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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.

MONTREAL NEIGHBORHOOD 101: LITTLE BURGUNDY

We started our neighbourhood 101 series with the Plateau before heading south to St-Henri. When picking the next one, it made sense to simply take a quick stroll west through the Atwater market over to Little Burgundy, a neighbourhood rich with history, whose recent revitalization has been due in large part to the strength of its restaurants…

NEIGHBORHOOD 101: SAINT-HENRI

A little bit south and a little bit west of downtown Montreal sits Saint-Henri. Though it gets a lot of press for being one of the city’s most “up-and-coming” neighbourhoods, the real key to Saint-Henri is that it is still very much what it always was…

MONTREAL NEIGHBORHOODS 101: PLATEAU MONT-ROYAL

For many travelers who reminisce about their trip to Montréal, memories of tree lined streets, spiral staircases and colorful houses begin to surface. There is no neighborhood more synonymous with these images than ‘The Plateau.’

MONTREAL NEIGHBORHOODS 101: DOWNTOWN

The downtown district of any major city often tops the list of things ‘to do’ for a traveler. Montréal’s downtown is a mélange of stores, restaurants, cafés, galleries, corporate headquarters, and yes, those famous “adult cabarets.” Yet the central business district of every metropolis can risk blandness. And a selection of discriminating Montréalers have accused the downtown area of being overly commercial, with a heavy emphasis on big-brand shopping. And we understand that one could feel blasé in any given retail area. But among the generic giants there are plenty of gems. You just have to know what to look for. Here are a few of our favourite things about Montréal’s Downtown district.

MONTREAL NEIGHBORHOODS 101: MILE END

Mile End is a stylish, yet casual Montréal neighborhood. It’s also a dynamic community that could be used as a metaphor for our human possibility. That’s deep, no? Allow me to explain