Canada Car Hire Collection Locations and Opening Hours
Car hire in Montreal and Quebec
Known locally as a mountain, Mont Royal overlooks the city down-town area and is a useful landmark to orientate yourself by. Montreal is a great city to get around by public transport and on foot. It feels very safe, even late at night. I walked for miles, including up Mont Royal and the views over the city from the “mountain” make the uphill walk very worthwhile. A city park was designated on part of the mountain in 1876 and was originally landscaped by Frederick Law Olmstead who also worked on New York City's Central Park.
This is a must – one of the nicest produce markets I have ever seen. The flower stalls are amazing and there is lots of great food, much of it with a French, as well as a Canadian, influence. We bought the ingredients of an excellent picnic, as well as some maple syrup sweets for immediate consumption. My one regret is not buying one of the giant cans of maple syrup as a souvenir.
The Notre Dame Basilica
The Basiclica (where Celine Dion was married) with its vividly blue interior and fascinating historical evolution into the church you see today, and the St Joseph’s Oratory, the largest church in Canada and a huge landmark (I could see it from the plane as it took off) stand out particularly amongst some very beautiful churches, even if Montreal is no longer a particularly religious city.
Close enough together to be visited on the same day are the Botanical Gardens, Biodome and Montreal Tower at the Olympic Village. However, there is so much to see that I would recommend allocating more than one day to this area.
The Botanical Gardens & Biodome
These gardens are truly lovely – I remember especially the exquisite Chinese garden, and a huge grove of lilacs, the scent of which covered a very wide area. The themed gardens and exhibition glasshouses cover 75 hectares in total.
The Biodome is located next to the Botanical Gardens in the former Velodrome built for the 1976 Olympics. Opening in 1992, the Biodome features habitats for plants and a number of animals, including some charming otters and beavers. It is possible to buy a joint ticket for the Biodome and Montreal Tower, and this is worthwhile, to save some money while enjoying both of these attractions.
The City of Quebec
Having heard wonderful things about the beauty of Quebec City, we decided to find out for ourselves whether they were true. So we collected our hire car and our fellow travellers and set off.
The road from Montreal to Quebec City is a good one. Unfortunately, we were not lucky with the weather and drove a large part of the way in a thunderstorm so heavy that for quite a lot of the time, we couldn’t even see the other cars, which was extremely scary. The storm was still continuing when we reached our first stop;
The Montmorency Falls
These Falls at 83m are higher than Niagara's 50m. There is a hotel with a convenient car park nearby, so we stopped there, and dashed into the shelter of the hotel. From there, I ventured out to the edge of terrace to peer at the falls which are certainly spectacular. But having got completely soaked just crossing the terrace, I decided not to go any further, although I am sure that on a fine day, it would be wonderful to see the falls closer. We drove into Quebec City, found a car park fairly easily, split into two parties, and set off on foot to explore the wet city. By that stage, we were starving, so finding somewhere for lunch was a priority.
We eventually chose the 1640 restaurant, large, welcoming and very French. Despite being in a prime tourist trap area almost opposite the Chateau Frontenac, it is possible to eat there very reasonably. The set menu offers three courses with coffee at £28 for both of us (compare this with the $9 we were charged for one very ordinary sandwich at the Montreal Tower). So we ate well, and as we emerged, the sun came out too, which made such a difference to our sightseeing. The Chateau Frontenac is an hotel and National Historic Site of Canada. It's architecture dominates Quebec's skyline and is possibly the most photographed hotel in the world.
We strolled along the boardwalk which runs alongside the river, enjoying the views, then took the funicular into the lower part of the old city. This was utterly charming and it was really hard to believe we were in north America. The atmosphere is so very French – we thought that perhaps this is where Americans go to find out what Europe looks like, although it is perhaps more scrubbed and freshly painted than the average French city. Here, there are even more small and charming shops and the whole area is a delight.
Something to look out for is the spectacular murals painted on the sides of buildings, including one depicting the history of the city. We spent much of the afternoon exploring this area and taking photos, before walking back up the hill, and meeting up again for a drink in a busy and lively Irish bar. Then it was back to the car, and back on the road to Montreal. And as we left, the storms started again, so our final view of Quebec City was dramatically lit by lightning.
Collection locations in Montreal
Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport serves the city of Montreal and is about 20 km from the downtown centre. Alamo, Avis and National are all based at the airport for passengers convenience.
Alamo/National opening hours:
- 06.00 - 23.59 Mon - Fri
- 07.00 - 23.59 Sat - Sun
Avis opening hours:
- 06.00 - 01.59 Mon - Fri
- 07.00 - 01.00 Sat - Sun
Car hire locations in downtown Montreal
6220 Boulevard Decarie, - Budget
- 07.00 - 20.00 Mon - Fri
- 07.00 - 17.00 Sat - Sun
1200 Stanley Street, - Alamo & National
- 07.00 - 19.00 Mon - Thur
- 07.00 - 21.00 Fri
- 07.00 - 17.00 Sat
- 08.00 - 18.00 Sun
Car Hire in Quebec
Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, serves the city of Quebec. Alamo, Avis, Budget and National all have a presence at the airport for tourists arriving by air.
Alamo/National opening hours:
- 07.00 - 23.00 Mon - Fri
- 08.00 - 21.00 Sat
- 08.00 - 23.00 Sun
Budget/Avis opening hours:
- 07.00 - 24.00 Mon - Fri
- 08.00 - 22.00 Sat
- 08.00 - 24.00 Sun
Car hire locations in downtown Quebec
1284 Boulevard Laurier, Sillery - Avis
- 07.00 - 17.00 Mon - Fri