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Across Quebec: 10 Boutiques We Love

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By Phil Birnbaum

There's nothing like the bespoke pieces and hard-to-find labels that boutiques offer. From beautiful pieces for your home, or curated fashions, boutiques offer a unique shopping experience. Enjoy this slideshow of ten boutiques we love across Quebec. (more…)

6 Easy Weekend Getaways from Montreal


Golf Le Diable (Photo: Tourisme Mont Tremblant)

Golf Le Diable (Photo: Tourisme Mont Tremblant)

With so many long weekends on the horizon this summer, now is the time to jump into the car and discover what local gems lie just beyond Montreal. Here are our top six picks for an impromptu last-minute getaway.

Go to the Montreal getaways »

Montreal Bagels: The Delicious 93-Year-Old Institution No Visitor Should Miss

Montreal Bagel

Montreal Bagel: a thing of chewy beauty (Photo: Resident on Earth)

Montreal bagels get at the heart of civic pride in Quebec’s largest city. Like Montreal itself, these delicious treats are unique in the world, and locals identify not only with what flavour they prefer, but also which bake shops they frequent. Merely mentioning the word “bagel” can provoke an extreme reaction.

A quick tip to avoid conflict: don’t compare Montreal bagels to the New York version. The former is chewier than the latter, and is prepared differently. The process begins by kneading flour, malt and eggs (no yeast or salt here), forming a large ring out of the dough, and boiling it in honey water. They are then baked in a wood-fired brick oven on a long stick. The result is a bagel that is never perfectly circular or evenly browned. Compared to the New York version, Montreal bagels are thin, slightly crisp, and have a large hole. As a friend once explained, “It’s not a bun, it’s a bagel.” (more…)

Hot Shopping: Must-Have Fall Bag at m0851

The perfect fall bag from m0851. Photo: Adele Brunnhofer.

Transition your wardrobe for the fall with this stylish and functional satchel from Montreal retailer m0851’s brand-new “les aventures” line. The double handle satchel ($440) is the perfect size for daily essentials and features supple leather and a warm chestnut colour that is perfect for the season.

And whether planning holiday gifts early, or looking for back-to-school accessories, Where also recommends the line’s sleek iPad case in understated black with an exposed silver zipper ($275). m0851 also carries a variety of small leather accessories, bags, jackets and scarves.

m0851 is located on the second level of Bankers Hall.   – Adele Brunnhofer

Graffiti—Old Montreal, Quebec

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Why We Chose It

Granted, the wow factor of this photo is largely about the graffiti artist, but the photographer deserves credit, too, for framing this image so well and having the foresight to recognize it as a compelling subject. It’s simply amazing how multidimensional the work is—at first it seemed to be a painting on a window looking through to a building. Only at second glance was it apparent that the artwork was painted onto the building (the Old Misson Brewery in Old Montreal). Graffiti is well-established high art in Montreal, and this is just one of many examples. Check out the work of A’shop, for example.

Photo: Emmanuel Milou

Montreal Wine Bars: 6 Best Bets


Bocata (Photo: Riccardo Cellere)

When it comes to wine, there’s no better place than Montreal to try something a little off the beaten track. Well-crafted wine lists abound at chic spots in this city full of sommeliers. Just ask for la carte des vins at one of these top wine bars.

Drink in Montreal’s best wine bars »

Lesley Trites writes about wine at Girlonwine.com

8 Great Montreal Bars and Pubs for Beer Lovers


Fourquette Forchette (Photo: Red Hunt)

Montreal has a burgeoning beer scene and is home to more than its fair share of Canadian brewpubs and microbreweries offering everything from Belgian-style ales to thirst-quenching wheat beers and savoury stouts. There are literally hundreds of flavourful local beers to choose from, making a quest for great beers a somewhat daunting task in this city. (more…)

Canada’s First Plane-Spotting Park in Montreal


At Montreal’s new Jacques de Lesseps Park, aviation enthusiasts have one of the best seats in the city to view planes landing and taking off from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. The 975-square-metre (10,500-square-foot) park, which opened on May 25, is the only official plane-spotting park in the country.

While plane-spotters previously had to make due with an empty field, at Jacques de Lesseps Park there are benches and five-tier bleachers, plus the lawn itself has had a makeover with new sod, trees and shrubs. Newbies will appreciate the signs that point out the airport’s many runways at the airport and the best places to see the planes.

The creation of the park is part of the airport’s 70th birthday celebrations and is named after Jacques de Lesseps, the man who piloted the first airplane to fly over Montreal back in 1910. The park, which faces runways 24-L and 06-R, is on Aéroports de Montréal–owned land at the intersection of Halpern and Jenkins avenues in Dorval.

5 Fabulous Cupcake Shops in Montreal


Inniya's Cupcakes (Photo: Lauren Cracower)

Cupcakes are beyond the “trend” phase in most cities but are no less popular, having proven their staying power and become an institution on the culinary scene. Now it’s all about individual takes on the venerable sweet treat: inventive new combinations that transcend red velvet and chocolate buttercream frosting.

Here’s a mouthwatering look at our top five favourite cupcake boutiques in Montreal. (more…)

Meet the Montreal Food Blogger Behind This Is Why We’re Fat

Some of the many mouthwatering food photos from This Is Why We're Fat

Montreal food blogger Erika David says the most important qualification in her bio is that “I LOVE to eat!” Her passion for food and for her native city of Montreal definitely come across in the restaurant reviews on her blog, This Is Why We’re Fat, which she started in December 2010.

Each review is accompanied by multiple mouthwatering close-ups of food. We also love the lack of pretension: she covers everything from “crummy hole in the walls to stuffy, stuck-up eateries” and doesn’t mince words when highly rated places fall short of expectations. (more…)

Will Tourists Skip Montreal Due to Student Strikes?


Photo: Tina Mailhot-Roberge

It’s been more than 100 days since students in Montreal started demonstrating against proposed tuition hikes, and this week things heated up as more than 500 protestors were arrested, bringing total arrests to anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 (take your pick). How will all of this affect tourism in Canada’s second most popular tourist city, especially as festival season ramps up in June? (more…)

11 Rainy Day Activities in Montreal


Photo: Rachel Barenblat

1. Bowl and dine at Notre Dame des Quilles. Throw a strike at this hip new bowling bistro. It serves classy comfort food, like mac ‘n’ cheese with jalapeño chutney, alongside real ginger ale and cheap pints. It opens at 3 pm for afternoon fun. Cash only. 32 Beaubien St. E., at St. Laurent; 514-507-1313. Open daily from 3 pm.

2. Pamper yourself with a massage. Massages at Bota Bota spa ($90 for 60 minutes) are accompanied by a live harpist and you can also tack on a sauna or eucalyptus steam bath. Once a seaworthy vessel, this five-storey ship was retrofitted as a chic spa in 2010. 358 Commune St. W.; 516-284-0333. Open daily by appointment. (more…)