Enjoy the sights and sounds, and yes flavours of the underground city—we're Montrealers, after all, the answer to "is there a snack break?" is always yes.
(Don't) get lost
We pride ourselves on going first and figuring out what’s what, picking and choosing the best and least obvious things to check out—the ones that you’ll find on an average tourist map, and the ones you definitely won’t find there. Our tours are designed to make you feel like you have a friend in town showing you around, no dry speeches or cold introductions. These tours are perfect for visiting families, business travellers, or locals looking to get a better sense of their surroundings, get out (or in this case, in) and explore, and get to feel like a tourist for a day without having to travel. We love hearing from visitors with limited time to see the city, who feel they couldn’t have covered as much ground without one of our tours—we hear it a lot, and this is exactly what we're aiming for.
Let us show you around
We love showing people through the underground city because we know they get to see it without finding themselves at dead ends, standing at maps, emerging from exists unfamiliar, or any of the other possible frustrations of trying to take it all in with limited time.
This three-hour tour (3 kilometres/2 miles) departs at 10am each day between Wednesday and Sunday. A visit to the Place Ville Marie Observatory—45 stories above the city with a view that is not to be missed—can be added to this tour for an additional cost. From the observation deck, you can take in more of the city’s natural features, interesting neighbourhoods, and landmarks. Check in with your guide about what else you’re hoping to see in town, and let them point out where you’ll be looking to be.
Price: $45 for the tour only; additional $15 for the observation deck (optional)
Banner image @by Christian Barrette