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STREET PROFILE: MONT-ROYAL AVENUE

2010 has been a busy year for the Montreal Street Profile series. We started with Bleury, Parc, Maisonneuve, Saint-Paul and Saint-Zotique. We visited Crescent, Greene Avenue, Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Denis. For our final installment of the year (hint: make sure to come back in 2011!), we thought a stroll down Mount-Royal was in order, in no small part because it offers some very “a la Montreal” shopping that is perfect for the holiday season… Given that it starts at Mount Royal, it’s not hard to figure out where Mount-Royal Avenue gets its name. Of all the streets we’ve profiled, this one has perhaps the most iconic landmarks of them all: you can look down from its mountainous starting point and see the Big O, where it ends. (Our exploration will a bit shorter than that.) It is a totally charming street, as “Montreal” as they come, especially in the summer when a large portion of it is blocked off from traffic. It boasts some of the city’s classic diners, some great restaurants and cool bars and, while Saint-Catherine may boast the big name stores, Mount-Royal boasts the cool independent shops that you won’t find anywhere else…

20 STUNNING PHOTOS OF MONTREAL

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then you’ve a whole delightful Montreal story ahead of you. We’ve scoured Flickr for some of the best shots of the city, wanting to highlight the various seasons, architecture and landscapes. Thanks to all the Flickr users who were willing to share their work with us! Enjoy! PS: If you’ve got a stunning Montreal image that you think should be included, leave a comment with the link to your photograph. We might just want to do a second round…

WHERE TO SKATE IN MONTREAL

Let’s get right to it: you know what ice skating is and even if you’ve never been to Montreal before, you probably think it’s a good place for it. And you’re right. Here’s a list of places where you can skate arm and arm with a loved one, play pick-up hockey with some goons you just met or just freeze standing up for a while before getting some hot chocolate…

MONTREAL’S HOT SPOTS FOR JEWELLERY SHOPPING

All that glitters is not gold, a smart gentleman named Shakespeare once said. And by that I’m sure he was referring to all the shimmering sterling silver, sparkly diamonds, and twinkling gemstones that the world has to offer—and, oh, let’s not forget beautiful pearls. Whenever I travel to new (or old) places, I like to buy local jewels or handmade trinkets to remind me of my trip. Then when people comment on the mini-ornaments hanging from my earlobes (likewise, around my neck, wrists, or fingers), I can say matter-of-factly, “These little things? Why, I found them in an adorable little shop in the South of France.” (I don’t really talk like that, but it’s never too late to start.) As such, when my out-of-town girlfriends come to Montreal, I like to steer them toward local boutiques, so they can peruse the baubles of our belle province for their own “souvenirs”—and so I can get my fill of retail therapy too.

THE NUTCRACKER MARKET

I was about nine years old when I saw my first ballet – The Nutcracker. What little girl doesn’t dance around in her PJs and dream of being Clara? (Although, personally, at that age I was more interested in leaping around in a tutu than hanging out with any Toy Soldier.) Thus began a love affair for classical dance that never really faded, even after a very discouraging Ballet For Adults class. Some things, I’ve discovered, you just have to start at a young – and pliable – age.

DECEMBER CONCERTS ROUNDUP

There is apparently some big holiday at the end of December that, every year, seems to take a bite out of our concert schedule. Though Christmas, as I believed it’s called, does bring with it all sorts of recitals and choirs, what about those of us that just want to rock out with our stockings out? Read on…

STREET PROFILE: RUE ST-DENIS

  We’d already worn our several pairs of virtual walking shoes by the time the Montreal Street Profile series hiked down Bleury, up Parc and across Maisonneuve. But, entertained by the sights, sounds, shops and smells, we hit Saint-Paul, Saint-Zotique, Crescent, Greene Avenue and went shopping on Sainte-Catherine. We decided we deserved a good time, so we headed next to Saint-Denis…

LE SALON DES MÉTIERS D’ART: MONTREAL’S ONE-STOP SHOPPING SPOT FOR HOLIDAYS

While in town, shop early for the whole family, for the office, for friends (and for yourself!) at the Salon des métiers d’arts du Québec. It is the most important professional exhibition-sale in the province.  The wonderful fair full of hand-made works has praise from all who visit.  It has been a go-to gift-buying place for locals for years, and visitors have quickly discovered it. You can choose from a vast array of made-with-love-and talent pieces. Art, beads and bracelets, decorative objects, ecological works, foie gras, jams, kids’ clothing, lamps, sculptures, wine..basically almost everything and anything one might need to wrap. Wait.  No need to wrap.  A booth at the Salon will do this for you…easy, peasy.

SUN RA ARKESTRA MEETS MONTREAL TALENT FOR TOP DANCE EVENT

A must-see event arrives in Montreal!  This multimedia show combines dance performance and big band music.  This amazing happening highlights the talents of the Coleman Lemieux Dance Company, the musicians of Sun Ra Arkestra – ‘’the missing link between Duke Ellington and Public Enemy’’ (Rolling Stone Magazine) – and ten dynamic dancers  – including the famed Margie Gillis and Carol Prieur (Dancer of the Year 2010 – Tanz Magazine).