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Posts by Laure Juilliard

Montréal’s most scenic bike paths

Rated “North America’s premiere biking city” by the Copenhagenize Report (2013), Montréal boasts 645 kilometres of bike paths. Itching to explore the city on two wheels? Here are our picks for Montréal’s prettiest urban routes, pedaled carefree and car-free. The Lachine Canal bike path Ranked third on Time magazine’s Top 10 Urban Biking Trips in 2009, the nearly 15-kilometre-long Lachine Canal bike whisks cyclists alongside a canal that is operated by modern locks, open to small pleasure craft and bordered by old 19th-century factories. Starting from the Old Port, up to the Atwater Market, until the Chemin du Musée, in Lachine, where a stop-off at Parc René-Lévesque is recommended, this pretty circuit winds you through natural spaces and industrial parks alike. On the way back, follow the Berges Ouest bike path along the St. Lawrence River to Verdun and LaSalle, where you can watch surfers or kayakers navigating the rapids. De Maisonneuve Boulevard bike path Ideal for exploring downtown by bike! If you start from the Grande Bibliothèque (near the Berri-UQAM métro station), you can ride past skyscrapers right up to the sweet boutiques and museums of downtown Montréal, and get a glimpse of Place des Arts at the same time…. / Read More →

Celebrate Mother’s Day in Montréal

On May 10, we celebrate all Québec mothers! If you’re still short of ideas on how to honour mom best, we’ve carefully put together a few stellar suggestions that are sure to make her feel like the star she is. Gift ideas Before the big day, remember to get a gift (or two or three). Perhaps something glittery or chocolaty? Or maybe she’s more in need of some pampered tranquility? But then again, there’s nothing like the touch of the soft and leathery (from a local designer, of course), not to mention the joy of having something creative and artsy. And how about flowers (who doesn’t love flowers?)? Although she just might prefer getting out of the “maison” for a classical concert at the Maison symphonique. 11 a.m.: Gourmet Brunch Mother’s Day brunch is a must. Make reservations at Laurie Raphaël or at Maison Boulud for a chic treat for the eyes and the taste buds. At Auberge Saint-Gabriel, take advantage of a savoury menu served in an enchanting setting. Zucchini and white chocolate muffins, poached eggs on eggplant “caponata” and asparagus with hollandaise: only the best for mom. Here are some other ideas for exotic, French, English, or typically… / Read More →

Brunch around the world in Montréal

Coming to Montréal soon? Then you might want to take part in Montrealers’ favourite weekend activity: going out for brunch. More than a meal, it’s a religion; think of it as the Québec version of the traditional Sunday family dinner. Whether your brunch is terroir, exotic, tucked away in a bakery or an old-world tea salon, here are some great spots to try, no matter what your fancy, Saturday and Sunday included. Do it like the French! The restaurant: Leméac The neighbourhood: Outremont The ambiance: Refined and chic, Leméac has been a much-loved Montreal institution since 2001. Enjoy a Parisian-style brasserie ambiance, retro décor and cuisine that serves bistro essentials. Heads-up: you need a reservation here. What to order: poached eggs, smoked salmon and Spanish caviar on blinis ($18) and French toast, caramelized bananas and chocolate sauce ($15) When: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We also recommend: Chez Lévêque and Holder A great québécois classic The restaurant: Le Cartet The neighbourhood: Old Montréal The ambiance: A cross between fine food store and gourmet canteen, this is the go-to spot for professionals during the week; on the weekend it’s just as busy. With its long wood tables… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Raphaël Gaspard, owner of Garçon fleur

Garçon fleur, a.k.a. Raphaël Gaspard, has been delivering happiness on a bike for over a year. With the wind in his hair, he rides the streets of Montréal, distributing beautiful bouquets of wild flowers, which he creates himself with great attention and discernment. This expanding bucolic and environmental project has been hugely successful in reviving the image of florists. Two years ago, Raphaël also co-founded Gaspard & Roy with Félix Roy (singer for the Montréal rock group Human Human and head barman at Bouillon Bilk), a chic bar service that offers custom-made cocktails and showcases fine alcohols with market-fresh products. For Mother’s Day, this thriving young man, born in Germany but a Montréaler for 20 years now, shares his favourite go-to spots on where to smell the first blooms of spring and spend a perfect day with mom. What’s new with Garçon fleur in 2015? This year, we’re opening a wildflower atelier-boutique at 337 Castelnau Street East in Villeray. It’s a great way to connect with people! We’ll be featuring, among others, Sunday workshops and music nights. Garçon fleur is expanding too, with three new delivery bikes that will be bombing around the streets of Montréal selling bouquets to passers-by—a… / Read More →

