Climbing its tower brings you closer to the angels adorning the roof. It also offers a view of the port and river to the south, the Jacques Cartier Bridge to the east, and the downtown core to the west, slightly obscured by the dome of the neighbouring Bonsecours Market. The Old Port offers an abundance of leisure activities, such as climbing, zip lining, quadricycling, paddle- boating and—new this year—riding a Ferris wheel.
Leaving the modern-day cacophony of a summer’s day in the Old Port in search of more history, I found myself in Pointe-Saint-Charles for a visit to Maison Saint-Gabriel. This house was at the heart of a working farm run by Bourgeoys and her women’s religious congregation: the Congrégation de Notre Dame. Here, she also provided shelter and education to the newly arrived Filles du Roi, preparing them for a life in Nouvelle France. These young ladies would become wives and mothers to the new inhabitants of Montreal. A guided tour of the house offers a glimpse of life in those early days, while the grounds provide an unexpected oasis of tranquillity.