This was originally going to be one huge post (yes, this is just a tip of the ice berg friends), but then I realized that we had so much good stuff here (as in Canada) that each of these amazing cities deserves it’s own moment to shine. Perhaps I should start at the very beginning, since it seems I jumped right into an ambiguous monologue. On our recent visit to the east coast we partnered with Judith & Charles to bring you a city guide to our favourite hot spots in Canada’s biggest urban centres featuring our favourite pieces from their fall/winter 2016 collection. We have been doing quite a bit of travelling around Canada this year, discovering new restaurants, visiting galleries and museums and obsessing over all and any architectural gems we could find. It’s been quite a journey exploring our own back yard and a great way to learn about all that the country has to offer. Judith & Charles, is of course a Canadian brand, based in Montréal so we thought we would start it off right here, not to mention the most eastern point of this trip (& series). I should also point out that we did a fast track version to all of these places. Think of it as a way to wet your appetite. To document each of these places in full we would have needed a lot more time and battery power, some of the places we saw were on our own to-see & do lists so we get to experience them for the very first time together with you guys! This series will span from coast to coast and cover Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary & Vancouver, coincidentally, all Judith & Charles locations for those trips where you want to be comfortable but also photo ready at drop of a hat. All the pieces that I am wearing in this post can be purchased in store and online by following the links at the bottom of the post. Buckle up! special thanks to Strathberry for sending us a selection of their beautiful bags to compliment the looks so perfectly
For those of you who do not live in Canada let me give you a little bit of an inside scoop of what Montréal is all about. You may already know it is part of the French speaking part of the country, which also makes it the most European. In fact when you visit Old Montréal it’s like being transported across the atlantic and back in time, there are even buildings and streets named after those in Paris, just to make things a little more authentic. Montréal also has history of being the fashion centre of Canada, and even though most of the action does happen in Toronto these days, the majority of Canadian fashion brands are still based here. Montréal has a unique voice for North America, the people dress better here, they make smoking look sexy and in more general terms they just know how to make things look good. It may not be France but it’s the closest we have, and my top pick for places to live.
WHERE TO STAY: HOTEL WILLIAM GRAY (Old Montréal), hotelwilliamgray.com
this newly renovated space is what used to be the residence of Edward William Gray (one of Montréal’s notable and historical figures), in which he lived with his wife Maggie Oaks (the hotel restaurant now shares that same name). Even though the residence has been there for centuries you would never really know. The hotel is a modern extension of the growing property. The top floor rooms are a beautiful way of seeing the city from the comfort of your own bed and the rooftop patio makes for an excellent place to watch fireworks and spend summer evenings having drinks with friends. Hands down one of my favourite hotels to date!
WHAT DO TO: MARCHÉ JEAN-TALON, marchespublics-mtl.com/marches/jean-talon/
A great way to spend a morning is by hitting up the Marché Jean-Talon, an outdoor (but covered) market that for sure brings the taste of Europe closer to home. Hit up the market for some flowers and fresh fruit, enjoy lunch from one of the many vendors or have coffee at Saint Henri. Do I even have to point out the endless photo ops? There is no other place more colourful.
MUSÉE D’ART CONTEMPORIAN DE MONTRÉAL (MAC), macm.org
A noteworthy Edmund Alleyn exhibit was what first drew us to Montréal’s top contemporary art galleries (the show goes on until September 25th so you still have time to check it out). It’s located in the heart of Saint Catherine street and as an outdoor structure, very hard to miss, Just For Laughs festival was in full swing during our stay so it was definitely an exercise of finding the best spots to take photos, but the exhibits themselves were just as impressive. We are already looking forward to being back.
WHERE TO EAT: VERTU BAR SANTÉ (Mile End), vertubarsante.com
A new discovery for us on this trip. Mile End seemed to have an excellent offering of food spots the last time we came and this new salad bar along the Rue Saint Viateur was exactly what the doctor ordered. perfect for a mid day snack or lunch. Salads, Smoothies and Acai bowls are some of my personal highlights. Everyone knows that when you crave a salad you just really need it to be exceptional. *as a side note, when you are in the area make sure to go and visit Dragon Flowers just a few streets down on Rue Bernard. The white bird cages hanging over the shop are one of my favourite things to look at.
BAR MARCHÉ JOYS (Saint Henri), joysofliving.com
Because we all love to get our cold pressed juice on to keep things healthy (especially when we are travelling) we sought out Joys, a few blocks down from Saint Henri’s most popular restaurant stretch and most definitely worth the trek. Try the Big Bang, an all green juice like you’ve never tasted before, I promise you, healthy never tasted so good!
TORTERIA LUPITA (Saint Henri)
You could do a really solid taco crawl in Montréal and Saint Henri is going to be the place you’ll start, in a span of a few blocks there are at least four taco joints that, by the looks of it will NOT disappoint. Apart from tacos the stretch in Saint Henri offers a variety of amazing food spots that line up out the door. More recent and note worthy is Arthurs Nosh Bar, modern jewish food that will make the wait more than worth it.
find Judith & Charles online at judithandcharles.com & shop their Montréal stores at ROCKLAND CENTRE (2305 Rockland) & OGLIVY (1307 St. Catherine Street West). xoxo