Collected by Isa Tousignant, AFAR Local Expert
One of Montreal’s oldest neighborhoods, Griffintown is also relatively recent in terms of local parlance, since few would ever have mentioned the industrial wasteland it was until the early 2000s. Now this area west of Old Montreal, right on the Lachine Canal and adjacent to the also-hip hood of Little Burgundy, is a rich landscape of restaurants, shops, art galleries and new condo buildings.
745 Rue Ottawa, Montréal, QC H3C 1R8, Canada
Among the city’s coolest art spaces, Fonderie Darling is a giant – and I mean GIANT – industrial space-turned-contemporary art gallery. It’s a shining example of the type of architecture that existed in the area before the rapid gentrification....
106 Rue McGill, Montréal, QC H2Y 2E5, Canada
This happening lunch spot for workers in the neighbourhood – Griffintown is a hotbed of tech offices, advertising agencies, architecture firms and designer boutiques – offers a great selection of take-away lunches if you’re planning a picnic along...
433 Rue McGill, Montréal, QC H2Y 2H1, Canada
645 Rue Wellington, Montréal, QC H3C 2R1, Canada
This fine dining house presided over by Chef Joe Mercuri offers two levels of experience: one in a relaxed atmosphere around Montreal’s first open-fire wood oven, where you can sit and chat with friends as you await dishes like wild mushroom...
740 Rue William, Montréal, QC H3C 1P1, Canada
With spaces for rent for private events upstairs and an idiosyncratic layout that makes it just as suited for banquet-style group parties as for quiet meetings or romantic getaways, Le Local is everything to everyone. It keeps the crowds coming...
351 Rue Saint-Paul O, Montréal, QC H2Y 2A7, Canada
This perennially popular bakery and sandwich spot can feel somewhat out of place. With its cozy atmosphere in a plant-filled space, and its menu of warm panini, delicious sandwiches on artisanal breads, generous salads, and perfectly executed...
407 Rue Saint-Pierre, Montréal, QC H2Y 2M3, Canada
If you’re looking for a nightlife experience in Griffintown that’s an alternative to fine dining and drinking, Phi Centre has weekly film screenings, regular art exhibitions and an impressive roster of international live music acts to light up the...
2 Rue de la Commune O, Montréal, QC H2Y 4B2, Canada
An amazing destination for families with kids of all ages right on the Old Port, the Montreal Science Centre is a super interactive, super fun, huge centre where learning feels like sheer entertainment. There’s an Imax theatre where kids can learn...
350 Place Royale, Montréal, QC H2Y 3Y5, Canada
There is perhaps some irony that one of the most distinctive contemporary buildings in the historic heart of Montréal is a showcase for some of the city's oldest artifacts. The modern structure that houses this archaeology and history...
418 Rue Saint-Sulpice, Montréal, QC H2Y 2V5, Canada
This is the storefront to the internationally known high fashion web empire that few people – even Montrealers – know is based Montreal. SSENSE has been selling brands like Erdem, 3.1 Philip Lim, Givenchy, Chloé, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and...
408 Rue Saint-François-Xavier, Montréal, QC H2Y 2S9, Canada
Chef Chuck Hughes’ first flagship restaurant remains one of the best good-time spots in Old Montreal, featuring a blackboard menu full of seasonal dishes and insane cocktails. The Caesar is a must-try and comes with a salad’s worth of vegetables...
Rue McGill & Rue de la Commune O, Montréal, QC H3C, Canada
Bota Bota began its life on the water as a ferryboat. Then called the Arthur Cardin, it sailed between the cities of Sorel and Berthier, just east of Montreal, back in the 1950s. Many years later, someone had the idea to transform this mothballed...
71 Rue de la Commune O, Montréal, QC H2Y 2C6, Canada
You can smell the refreshing eucalyptus from this relaxation haven a block away. Spa Le Scandinave Vieux-Montréal is Old Montreal’s branch of a small Quebec chain specialized in Scandinavian-style water treatments, which involve a series of pools,...
Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2X 2V4, Canada
Establishing good taste on the lower Plateau since 1997, U&I was the first boutique in the city to sell accessible high fashion in a friendly atmosphere, and it still maintains pride of place among the new crop of designer stores it has inspired....
350 Rue Saint-Paul O, Montréal, QC H2Y 2A6, Canada
With this clothes shop on the corner of Rue Saint-Paul and Rue Saint-Pierre, and Pépin Maison just down the block, Pépin is a bit of an Old Montreal empire, where you’ll find everything from the latest pair of shoes by Miista to a home-designed...
231 Rue Saint-Paul O #100, Montréal, QC H2Y 2A2, Canada
170 Rue Saint-Paul O, Montréal, QC H2Y 1Z7, Canada
Montreal’s very own Prince of Darkness is best known for his mastery of soft, buttery black leather and his play with textures and details such as zippers and horse hair, but he’s expanded his recent collections into a less gothic and more widely...
407 Rue Saint-Pierre, Montréal, QC H2Y 2M3, Canada
Located right across the street from Olive et Gourmando, Centre PHI is a great place to wander before or after gorging on sandwiches and pastries. The PHI Centre is a versatile space that adapts to accommodate various events: launches,...
451 Rue Saint Jean, Montréal, QC H2Y 2R5, Canada
Contemporary art can sometimes be pretentious or obscure, but DHC/ART adds an edgy sense of wit, with exhibitions ranging from the visual puns of Ceal Floyer to the exuberant portraits of John Currin.451 rue St.-Jean, (514) 849-3742.
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