Quaint and with character, there is plenty to be had in Montreal shopping. These inside tips will help you make the most of your shopping experience.
Shopping in Downtown Montreal
La Baie (aka The Bay) is a huge department store in downtown Montreal. There you’ll find everything you need, whether you’re looking for clothes, shoes, accessories, beauty products, souvenirs, linens, decor, appliances, or other things. And it’s a real Canadian company! It originated as a small fur-trade post in the olden days as the Hudson’s Bay Company and eventually became a chain department store found in most major Canadian cities today.
If you plan to stick around Montreal for a while, visit frequently, or live in another Canadian city where the store is located, it might be worth it to get an Hudson’s Bay Company MasterCard and the accompanying points card. The MasterCard allows you to gain points whether you use it at The Bay or not (you get more points if you use it at The Bay), and the points card is where your points are collected. When you collect enough points, you can redeem them for merchandise at The Bay.
Mont-Royal Avenue is a super place for alternative fashion buys. West of St. Denis there are several thrift, gothic and alternative shops. Or head east for used books, CDs, and discount clothes.
If you happen to be visiting Montreal in winter, it’s a good idea to know how to get to the Underground city. That is because this is a refuge from the bitter cold and a great place to shop. There are hundreds of shops here. Granted, it is a mall, but there are so many passageways that you feel like an explorer rather than a typical consumer.
Old Montreal Delights
As you head down through the Old Town, you cannot miss seeing the Marché Bonsecours. This very substantial building, dating from 1847, once housed the Canadian Parliament but also has served as the Montréal City Hall before becoming the main markets for Montréal for over a century. Now it has been renovated as houses restaurants and upmarket shops selling a range of collectable, fashion and tourist-related products.
There are several souvenir shops along St. Paul Street and also on Notre Dame Street. You can find all kinds of stuff there: T-shirts, sweat shirts, key chains, maple syrup, and post cards. A little pricey, but it looks like they’re all the same everywhere. The advantage is that there are several shops gathered around the same place, so you can see a lot of them without walking too much.
The Marche’ Bonsecours hosts a variety of specialty stores. The shops are open seven days a week. There are only 15 shops and three cafes so the experience is a bit limited. Overall though, Old Montreal is a nice shopping experience.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about shopping in Montreal.