LaSalle named 11th most romantic city in Canada

Amazon Canada ranked the country's 20 most romantic cities based who purchased the most romance novels, jewelry and sexual wellness-related products.

Only 2 cities in Quebec cracked Amazon's Top 20 list of the most romantic cities in Canada

Gregory and Dimitria Vlassopoulos live in Laval but often go to their old neighbourhood of LaSalle to share a pizza. (Valeria Cori-Manocchio/CBC)

Married for 45 years, Gregory and Dimitra Vlassopoulos have a special place in their heart for LaSalle.

"I feel like it's my village," said Gregory. The couple lived in Montreal's west end borough of LaSalle for five years in the 1980s, before moving to Laval. They've called Laval home for the last 35 years, but they just can't stay away from LaSalle and its waterfront.

"You see people enjoy [the view]," said Gregory, who drives through the neighbourhood whenever he's on the island of Montreal.

Johnny Tzouvelakos's restaurant, LaSalle Drive-In, has been open for over 50 years on LaSalle Blvd., overlooking the St. Lawrence River. (Valeria Cori-Manocchio/CBC)
When they're in the car together, Gregory and Dimitra Vlassopoulos stop by for a pizza at LaSalle Drive-In.

The restaurant's owner, Johnny Tzouvelakos, agrees that the waterfront is one of the city's more romantic places. "It's just beautiful," Tzouvelakos said.

Perhaps that's why neither of the three were surprised to hear that their beloved LaSalle made the list for Amazon's Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in Canada.

Amazon compiled its list by using sales data from 2017. It included sales from romance novels, jewelry and sexual wellness products.

LaSalle came in at number 11. The only other city in Quebec to make the list was La Prairie, which ranked 14th.

Hubert Bertrand thinks LaSalle's nearby parks are what makes the city romantic. (Valeria Cori-Manocchio/CBC)
Tzouvelakos wonders if his partner, whom he met in LaSalle eight years ago when she walked into his restaurant, was charmed by him or her surroundings. "I don't know if she fell in love with me or the scenery," he said with a smile.

Other residents say being able to do outdoor activities in nearby Angrignon Park — which has a pond, winding paths and thousands of trees — make it perfect for romance.

Hubert Bertrand and his wife, who have lived in LaSalle for six years, take advantage of the city's parks. Bertrand snowshoes while his wife cross-country skis in Angrignon Park. They also do their winter activities along LaSalle Boulevard to have a view of the Lachine Canal.

Bertrand and his wife plan to spend Valentine's Day in LaSalle with their children, who also call the neighbourhood home.

But the area and its seemingly romantic atmosphere hasn't charmed everybody.

Normand Ouellet moved to LaSalle two years ago. The retiree said he has yet to find any overly romantic spot in the city, but enjoys taking a midday walk through a peaceful Angrignon Park.
Normand Ouellet moved to LaSalle two years ago. (Valeria Cori-Manocchio/CBC)

The top 20

Here is Amazon's list of the top 20 most romantic cities in Canada.

  1. Victoria, B.C.
  2. Abbotsford, B.C.
  3. Whitehorse, Yukon (new)
  4. Courtenay, B.C. (new)
  5. Fort McMurray, Alta. (new)
  6. Spruce Grove, Alta. (new)
  7. North Vancouver, B.C.
  8. Sherwood Park, Alta. (new)
  9. Surrey, B.C. (new)
  10. Nanaimo, B.C.
  11. LaSalle, Que. (new)
  12. Waterloo, Ont.
  13. Prince George, B.C.
  14. La Prairie, Que. (new)
  15. Grande Prairie, Alta.
  16. Airdrie, Alta. (new)
  17. Welland, Ont. (new)
  18. Vernon, B.C. (new)
  19. North Bay, Ont.
  20. Dartmouth, N.S. (new)