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March Break: The great indoors
The Ottawa Citizen ^ | February 23, 2006 | Laura Robin

Posted on 03/01/2006 2:32:02 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA

When Montreal's and Toronto's downtown systems of underground passages and shopping centres were first built, they were heralded as the height (or depth?) of modernity, the realization of Leonardo da Vinci's vision of the city of the future.

{snip}

You can get on the train in Ottawa and never need your coat again. After a traffic- and weather-worry-free ride, you can step off in the Toronto or Montreal train station and, five minutes later, check into the grand old Royal York or sexy Queen Elizabeth -- both connected right to the stations, both with indoor pools and welcoming to families. If you're willing to walk a little farther, still without going outside, you have a choice of six other hotels in each Toronto and Montreal, with new ones, such as a Ritz-Carlton in Toronto, under construction.

{snip} But from your hotel home base, you can go skating indoors, take in an NHL game, admire live butterflies, visit an art gallery or see the view from the tallest buildings in the country -- or even the world! -- without driving, parking or putting on boots.

Canada -- quite fittingly when you consider our climate -- has the largest underground cities in the world: Montreal boasts 32 kilometres of connected areas under its downtown, while Toronto recently made the Guinness Book of World Records for "Largest Underground Shopping Complex" for its 27 kilometres of underground retail space.

{snip}

Place Ville Marie was Canada's first underground shopping centre in 1962. Now, Toronto's underground shopping malls are said to add up to the size of the West Edmonton Mall, with 1,200 shops and services. Montreal has 930 retailers connected to its system, as well as arts centres, a modern art gallery and two giant venues for trade shows.

(Excerpt) Read more at canada.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: cities; shopping; subway; underground
I thought this might be interesting to some readers. These underground cities are quite interesting for a visitor -- they're not only a way of escaping the cold of winter; but they also are a way out of the blazing summer sun.

It might sound like we're breeding a race of Wellsian Morlocks -- but at least the shopping is good.

1 posted on 03/01/2006 2:32:05 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

Montreal is THE best place for a shopping spree for shoes, handbags, fur coats, and high-quality woolens.

(Now that Stephen Harper is in office, I may go back to Montreal and shop some more!)


2 posted on 03/01/2006 7:42:41 PM PST by LibFreeOrDie (L'Chaim!)
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