Any event comes with some amount of downtime for attendees, and there are few better ways to fill some time than a bit of shopping. Whether looking for a souvenir to take home to friends and family, something new for the wardrobe or even a piece of art, we’ve compiled this list of shops, galleries and snack stops all within a quick 10-minute walk of the city’s conference centre, the Palais de congrès de Montréal.
First off: some fuel
Because shopping is sure to make one a little peckish, let’s start with the snack options en route. Le Petit Dep (461 Saint-Sulpice Street) is an endlessly charming corner store, bakery and café with tasty treats and “dirty chai” (a chai latte with a shot of espresso). The cupcakes at Les Glaceurs (1245 Robert-Bourassa Boulevard) are a local favourite, while Olive + Gourmando (351 Saint-Paul Street W.) make croissants and giant chocolate chip cookies that keep locals coming back. Lovers of bubble tea, barbecued pork buns and soup dumplings will want to head over to de la Gauchetière Street in Chinatown, where they’ll have their pick. And just around the corner, there are delicious tacos at La Capital (1096 St. Lawrence Boulevard).
Something to wear
For something wearable that’s completely unique, local fashion star Denis Gagnon has his eponymous boutique in Old Montréal (170 Saint-Paul Street W.) while both Swell & Ginger (231 Notre-Dame Street W.) and Espace Pépin (378 Saint-Paul Street W.) gather a selection of labels within their beautiful spaces. Local brands find their home at the Old Montréal outpost of Naïf (227 Saint-Paul W.), a small Montréal chain championing unique pieces made by homegrown designers.
Something a little arty
Contemporary art fans may just find the perfect piece for their walls back home at Galerie Bloom (224 Saint-Paul Street W.) or Galerie MX (333 Viger Street W.) nearby. Prefer something a little more old-fashioned? The Boutique de Pointe-à-Callière (350 Place Royale Street) within Montréal’s historical museum stocks books and gifts with a look back at the city’s past. The works of First Nations artisans is available for purchase at Galerie Le Chariot (446 Place Jacques-Cartier), Indianica (79 Saint-Paul Street E.) and Galerie d’art Images Boréales (4 Saint-Paul Street E.). At Galerie Héritage (30 Saint-Paul Street E.) you’ll find jewelry and artful home furnishings – much of it continuing Québec’s longstanding tradition of fur trading – made by celebrated Inuk creators.
Something distinctly local
L’Empreinte Coopérative (88 Saint-Paul Street E.) is a wonderful emporium of locally made objects, be it pottery, soaps, cushion covers, toys or small art pieces. The bevy of souvenirs at Souvenirs Neil (24 Saint-Paul Street E.) ensures no-one back at home will go without a Montréal fridge magnet or shot glass, while Sky Cadeaux et Fleurs (159 Saint-Antoine Street W.) offers beautiful flower arrangements hearty enough to last the flight home. Handcrafted gifts are available in all shapes and sizes at L’art des artisans du Québec, within the Complexe Desjardins mall (150 Sainte-Catherine Street W.). Complexe Desjardin is also great for those after a dose of big names; it’s the entry point for the extensive RÉSO “underground city”, which you can tour with our guide here. Happy shopping!
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