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mini trip to Montreal

London
Level Contributor
35 posts
67 reviews
mini trip to Montreal

Hi, i am off to Montreal on my own in a few weeks. I am primarily coming to visit a friend who now lives there, however i am staying in a hotel, and would like to do some easy sightseeing and shopping (i like shopping!) As i will only have a couple of days i would appreciate a few key places to go, or what to look at first. I am staying at Ruby Foo hotel, but dont mind taking the subway or taxi. I kind of need to know some ideas for starting points. thanks people :-)

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
13,856 posts
47 reviews
1. Re: mini trip to Montreal

Hi Dendenz1

Ruby Foo isn't Downtown (where you want to be as a tourist) it is more in a Commercial / Residential area... just off of Decarie Blvd... "the trench". Good news is you won't be far from a Metro Station, so will have easy access to the Subway for getting back and forth.

Downtown Areas you might be interested in:

* St Catherine Street - Big Name Shopping about 20 Blocks East to West and some Malls attached to the Underground City.

* Old Montreal - The Historic Area, beautiful architecture, easily walkable.

* China Town - Restaurants & Shops

* Golden Mile - The area of Monteal where once the mega-rich heads of Industry lived... some art-deco bones still remain. Found along Sherbrooke Street. Boutique Shopping and Canada's high-brow Holt Renfrew Dept Store.

Everything is easily walkable (although a lot of walking) perhaps 25 Blocks by 10 or so. If you tire, hop on the subway and ride a stop or two, or take a cab.

This should get you started...

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Montreal
Destination Expert
for Montreal
Level Contributor
5,061 posts
2. Re: mini trip to Montreal

Well, the downtown malls and Ste-Catherine street are good, but they're mainly chain stores. I say also try the Saint-Laurent - Mount Royal - Saint-Denis shopping streets... more walking, but lots of independent boutiques and interesting things to see.

Another possibility is the bizarre Plaza Saint-Hubert -- from around Jean Talon to Bellechasse. Bargain hunter's heaven, and there' s everything under the sun, including tons and tons of wedding dresses. Quite an experience :)

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
Level Contributor
12,845 posts
58 reviews
3. Re: mini trip to Montreal

I will say that you should buy a tourist pass for metro (subway) and buses since this will allow you to roam the city for one day or 3 or even a week. Yes every important areas are very close together and walkable, except for the Olympic Stadium and Botanical Garden node in the far east. But just to make things easier (particularly if you shop) you can hop in the metro or on a bus at anytime. Anytime but not after midnight when metro closes down (closing time is different depending on stations and directions and days of the week). So if you plan to party a bit you will have a pretty good tab returning to Ruby Foos by taxi.

Tristou wrote that the downtown area is mostly chain stores and this is quite true BUT there are chains that are typically Canadien, or Québécois and this will come as a surprise for you. I am thinking about Aldo for shoes, Tristan and America , Ailes de la Mode, Le Château but the headliner is really Simons that offers very European design clothes that you will not find anywere in North-America, except in Québec City from where this store originate and that at very affordable prices.

I am a little puzzled by Tristou's suggestion of shopping on Saint-Laurent and Saint-Denis sts since the boutiques there are not so much about clothes. So if you want to find the kitchiest complete bedroom set or the ultra sleek and fashionable $5,000 sofa yes (those strets are a weird mix of the best and the tacky) but shopping for visitors mainly focus on clothes so I would suggest that instead you go to Laurier ave and walk it down from Côte-Sainte-Catherine st down to Saint-Laurent st. This is the street in Outremont and Mile End areas where rich francophones or well heeded artist type live and shop and that might interest you.

OK almost finished about shopping, just to mention that your hotel is very close to the Namur metro station and nearby, along Jean-Talon st you will find the discount store for the local chain Le Château and another one that I cant remember + the Village des Valeurs, a kind of thrift/second hand shop where you can find interesting things too.

Now about sightsee Wine4-2 hit the mark except for the above mentioned Olympic Complex and Botanical Garden in the east end of the town but easily accessed by metro.

Also I must add that if you come in late April, all May or very early in June you will be able to see the latest big top production of home grown Cirque du Soleil, still with no official title but with star director Robert Lepage at the helm. Can you believe that this famous stage director from Québec City, one of the top in his field worldwide, is doing a Cirque show while he is also directing Wagner's Tetralogy for the Metropolitan Opera NYC? Also you should check the La Tohu's (our permanent circus theatre) website since they have some touring companies and will also feature in May or June the shows of the graduates from next door National Circus School.

OK that's it for now, I will wait for some feedback from you but also from some other experts!

Montreal
Destination Expert
for Montreal
Level Contributor
5,061 posts
4. Re: mini trip to Montreal

Hmm... for second-hand clothes shopping, there is a large concentration along Mount Royal between Saint-Laurent and Saint-Denis, as well as a few heading up Saint-Laurent (Eva B. just above Ontario, plus a few around Duluth). And although the distances are larger as I said, there are indeed enough clothes and shoe stores to keep you interested along the streets mentioned, with Saint-Laurent being the least well-stocked, but the other stores make it so interesting, and you get to stop at Schwartz' for smoked meat :)

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
Level Contributor
12,845 posts
58 reviews
5. Re: mini trip to Montreal

Sorry Tristou but second hand clothes boutiques on Saint-Laurent or Mont-royal are now history! Yes I tried last spring but with very little success. Only the Le Chaînon charity still has a store there, and a few more are offering "vintage" clothes, supposedly never worn, at quite high prices.

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Montreal
Level Contributor
3,694 posts
41 reviews
6. Re: mini trip to Montreal

I think there are still a few rickb, but probably not as many as before. I have also seen those vintage high priced places you spoke about. There is also a few clothing shops or specialty shops too, it's still a really nice street to walk around to shop a bit. The main reason i like it is because you might find a unique top that isn't sold in all the chain stores.

FYI: Aldo isn't just Canadian anymore, i've seen them everywhere even Hong Kong!

London
Level Contributor
35 posts
67 reviews
7. Re: mini trip to Montreal

Thank you so much everyone, i have printed off the info, and will plan over the next few weeks where to head to. Will update you when i get back end of April.

Really appreciate all your input, i am looking forward to visiting your lovely sounding city.

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
Level Contributor
12,845 posts
58 reviews
8. Re: mini trip to Montreal

You are welcome and please if you want to come back with more questions (food?) you should actually make a new post and not reawaken this one.

Hope to hear from you in the future!

Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
605 posts
51 reviews
9. Re: mini trip to Montreal

Like someone suggested, I would definitely go to Le Château Liquidation near the Namur metro station. It is a HUGE! I can stay in this store for hours (but I'm a crazy shopper). Definitely hit Ste-Catherine, between the Guy-Concordia metro station and St-Laurent. There's plenty of big stores (Simons, H&M, XXII, etc.), but also small ones like Betsey Johnson, Off the Hook, for example.

Personally, I don't shop on St-Laurent much, because it's mostly furniture stores/clubs that are located there. But if you want to see it, get off at station St-Laurent, walk north and you'll meet Mont-Royal at some point, turn right on Mont-Royal, and there you go... :) Be warned, it's a little walk.

Mont-Royal street (Mt-Royal metro station) also has a few small interesting clothing/jewelry stores. And TEA! If you like flavored teas check out David's Tea, also on Mont-Royal.

( http://davidstea.com/ )

There are also plenty of used CDs/books stores on Mt-Royal.

Enjoy :)

Edited: 12 March 2010, 22:56
10. Re: mini trip to Montreal

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