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Posts by Isa Tousignant

Raise Your Hands! It’s Spring

The snow is melting, the birds are chirping… and by golly, we’re finally getting ready to wear open-toed shoes. Get in the mood for the upcoming pedicure season with an indulgent manicure. (Groomed fingers = instant poise.) Montreal has got a plethora of top shelf nail bars, so the choice was difficult… but here are our favourites. SHELlAC ATTACK Rouge Bar has three locations around the city, and it’s always a singularly convivial place to get your extremities groomed. Their signature trait are the big TVs that animate their spaces with a constant stream of rom-coms featuring Jennifer Lopez, Mila Kunis and Julia Roberts. Catch up on the latest chick flicks while getting a long-lasting shellac mani for a very reasonable $45. MANI-PEDI? STEADY Rock the boat at BOTA BOTA, where all treatments come with a magnificent view of the St. Lawrence and the Old Port. They offer a handy express treatment that will have you looking neat and polished within your lunch break, but we recommend the Spa treatments: the $115 mani-pedi combo takes two hours and involves a peeling as well as a massage. Perk: the salon uses vegan products by Spa Ritual. A CUT(ICLE) ABOVE Reach the pinnacle… / Read More →

Butterflies spread their wings at the Botanical Gardens

Craving more spring in your step than Mother Nature is providing these days? Head to the Botanical Gardens, within the east end’s kid-tastic Montreal Space For Life, where the temperatures are balmy and the smells sweetly floral. There’s added magic in the greenhouses these days thanks to Butterflies Go Free: an annual spring ritual that releases thousands of butterflies and moths from all over the world into the Main Exhibition Greenhouse. They float, flutter and flock all around visitors like living confetti…

Guide to Montreal’s Commercial Art Galleries

Have you ever visited a museum and wished it were a shop? Short of becoming a game-show millionaire, you may never be able to buy a Monet or a Borduas – but you can get close. Montreal has a slew of commercial galleries that enable both experienced collectors and more timid art lovers to invest in a masterpiece (or three) of their own. Here are some spots to start with…

Montreal’s two biggest museums join forces for 1+1=1

Montreal’s two biggest museums – usually competitors for traffic – have come together to produce a sum greater than their parts: the exhibition 1+1=1, featuring the best contemporary art their shared collections have to offer…

Where to get great tea in Montreal

Coffee lovers need never worry – whenever the need for an espresso strikes, they’re never further than a block away from their heart’s desire in Montreal. For years, tea drinkers didn’t enjoy the same luxury. But times are changing! Tea is taking the city by storm (in a teacup?) as expert tea providers pop up left, right and centre. And not only that: our fair city offers some Kate Middleton-worthy high tea spreads…

The City is a Gallery at Art Souterrain 2014

It’s March! Cause for celebration for two reasons: it’s the official start of spring, and the entire underground city is turning into a supersized gallery for the annual Art Souterrain festival…

Count down with The Clock at the MACM

A 24-hour video art piece? It may sound like torture, but in the hands of Californian artist Christian Marclay it’s a masterpiece that’s so entertaining, you might never want to leave…

Hotel Le St-James: Montreal’s Superstar Hotel

It’s known for its A-list of world-famous guests – Madonna, anyone? – and its legendary decoration, where every antique that fills the hotel’s 60 individualized guestrooms and halls was personally chosen on world travels by the owner, Lucien Rémillard. Hotel Le St-James and its gourmet restaurant, XO, are where the everyman goes for special occasions and where the fabulous calls their home away from home. We caught up with Elizabeth Glimenacki, who oversaw the historic Old Montreal property’s conversion into a luxury hotel…

Le Petit Hôtel: A Small Old Montreal Hotel with a Grand Design

It’s always full, and there’s good reason – this appropriately named little hotel in Old Montreal is an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on high design. Owned by the Antonopoulos Group, which also runs the Hôtel Nelligan and Le Place d’Armes Hotel & Suites, Le Petit Hôtel boasts an economical use of space in the common areas but nice roomy guestrooms dressed up in warm earthy colours by the Montreal hotel and restaurant design firm Camdi Design. We spoke to President and Art Director Pierre Brousseau about his vision for this petite property…

Pamper the winter away in Montreal’s best spas

As the temperatures dip, the idea of a hot sauna followed by an expert massage has even more irresistible allure. And how about being your friends’ favourite Santa ever? Giving the gift of lasting relaxation and pampering is no sweat this holiday season thanks to some red-hot deals in Montreal spas. They’ll warm your cockles – and your soul…