Living the high life at 360° Observatory

Jamie O'Meara

Some things are just better when you’re high. Really high. And there aren’t many places in Montréal where the general public can get higher than the observatory deck at the top of the city’s iconic Place Ville Marie building in the heart of downtown. In addition to stunning vistas of the city, 360° Observatory, as it is now called, also offers a number of interesting activities… 185 metres off the ground.

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Place Ville Marie: tall tales

Place Ville Marie (PVM), the distinctive cruciform office building with the counter-clockwise revolving spotlight on top, is the architectural hub from which the rest of downtown radiates. Located above the centre of Montréal’s Underground City, PVM was, at the time of its construction in 1962, the tallest building in the British Commonwealth and the third tallest skyscraper on the planet outside the U.S. And while it has long-seceded those distinctions, its cultural stature in the city has only grown with the recent addition of an observation deck with a 360° view of major city landmarks like Mount Royal, the Saint Lawrence River, Old Montréal and the Olympic Stadium. There is also gourmet brasserie Les Enfants Terribles, a year-round outdoor terrasse, the Made in Montréal Café & Boutique and a new program of engaging activities open to the general public.


The highest Downward Dog in town

Nothing says Sunday like brunch, and nothing says relaxation like yoga. So 360° Observatory’s popular new yoga brunch is a no-brainer. Starting at 10 am, attendees are invited to participate in a bilingual yoga class on the 46th floor observatory deck, and then mosey down two floors for brunch at Les Enfants Terribles. Taking place November 19 & 26, and December 3 & 17, the $35 ticket price includes the yoga class, brunch, taxes and tip. Deal.


Tasting at the top

On November 13 & 23, renowned guest sommeliers will share their passion and expertise through unique wine-tasting experiences that will see numerous alcohols paired with tapas made by Les Enfants Terribles’ chef. The two-hour-long tasting workshops, which also take place on the 360° Observation Deck, are designed to deepen the knowledge of participants while exposing their taste buds to unique products under the guidance of experienced sommeliers.


Untold stories on high

For a family-friendly, eye-opening perspective on Montréal (apart from the one you’ll already have atop PVM) that features little known history and some unusual anecdotes, look no further than historian Laurent Turcot’s “Si MTL m’était contée…” guided tour and brunch on November 12. (In French.)


Dancing with your head in the clouds

Super-popular Montréal dance series C’EST EXTRA – a night of “frenchy jazzy swing” that’s been a going concern for over 20 years – is lending itself to a celebration of the anniversary of the Expo 67 World’s Fair in Montréal with a dance party on the observation deck on November 18. They’ll be playing classic tracks from 1967 – e.g., Aretha Franklin’s Respect, The Rolling Stone’s with Ruby Tuesday, The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever and so on – with, best of all, a spectacular view looking down at the former Expo 67 site on Île Ste-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame in the St. Lawrence River.

Jamie O’Meara

Jamie O’Meara, blogger

Jamie O’Meara is a writer for The Montreal Gazette, C2 Montréal, Moment Factory and more. He also manages the PR Team at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and is the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.