Chic boutiques and cutting-edge design.
Montréal is the design city in North America. In fact, ours is the only one on the continent to be appointed a UNESCO City of Design, in 2006, joining the ranks of Buenos Aires and Berlin. No surprise, since Montréal has an innate knack for starting new trends in fashion, furniture and spaces that catch the world’s eye. Our designers—Dubuc, Marie Saint-Pierre, Andy Thé-Anh and Renata Morales, to name just a few—are always pushing fashion forward.
Downtown Montréal’s chic boutiques—the serious shoppers’ hunting ground—are clustered on the streets of de la Montagne, Sherbrooke and Sainte-Catherine West. Our preferred department stores of elegance and style are Ogilvy, Holt Renfrew, Simons and The Bay, Canada’s oldest department store. And there are 1,700 more boutiques and services spread out through Montréal’s vast Underground Pedestrian Network!
While Laurier West and Bernard Avenues are the places to go in Mile End for more high-end boutiques, Laurier also has its fabulous art de la table shops. Mont-Royal Ave., Saint-Denis St. and Saint-Laurent Blvd. on the Plateau Mont-Royal offer every kind of clothing boutique—high end, ready-to-wear, vintage, street, frip (unusual second hand) and casual. Saint-Laurent is also the place to find the most forward-looking furniture and home décor, while retro 20th-century objects abound on Amherst Street. Marché Bonsecours and Saint-Paul Street in Old Montréal offer local artisan fare, such as arts and crafts, unique jewellery and Inuit art.
Art galleries are simply everywhere! Especially on the “Plateau,” in the Quartier des spectacles and in Old Montréal. Montréal’s flair for cutting-edge design also manifests itself in our outdoor art, such as at the Quartier international.
Perhaps Montréal’s early mission as the continent’s fur-trading hub and supplier of beaver-fur hats to the style-conscious bourgeoisie of France was a sign of the city’s fashion vocation. Today Montréal is still the fur capital of Canada, producing stylish and original top-quality designs.