Shopping in Montreal
From independent co-ops on avenue Bernard to stylish shops on rue Sherbrooke Ouest, mixing high and low
is the new standard of sophistication. Here are Montreal's new classics for body and mind.
For the Body
Since its opening in 2002, this is where Montreal's chicest women shop for shoes. Whether you choose to constantly update your look with the latest Yoji Yamamotos or invest in staples like the must-have Marni bag, walking into this beautiful boutique will surely convert you into a shoe fetishist.
Representing over 30 different designers and artists from Montreal, this neighbourhood go-to for girls in the know specializes in abstract jewellery, handmade cards and accessories. It's also home to the Glasgow clothing line created by co-owner Jen Glasgow. For a larger selection in vintage clothing, check out its sister store, Local 23, just three blocks away.
Divided into two sides – one for women, the other for men – this lower Boulevard Saint-Laurent boutique has been the gold standard for modern fashion enthusiasts since its opening a decade ago. With lines like 3.1 Phillip Lim, See by Chloé, Engineered Garments and Acne Jeans, you're sure to be up on the latest trends. Items coveted by the staff: a Vivienne Westwood black satin corset dress, a Mihara Yasuhiro metallic tie and the red leather Comme des Garçons folder wallet, obviously.
Upon first look, this venerable boutique may seem flashy, but there is more to Michel Brisson than colourful Etro prints and the latest G-Star jeans. Some of the best pieces here are minimalist blazers from Dries Van Noten and reconstructed Martin Margiela suits. Look to the knowledgeable staff for advice on accenting your look with scarves or cufflinks. Custom tailoring available.
For the Mind
Combining an extensive book collection with some of the best cooking classes in town, Bon Appétit Cookbooks is definitely worth the short trip to Westmount. Partners Jonathan and Michelle Cheung stock their shelves with both classic cookbooks (Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking) and the soon-to-be classics (Beyond Nose to Tail by Fergus Henderson). Cooking classes are scheduled on a weekly basis and are the opposite of culinary stodginess. (Taco Class with Joe Beef's Frédéric Morin is a case in point.) Note that classes are often sold out one month in advance, so be sure to book ahead.
Tucked away on bustling avenue du Parc, this shop is a must-see for any paperphile. While it stocks your basic Moleskine and fancy Italian agendas, Nota Bene is also full of little treasures, like giant erasers embossed with the Statue of Liberty and the much-coveted Atoma notebooks from Belgium.
Since 1999, brothers Lambert and André Gratton have been converting the masses to their modern design aesthetic. Almost all of the items in this subterranean gem are one of a kind, and the store specializes in a selection of mid-century Québec and European ceramics along with teak Scandinavian furniture. Lambert's top pick? Canadian designer Daniel Lemieux's pumpkin lamp, which was first created in the 1960s. The range has been reissued and the lamps are now available to buy in various sizes.
General 54, 54, rue Saint-Viateur O., 514-271-2129
Local 23, 23, rue Bernard O., 514-270-9333
Couleurs, 3901, rue Saint-Denis, 514-282-4141
TOP PHOTO: CULTURA / JUPITER IMAGES
U&I: PHILLIP LIM
MICHEL BRISSON: M. CRAMER / SAUCIER + PERROTTE ARCHITECTES
NOTA BENE: VÉRONIQUE VIGNEAULT
COULEURS: JEAN LONGPRÉ