LBGT Plateau Mont-Royal

© Canadian Tourism Commission, Pierre St-Jacques - Montréal architecture© Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin - Terrace on Saint-Denis Street © Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin - Outdoor staircases
© Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin - La Fontaine Park Le Plateau-Mont-Royal

© Canadian Tourism Commission, Pierre St-Jacques - Montréal architecture

July 4, 2011 — “The Plateau” neighborhood is to Montréal, as Greenwich Village is to New York City – a gathering place of artists and inventive beings. You’ll sense the creative culture by wondering down maple tree lined streets and spotting cast-iron spiral staircases that feature all colors of the rainbow.

Start your Plateau adventure with brunch at L’Avenue, an institute for Montréal brunch, featuring a chiseled manikin in the window. After you’re fueled on oeufs and espresso, wonder down Avenue du Mont-Royal, popping your head into the various funky boutiques, such as Industrie for killer sneakers. If you want fun knick-knacks, browse through Le Palais Chinois de Montréal, which houses a plethora of Asian wall decors and funky porcelain tea sets. Or reconnect with Ella or Judy in their limited-print-vinyl-glory at used record shops like Le Fox-Troc.

As your stomach begins to warn of an impending craving for some Montréal dîner (lunch), grab a sandwich from one of the numerous bakeries, such as the very popular Première Moisson, and head a couple blocks south to Parc La Fontaine.

Parc La Fontaine is a well-loved green space for Montrealers looking for a retreat from urbania. Rest beside the fountain, but keep your eyes peeled for shirtless hotties cruising by on roller blades, and local lezzies enjoying a wine infused picnic. If it’s a balmy summer day, you’ll find ample shade under one of the many maple trees.

When you’ve got your second wind, turn your compass west and wander along the cobblestoned delightfulness that is Duluth Street. If it’s time for another meal, check out Khyber Pass for Afghan cuisine, or grab a bottle of vino from a dépanneur (corner store) or SAQ (liquor store) and settle down at Lombardi for some authentic Italian food.

When you reach Saint-Denis Street, pop into Suite 88 to finish your adventure with some decadent chocolat. For a truly local epicurean experience, pick up a gift pack to give the folks back home a taste of what they’re missing.