City Lights

The view from Mount Royal

Vincent Van Patten
3 min readNov 30, 2021


Shot by Vincent Van Patten

I’m at the top of Mount Royal, looking down at the city below. It’s dusk — the lights of the city are starting to come on. The lights turn the sky purple, hazy blue, a fading pink as the sun falls low.

Montreal, you are absolutely stunning. The vibe feels like a sleek modern city with European charm; the architecture is a gothic style like Paris, with green iron cathedrals that give the city heart. The boulevards are wide and the streets are quaint, then there’s this mountain in the middle, Mount Royal. What a special thing it is to travel. To see another part of the world that has its quirks and history, a distinguishable essence.

It makes me happier than anything to get a feel for a city. After talking to a few locals and getting the lay of the land, it starts to make sense. The pieces come together. I feel the pulse, the passion, the style.

I’m looking out at snow-dusted building tops, a city buried in a layer of snow. I can see my breath; the air is so clean and crisp.

There’s a Christmas tree in a courtyard glowing below the mountain. The holidays are here — what a gift to experience the world turn. How quick the time goes. People keep asking why we came here for travel — I love that — I love this. This is why.