“Time for lakwatsa!”: Montreal Must-Sees

Montreal is a city full of architectural sights, local commercial shops, and lively neighborhoods. It’s a city best-enjoyed by walking! Although April weather can be quite unpredictable, it can still be a beautiful time of year and perfect for exploring many of the city’s sites. Montreal is generally a safe city, with a low crime rate. At night, particularly around the University and in the downtown area, streets are full of busy pedestrians.  

The Pinay Power II Team is happy to share with you each of their favourite Montreal spots:

Chloe: A first-year student at McGill who has various favourite spots around the city, including The Word Bookstore; a great place to find secondhand books. She loves being surrounded by the floor to ceiling shelves as its a very cozy store! According to Chloe, “you can always find some interesting reads in the 50 cent pile as well!”. One of Chloe’s favourite places to grab something to eat is Tsukuyomi, a ramen place in the Mile end that serves up some of the best noodles she’s had in a while. Its warm ambience makes it a great place to get a hot meal when it’s cold out. It’s best to keep this place in mind for April’s chillier days! Chatime, a taiwanese bubble-tea shop, is another one of Chloe’s favourites: “self explanatory, The essential bubble tea spot”. Finally, Chloe also loves the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal, a fantastic place to take a casual stroll and look at a wonderful variety of art. Best of all, the permanent collections are free to visit for ages 13-30!

France:  As a Montreal native who grew up in both the Côte-des-Neiges/Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Plateau Mont Royal neighbourhoods, it is impossible for France to pick a single favorite spot. She is on the Saint-Viateur side of the Fairmount vs Saint-Viateur bagel feud, and has a preference of sesame seed bagels with pineapple cream cheese. While in that area, she cannot skip a latte and tiramisu from Café Olimpico. Duluth street is wonderful for a variety of Bring Your Own Wine restaurants, from Afghani to Terroir. Patati for the Spécial Luc and her favorite poutine in town. Jun-I on Laurier is the best sushi for her, and Olive et Gourmando in the Old Port the best brunch! Chinatown’s Amigo for the Hot Sale or simply good late night eats. In the summer the 24h Jean-Brillant Farmers market is her go to, especially before heading to enjoy the tam-tams on the mountain on Sundays.

Julia: One of Julia’s favourite spots is Le Café Chat L’Heureux. It is a cafe that not only serves yummy, warm drinks but allows you to spend your time surrounded by the cutest cats of Montreal. She loves to spend her time here in the warm atmosphere petting cats with my friends. Also located in the Plateau, she enjoys walking around the streets of this lovely, French neighbourhood that’s filled with beautiful townhouses, cafés, bars, and an endless amount of unique restaurants. She is also a common visitor to Chinatown, where she journeys to mostly for the food! Chinatown is a great place to try a variety of Asian cuisine, such as dumplings and Pho. She goes to Chinatown a lot to grab bubble tea from the numerous shops in the area, and enjoys experiencing a part of Chinese culture. Because it is not too far a walk, she and her friends find themselves venturing to Chinatown to fill their stomachs. Old Port is the historic part of Montreal, and a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of life in downtown. The restaurants here are one of a kind and there are many shops to visit. She mostly enjoys going there when riding bikes with her friends and in the winter, she enjoys ice skating right next to the Ferris wheel under its shining lights. It is a beautiful area where you can walk by the water, experience a different part of Montreal, and of course, take lots of pictures.

Joanne: A second year student at McGill, who within a very short time has grown to love the city of Montreal. An avid member of “brunch culture”, one of her favourite spots for brunch is Bistro La Fabrique, where she regularly orders their caramelized apple pancakes. Cafe Parvis is another spot close to her heart. There, they serve a delicious brunch and offer a wide selection of pastries and coffees. Its interiors are also adorned with green, leafy, hanging plants, creating a wonderful atmosphere. One of her favourite neighbourhoods to explore is Le Plateau Mont Royal, where she often spends hours looking for cafés and perusing through vintage stores. Somewhere Joanne hasn’t been to yet, but has been wanting desperately to explore, is L’Euguélionne, Montréal’s feminist bookstore! Located in the Gay Village neighbourhood, L’Euguélionne offers a wide range of new and used books, zines and print art. Almost every week you will find her dazed at Eva B, a thrift store-café hybid located on St. Laurent street.