On the VIA train to Montreal for the launch of Audible Canada
We all know the importance of reading (whether for pure enjoyment, an escape, or education), but, with busy schedules the struggle is real for many of us to find a consistent amount of time to whip through paperback books as fast as we’d like to.
As an entrepreneur, efficiency is always top of mind, and I was intrigued when a fellow business owner shared with me that he had started absorbing all of the business and marketing books he wanted to read via audio. “It’s great!,” he said, “I get through books more than twice as fast.” This made me think, was it time to start listening to more books, rather than just looking at the stack of books next to my bed, patiently waiting for me to pick them up rather than just pass out in front of them?
One issue I’ve had with audio books is my disdain for computerized voices narrating a brilliant book in the most robotic way possible. So with the news that artists and celebrities like Kevin Hart, Claire Danes and Hillary Clinton are narrating popular novels through Amazon‘s Audible App that just launched in Canada, I was instantly intrigued.
In case the app is new to you, Audible is a subscription-based audio book company where members get instant access to 180K+ audio books with 30% off listening options that bring stories to life by unleashing the power of the spoken word (by real humans). #TeamGC (aka my Assistant Editor, Blair, and I) had the opportunity to join Audible for the celebration of their launch in Canada that was kicked off with a special appearance by legendary author, Margaret Atwood, and a reading by actress Elisabeth Moss of The Handmaid’s Tale, followed by a whirlwind 24-hour trip to Montreal.
Here’s a mini guide to a quick Montreal visit that highlights where we stayed, what we did and what we ate during our trip:
Departing from Toronto’s Union Station, we boarded a private VIA Rail train that was for Audible Canada’s VIP guests only. We were so lucky to be included and enjoyed the wonderful service, relaxing commute, and the treat of a specially catered menu throughout the trip.
Once on board, we had the pleasure of acquainting ourselves with Audible on our 6 hour train journey to MTL. When we had settled in on the train, we were generously gifted devices that came pre-loaded with a few audio books like Harry Potter and The Handmaid’s Tale. With so many great audio books to choose from, it was a relaxing way to spend those 6 hours on the train listening to some of our favourite pieces of literature.
We were booked to stay at the newly renovated Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal which is truly one of the best hotel options when you’re travelling by train. Not only is this hotel beautiful and luxurious, but it’s extremely convenient to get to from the train, as it’s literally situated just above the main train station.
After a quick refresh at the hotel, we made our way over to Kampai Garden for dinner and it was everything we needed after a long day of travel, and more! Known as a beer garden restaurant with an Asian fusion tapas vibe, Kampai Garden is not only super stunning and Instagrammable but this place has it all — cutting edge food, the most talented team of chefs, friendly servers and impeccable cocktails. One of our favourites from the many dishes we sampled was their Tuna Tataki with Orange Peel Puree and Yucca Chips, but seriously, you need to try everything from their delicious and seasonal menu. Thank you to the A5 Hospitality team for hosting us that night!
Since we had little time in the morning before our train back to Toronto departed, we conveniently ventured down to Rosélys (the restaurant inside The Fairmont) and dove into their poached eggs with hollandaise and caviar served alongside the freshest Québec smoked salmon. Light but still filling, this was the perfect meal before a big travel day!
With a teeny amount of time to kill before the train ride back to YYZ, we dashed over to Quebec’s infamous department store, Simon’s (located just up the street), for a quick shopping spree! We fully took advantage of their designer sale and took home some fabulous finds, even within just a 15 minute shopping window — we are pros after all!
Click HERE for more info on Audible Canada!
(Assistant Editor, Blair Stutz)