Recently, fellow D&M student Emily visited me for a weekend in Montreal. We went all around the city, exploring the many unique things Montreal had to offer. We both love food, fashion, art, and being mischievous, so we based most of our activities around these categories. By the time she visited I had been in Montreal for a couple of months, so I had time to scope out a fair amount of interesting things that I wanted to show her. However, there were also some very cool things I hadn’t seen that we were able to experience for the first time together.
Japanese Botanical Garden
One great place that Emily and I stumbled across was the Montreal Botanical Gardens. The botanical gardens are located pretty near the apartment I’ve been staying in, so we decided to take a short drive over there one evening to check it out. The gardens are attached to one of Montreal’s main tourist attraction, the Olympic stadium. I had been to the stadium recently, but hadn’t had time to see what the botanical gardens were. With this being said, we weren’t entirely sure if the gardens would be interesting or not, mostly because it was already winter.
Once we arrived, we parked the car, and begin walking through the deserted entrance. Everything looked dead and visually unappealing, until we noticed an interesting sign. The sign had directions, pointing one way for the Japanese Gardens, and one way for the Chinese Gardens. This came as a surprise, for multiple reasons. Firstly, Montreal has a very low Asian population, and in many regards could be considered the furthest thing from Asian Culture. Another clear surprise and dilemma had to do with the completely different weather conditions, prompting the question of how did they manage to grow native Asian plants in the Canadian winter. Since me and Emily are both connoisseurs of anything Japanese, there was no question as to which direction we’d take our journey. After walking a short distance, we arrived at the garden. Our assumptions were correct, almost none of the native Asian plants were alive. However, a beautifully desolate setting presented itself in a way we hadn’t imagined. Even though the plants were dead and the water was murky, a sense of tranquility was undeniable throughout the garden. The Japanese style architecture was weathered in the most perfect way, while a veil of hazy fog covered the whole landscape as we took it in. Even though it began getting dark, we spent quite some time at the garden enjoying each others company. We did a lot of interesting things over the course of that weekend, but our experience at the Botanical Gardens will stand out in my mind forever.