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Neighbourhood Guide: Westmount

In the west end of town, between downtown and Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, lives a lush land known as Westmount. Its main artery is Sherbrooke Street West, between Atwater and Décarie, and one of its most impressive features is beautiful Westmount Park, complete with paddling pool, tons of jungle gyms, an arena, a library and even a small but breathtaking botanical garden. As you hike up the hill north of Sherbrooke, you’ll find the mansions that give the neighbourhood its posh reputation. South of Sherbrooke, it’s still fancy, but it’s more accessible to the rest of us, with pretty streets punctuated with unique stores and great spots to eat.

Montrealer Jay Baruchel plays himself at Just For Laughs

Montreal actor Jay Baruchel has found all kinds of success in Hollywood, scoring major roles in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up, the upcoming This Is the End, and the recently-wrapped Robocop reboot, but he resolutely calls Montreal home – and Montreal loves his right back, giving him his own Just For Laughs gala show this summer…

STREET PROFILE: GREENE AVENUE

The Montreal Street Profiles series, considered by some/me to be the greatest set of blog posts ever written, has been busy. It’s covered Bleury, Parc and Maisonneuve, but then it got tired so it took a quick nap on a nearby park bench. But then it got right back up and strolled down Saint-Paul, Saint-Zotique and Crescent. It then decided to head a little west to explore Greene Avenue, in the heart of Westmount… Though Westmount, home to most of Montreal’s wealthiest English residents, extends much further west and up towards the mountain, Greene Avenue is viewed by many as it “Main Street”. Running south from Sherbrooke down to Atwater, in a couple short blocks this upscale avenue, named in 1881 for the landowner G.A. Greene, manages to contain an incredible density of shops, restaurants and what is probably Montreal’s best English bookstore.

YOUR WESTMOUNT BISTRO: THE CLAREMONT CAFÉ

When it comes to dining in an unfamiliar city, I always look for authentic epicurean experiences. Get me out of the rat race of tourist restaurants and corporate chain eateries, and into a neighborhood bistro where I can actually observe (and participate in) the culture of the city. I want to eat where the locals are eating. And you, my dear reader, probably share my affinity for local eating experiences.