‘Shop ‘til you drop’ is taken literally in Montreal. Its irresistible boutiques, touting clothes, antiques, and everything in between, are nestled between funky cafes and must-see tourist attractions. When winter brings with it sub-zero temperatures, the Underground City comes to life, with its web of walkways providing easy access to literally hundreds of retail outlets.
1. Notre-Dame Street West
The ‘Quartier des Antiquaires’ (Antique’s Row) evolved organically in the enchanting neighbourhood of Little Bergundy. While away the hours trawling the endless vintage boutiques for ancient treasures, from furniture and crockery, to art, jewellery and clothing. Eureka Antiques is a must for porcelain, silver and collectables.
2. Librairie Drawn & Quarterly
Devotees of all-ages cartoons will love this independent book shop in the Mile End. An accomplished publisher of some of the graphic novels and cartoonists in the world, time seems to stop in Drawn & Quarterly, as you browse for hours in this lively, colourful bookstore.
3. Saint-Catherine Street
Wear your walking shoes to traverse the longest commercial street in Canada. Start at Saint-Laurent Boulevard and head west for stores like Simons, Birks & Ogilvy and multiple shopping malls including the Eaton Centre. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, it probably doesn’t exist!
4. Les Délices de l’Érable
When you visit the province that produces 80 per cent of the world’s maple syrup, you can’t go home empty-handed. Les Délices de l’Érable serves espresso and pastries as you shop for delicious gifts for your foodie friends. Think Maple Sugar Candies, Maple Chunks Cookie Mix, and Maple Chicken Rub?
5. WANT Apothecary
The dark oak tables, brushed copper and chandelier set the tone at WANT Apothecary on Sherbrooke Street West. Designed to reflect a 19th century European pharmacy, the boutique is steeped in elegance and stocked with premium leather goods, designer brands, timeless styles and beauty products.
6. Jean-Talon Public Market
Join the throngs of Montrealers at the all-seasons Jean-Talon Market and wind your way through endless aisles of local providores selling delicacies you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Feast on cheeses, pastries, and ice cream, as you navigate the multicultural flavours of the markets.
7. Frank & Oak
Local brand, Frank & Oak, keeps the gentlemen of Montreal looking sharp with top quality menswear and accessories. Located on the Mile-End, nestled among similarly-stylish boutiques, founders Ethan Song and Hicham Ratnani combine art and technology to craft sophisticated clothing for all occasions.
8. L’Empreinte Cooperative
Take home a little piece of Quebec from L’Empreinte Cooperative on Saint-Paul Street in Old Montreal, a gallery-boutique brimming with remarkable contemporary and traditional hand-crafted works by Quebec’s most gifted artists. Meet the local artists on site and find out what inspires their creations.
9. Aux 33 Tours
Pick yourself up a vinyl relic and browse new Francophone, electronic, and classic rock records at the super funky Aux 33 Tours. Satisfyingly free of tourists, you can leaf through an enormous range of new and collectible records spanning all music genres at this quintessential Montreal outlet.
10. Shop underground
Montreal’s shopping scene heats up in winter. The Underground City connects shopping malls and attractions with its maze of heated tunnels. Shop at Simons for Canadian designs, take tea at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and broaden your mind at the Museum of Contemporary Art, all without braving the weather.