Montreal runs the gamut in terms of shopping, from overpriced souvenirs geared toward tourists to second-hand stores for bargains aplenty. There are great specialty shops to be found in every neighborhood, and sometimes the shops can be found underground.
Many major retail and specialty shops can be found on Saint Catherine St W and Notre Dame W. And keep in mind that many downtown stores close around 5 pm or 6 pm on weekends. Why? It's the weekend and it's time to play!
Insider's Guide: The Best of Shopping in Montreal
Quebec's Economuseums are a unique business concept that showcases traditional trades and their production techniques. Think of them as atelier, boutique, museum, and trade school all in one. While the products differ at each economuseum, the common denominator is the passionate artisans who have devoted their lives to their craft.
There are some four dozen economuseums in a growing network that spans Quebec and the Maritimes; Montreal boasts five economuseums. Les Brodeuses (5364 Saint Laurent Blvd, 514-276-4181) specializes in embroidery, and just across the street is Hectarus, which features vitrified glassware (5329 Saint Laurent Blvd, 514-495-2629).
Eaton Centre (705 Saint Catherine W, 514-288-3708) is a shopping mall that has 150 diverse shops, including The Gap, Benetton, Bleu Marine, and G, as well as 30 fast-food restaurants. A six-screen cinema is located on the mall's sixth floor.
Place Alexis Nichon (1500 Atwater St) is a 400,000-square-foot shopping center that's part of a 2.4-million-square-foot office/residential/commercial complex. The shopping center has large retail outlets, like Zellers and Canadian Tire, and small specialty boutiques such as Le Enfants Ole Ole.
Complex Desjardins (150 Saint Catherine W) features 36 fashion shops and 110 boutiques. Some of their stores include Souris Mini for kids clothing, Bizou for jewelry, and Boutique Claudia, Marie Claire, and Lingerie Briere for women's clothing.
Le Faubourg (1616 Saint Catherine St W) is a shopping mall that has 60 specialty shops anchoring a mixed-use complex on the west side of town. Its stores include Vegas Mode for women's clothing and Benix for accessories.
In Old Montreal Galerie Parchemine (40 Saint Paul St W, 514-845-3368) offers frames and framing technique workshops. And violin-making takes front and center stage at Jules Saint-Michel, Luthier (57 Ontario St W, 514-288-4343). At La Maison de Calico (324 Lakeshore Rd, 514-695-0728) in the western suburb of Point Claire, quilting is the specialty.
If you have wedding plans or a formal event in the near future, a visit to Plaza St. Hubert (6841 Saint-Hubert St, between Jean Talon, Bellechase, De Chateaubriand, and Saint Andre) near Little Italy is a must. You'll find four long city blocks of shopping underneath a canopy-covered sidewalk. The area boasts hundreds of stores, most geared toward clothing, formalwear, and jewelry, and is easily accessible by cab or Metro stations Beaubien or Jean-Talon.
Antiquites Milord (1870 Notre Dame W, 514-933-2433) specializes in 18th- and 19th-century European furniture and artwork. The Antiquities VR Magasin (1748 Notre Dame W, 514-933-7333) sells mid-range antiques, silverware, candlesticks, table lamps, dining room sets, and more.
So, what is there to do when the sun has set and your shopping excursions have ended? The next page has several suggestions on Montreal's nightlife and entertainment scene.