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Montréal is the largest city in Canada’s Québec province. It’s set on an island in the Saint Lawrence River and named after Mt. Royal, the triple-peaked hill at its heart. Its boroughs, many of which were once independent cities, include neighbourhoods ranging from cobblestoned, French colonial Vieux-Montréal – with the Gothic Revival Notre-Dame Basilica at its centre – to bohemian Plateau.
Montréal’s renowned Museum of Fine Arts displays collections from antiquity to the present. The International Jazz Festival and Just for Laughs comedy festival are major summer events, while winter brings the Fête des Neiges (snow festival). The enormous Underground City is a series of shop-filled tunnels and complexes connecting various Metro stations. The sprawling Botanical Garden presents thematic gardens and greenhouses, while the Biodome is an enclosed, modernist structure containing several distinct ecosystems. There are hiking paths to the top of Mt. Royal, site of a park and a large, illuminated cross.