Had a wonderful time in a wonderful city, here are some thoughts and likes & dislikes.
Hotel - Fairmont Queen Elizabeth - very nice, excellent location, rooms so/so, not large, but clean & quiet, so what more can you ask?
Basically walked most of the time to get the flavor, that is what I recommend to visitors who come to NYC, so I do that myself.
Took the metro once, easy to use, no problem. No buses, did take a few taxis, drivers are the same in every place I have been, it is universal!
The Botanic Garden, especially the Japanese & Chinese gardens, just fabulous.
Had a half day tour included in our package, so got to see most of the sites (Mount Royal, Old Montreal, most of the tourist areas).
Loved Old Montreal - had drinks at the Hotel Nelligan, would want to stay there if I visit again.
A great pastry place - La Delices de Erable - 84, rue St-Paul Est - wow!!
Dinner twice in Old Montreal - once at Gibbys - pricey but worth it.
2nd dinner - Restaurant Le Bourlingueur - 353 St Francis Xavier - very reasonable prix-fixed, leisurely, very good, nice ambiance
Dinner # 3 - The Montrealer at the Queen Elizabeth - very reasaonble for a hotel restaurant and it was excellent.
Lunches on the go - have to say I tried your "smoked meat" at Ben's, we were nearby, and it in no way compares to our pastrami or corned beef - it is totally different, to say it is even in the same league, sorry, it is not. So, skipped Schwartz's, maybe it is better there, but not for me.
Shopping - Rue St Catherine was just ok. Liked Simons very much though, bought a few items there. We walked east to St Denis and up to Sherbrooke, not impressed, then over to Blvd St Laurent heading back to Old Montreal, and this was the one street that made me uncomfortable - not nice, dirty, derelict, past Chinatown, nothing special for me. That was my only disappointment.
Visited the undeground, very interesting. Walk west on Rue St Catherine and found Crescent Street, very lovely street.
Lovely people, very friendly & helpful, very clean which I appreciate, excellent food, reasonably priced, city easy to navigate, very walkable, felt safe 95% of the time, even at night, walked from Old Montreal to our hotel. Nice shopping, but the taxes can kill - almost 15% on everything!
Thanks to everyone who gave me advice, had a lovely time and would recommend Montreal to anyone looking for a nice city with great ambiance, great food, friendly people with a lot to do!