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Posts by Isa Tousignant

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…

Hotel Gault: A four-star getaway in Old Montreal

Hotel Gault, in the heart of Old Montreal, is one of the city’s most unique luxury stays. Set in a fully restructured historic building, reinforced against earthquakes with injected concrete, its aesthetic is less ancient than other Old Montreal hotels. By the time Montreal design firm YH2 began work on the project, the original structure had already been transformed through time – it was used as offices and storage space, and few of the original elements were recoverable. The result is a historic exterior and a spacious, gorgeous interior oasis of peace and tranquillity whose aesthetic is mostly contemporary. We spoke to YH2 designer Marie-Claude Hamelin…