VIA Rail-2

Training Yourself To Enjoy A Weekend in Montreal

Montreal is a popular but so vastly different city than major cities around it, like Toronto and Ottawa. The city is built so beautifully with elevation changes, historic buildings and a particular focus on architecture and spacing.

What I really liked specifically was the ‘of-course’ mentality they have with architecture and design in the city. I feel like bad design dies on the drafting table before the design is even complete.

  • Of course we should have beautiful buildings for people to love working and living in
  • Of course we should have large foyers, people have to walk through them
  • Of course this building should look different on the street than other buildings, why would we want boring buildings?

Feels like design is more of a way of life here, it’s refreshing. But getting to Montreal from Toronto, seems to take the enjoyment right out of the trip. Whether it’s getting there or getting back. With long, cumbersome commutes, you tend to forget the beauty of your trip.

But, I’m a businessman, I do business-y things and I can’t be sitting in traffic or waiting in line at the airport for a short trip, I need something different. I need to enjoy and make the best out of my commute.

This time we wanted to see what it would be like to take the train there instead. We still get to conduct business, sit back and relax, knowing we don’t have to drive and we can have a dinner that doesn’t come in a brown paper bag. It was a good decision.

We booked a business class trip through Via Rail from Toronto to Montreal, leaving at 6:00pm. First things first, we checked out the Via Rail business lounge, had soft drinks, free wifi, TVs and comfortable chairs. Worth waiting in.

Our train time was called and we headed straight to the train, no waiting line and got to our spot.

I had a great circle of people around me, heading back home to Kingston. We shared stories, wine and more, made the trip go much faster. The trip brought me into the station around 11:00pm, just the right amount of time to have a good night sleep ahead or drop my bag, freshen up and hit the town.

The Food

Everyone usually has issues with food during a commute when it comes to airline food, etc. However, with Via Rail, we were able to enjoy beverages while enjoying some great food (chicken or beef, fish, or pasta (vegetarian)). Tried the pasta on the way there, fish on the way back. Both great with it’s compartmentalized dishes with dessert, some cheese and wine on the side, delightful. It’s hard to have mass transit with the white tablecloths, the crystal wine glasses and silverware, but the food was great for the trip.

The Environment

The staff were cheerful, talkative and provided a great social experience. I even had some of the same people from the train there for the train back to Toronto. The wifi was steady throughout the ride and the desks provided us enough space for our laptop to sit.

The Overall Trip

Overall, with the whole experience, if you aren’t in an absolute rush to get to Montreal and don’t want to worry about hitting rush hour traffic, having a consistent arrival and departure time, then maybe, just maybe, you should take the train.

For more information, be sure to visit Via Rail’s website for destinations, pricing and scheduling your next trip.