10 things under 10 minutes from Place-des-Arts metro station

Place des Arts, on the green line of Montréal’s metro (subway system), is the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles and the epicentre of entertainment during festival season. It’s also home to a stunning open-air museum thanks to the ephemeral interactive installations that crown the Place des Festivals throughout the year, such as Luminothérapie, 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) and others. In this new series of guides, we feature 10 activities under 10 minutes from this station, which combines a love of the arts with the art of dining. The must: Place des Arts Walking time: 4 minutes This impressive complex is the meeting site of some of Montréal’s most prestigious cultural institutions. Its six concert halls showcase the latest creations by the Jean‑Duceppe theatre company, the Opéra de Montréal, the Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Danse Danse and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, to name just a few. If you want a taste of Québec culture, it all starts here. Gourmet snack: Brasserie T! and Taverne F Walking time: 2 minutes and 1 minute Nestled in the Place des Festivals, these two modern architectural jewels dazzle the eyes and tantalize the taste buds. Brasserie T!, the little sister of the award-winning Toqué! restaurant, offers scrumptious treats like… / Read More →

The shadows and light of Orientalism at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Discover the gorgeous palette of Benjamin-Constant till May 31 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts during the exhibition Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism, from Spain to Morocco, Benjamin-Constant in his time . This rediscovery of Benjamin-Constant (1845-1902), a major figure in Orientalist painting, deftly retraces a part of his works but also the ties between friends, styles and themes within his artistic circle in Toulouse (Laurens, Rixens, Debat-Ponsan), Spain (Fortuny, Tapiro, Cordero), Morocco (Regnault, Clairin) and with Eugène Delacroix. The exhibition also includes close to 250 works, including paintings by Orientalist painters such as Gérôme, Rochegrosse, Vernet-Lecomte or Dehodencq, contemporary Moroccan artists, Oriental objects, drawings, watercolours, prints, photographs, books, archives and other documents. A brilliant colourist, Benjamin-Constant treats viewers to a Byantine- or biblical-influenced slice of history. Some of the artist’s masterpieces, once considered too large to be transported, are here for the very first time, including the Sharifas, The Moroccan Caid Tahamy, The Harem, Judith, The Evening on the Terrace (Morocco) or The Favourite of the Emir. The visit is divided into six time frames, six emblematic Oriental places that straddle fictional account and documented reality. The first room, cozy and crimson, is a reconstruction of the Orientalist salon of the painter, a… / Read More →

Things to do at the Casino de Montréal this winter

Montréal boasts the largest casino in Canada. Located on Île Notre-Dame, the Casino de Montréal  was inaugurated in 1993 in the former France Pavilion and Québec Pavilion during Expo 67. A world-class entertainment complex, the Casino has more than 100 gaming tables, over 3,000 slot machines and the largest variety of games in North America. If you’ll be in Montréal this winter, we’ve got a list of events and activities going on at the Casino that you won’t want to miss out on. Play like never before Totally new, totally hot, La Zone offers $5 blackjack, 1¢ to 50¢ slot machines, $5 baccarat and $1 roulette, and a totally new way of playing. On the program: entertainment, 80 interactive terminals for playing alone or in a group and a décor that changes according to the sounds and lights. Also not to miss, the Titan 360, the biggest slot machine in Eastern Canada that features irresistible bonus rounds. Electrifying! Dining The Casino is also home to four excellent restaurants. The restaurant Le Montréal proposes classics creatively reinvented by chef Jean‑Pierre Curtat, Le Pavillon 67 offers a copious gourmet buffet for a quick but no less delicious meal, while the Asian counter Aija and L’Instant déli et pâtes bar are… / Read More →