July 4, 2011 — The Plateau Mont-Royal is by far Montréal’s most bohemian neighbourhood, where Bring-Your-Own-Wine (BYOB) restaurants run rampant, designer boutiques neighbour retro-funk friperies (second-hand shops), outdoor terraces overflow with the first warm rays of spring sunshine and wrought-iron iron staircases cascade down old-style stone houses. Come play for a day in the eastern shadow of mighty Mount Royal!
Begin the day at St-Viateur Bagel & Café, a family-run Montréal business that has been making oven-baked bagels since 1957. The intoxicating aroma of coffee and warm bagels greets you as you enter the premises!
From here, you are perfectly situated to tackle the phenomenal shopping to be found along the Plateau’s main arteries – Mont-Royal Avenue, Saint-Denis Street and Saint-Laurent Boulevard (the Main). Exclusively groovy items ranging from lovingly used books to cutting-edge designer furniture to gourmet delicacies fill the local shops, all with their own unique treasures for you to discover.
Start your shopping extravaganza along Saint-Denis Street and head south. On the way, make sure to stop by Suite 88 chocolate lounge for their decadent chocolate shooters, their Belgian waffles or their exclusive hot chocolate made from melted high-quality chocolate.
From there, continue southward until you reach Saint-Louis Square, a picturesque public square surrounded by Victorian architecture with a turn-of-the-century French-Canadian flair. Its ornate park benches shaded by majestic mature trees provide a most tranquil place to relax and enjoy your time together.
Now it’s time to head up legendary Saint-Laurent Boulevard – other wise known as the Main. To get there, simply walk across Saint-Louis Square and Prince-Arthur Street. Much more than a simple thoroughfare dividing east and west, the Main is a historical meeting place for immigrants of all nationalities; it is a witness to Montréal’s evolution and spirit. Its eclectic mix of ethnicities, boutiques and restaurants make it a wonderful place to explore!
For a late lunch, eat in or take out Schwartz’s famous smoked meat.
After some good eats, continue your walk up Saint-Laurent, head east along Mont-Royal Avenue and find yourself a little “frip” followed by a cocktail on a terrace or in a stylish lounge. You’ll fall upon the perfect place as you wander down the Avenue.
You could also head over to beautiful Parc La Fontaine.In the summer, enjoy some lazy time together on a grassy knoll and a free outdoor show at Théâtre de Verdure, or strap on some skates and glide hand in hand around the frozen lake in the winter.
A day of play on the Plateau certainly deserves a fabulous supper à deux. For a little BYOW fun, pick up your bottle of choice at the closest SAQ (liquor store). There is no lack of BYOW possibilities along Duluth Avenue.
Arts and culture play a very important part of the Plateau lifestyle: why not take in a show, either independent or mainstream, at one of the area’s many theatres? Afterwards, finish off with a nightcap at a local hotspot, like Plan B, Bily Kün or Barraca all located on the lively Mont-Royal Avenue.