MY WIFE AND I WILL BE IN MONTREAL FOR CHRISTMAS AND WE'RE TRYING TO FIND ACTIVITIES BESIDES SHOPPING. WE'RE THINKING OF CATCHING TRAINS TO OTTAWA AND QUEBEC FOR A FEW DAYS EACH. ANY ADVICE APPRECIATED, BUT WE DON'T SKI.
G. WRIGHT, FAIRLIGHT
You can virtually guarantee a white Christmas, and there is much else to like about Montreal in December. It's about as close as you'll come to a European Christmas on the left side of the Atlantic and there's plenty happening in the lead up to Christmas, from the festival of lights in the Downtown area to the free concerts in the Museum of Fine Art to the Parc des Compagnons' Christmas in the Park festival to ice skating in the Old Port's Bonsecours Basin and the Olympic Stadium.
Quebec City is a must, this is the jewel in the crown of French Canada with a gorgeous Old Town at its heart, virtually an open air museum of 17th and 18th century architecture.
As the country's capital, Ottawa is a repository for culture and the arts, with the Museum of Civilization and the Museum of Nature as just two of the standouts and you can't miss the Parliament buildings, like something out of a gothic fairytale. If you've mastered the tricky art of ice skating, the frozen Rideau Canal is the largest skating rink in the world, used by many to commute to work or school.
With three weeks in hand you could easily include a few days in New York City. Post Christmas would be my choice, in time for the sales.