Montréal style: Treasures to take home

My eye and energy are beaming toward this July and August, when I shutter the Passage and take a break to receive friends here for summer holidays.

Travellers pick up souvenirs, for sure, sometimes modest as a St-Ambroise beer coaster pocketed from a bar, occasionally a splurge; a couple recently fell in love with a painting!

I'll show you several big hits with visitors, but you don't need to visit to enjoy them; they  are also available online. All prices are in $CDN.

An entire family of visiting Brits, (grandparents, Mum and Dad, two teenagers) fell hard for trèsnormale t-shirts-screen printed with original, deep-Montréal scenes. Left: the woman's model of Boulevard St-Laurent, part of the Urbanity series. Upper right: the artwork on the tee celebrating the 375th birthday of the city. Bottom right, one of my favourites, the dépanneur (our French for 'convenience store'). Price, about $29.

trèsnormale offer a wide range of sizes, including kid's. Some of the tees are in soft, 100% cotton, others are a cotton-bamboo-poly blend, and all are in muted, interesting colours. A number of designs are available as sturdy tote bags, $16 each.

Bees to honey: Two sisters bought pieces for themselves, and one man bought a gift for his partner. The two operating in US dollars were thrilled by the exchange rate that makes Relaxed Real-level handcrafted items extremely affordable.
Left: Mina splurged on one of Gabrielle Demarais' sculptural necklaces. Shown, the PK5 necklace, two silver discs on black cord—dramatic on its own and also layers well. Price, $95. (Her work is also available at Galerie Noel Guyomarc'h.) I adore Gabrille Demarais' jewellery, so I might have enabled her a tad, but is she happy!

Upper right: Gene chose a pair of Lucie Veilleux Caviar stud earrings for his sweetheart, price, $59 on Lucie's Etsy shop. Lower right: This Ilk make fresh designs that feature vintage materials. Laurie  bought herself the Cheeba necklace, $54, made with vintage ball-trimmed lace and green and black fringe. In Montréal you can find a selection from both artists at the wonderful boutique Articho.

Montréal contains unique architecture that lends itself to arresting images; the best hint at their location rather than shout.

Left: Boutique Onze navy cotton tunic (sizes XS-XXL) printed with a whimsical map of the city; price $59. (Other colours available but some sizes are sold out online.)
Centre: Satin photoprint wallet of Habitat '67 (we're celebrating Expo 67's 50th anniversary), bound to please even the most design-conscious. Only $15 from fotofibre.
Right: Cherry red cellphone case with our iconic spiral staircase, for iPhone 6 or 6s from thelonelypixel; price, $49.

Visitors+women=shoes; you're walking a lot and a new pair somehow makes sense. Fluevog is the edgy Canadian shoe brand, and though you can find it in other cities worldwide (and online), at the St-Denis boutique you would be served by the charming Maxime!

Sarah found a pair of badass boots on sale, but we were also captivated by gorgeously-colored Iris suede pumps. Maxime encouraged us to take all the free buttons we'd like, printed with slogans like "Tu es magnifique", so Sarah scooped a handful for her friends back home.

Having a wonderful time, wish you were here. Oh wait—it's not too late to plan a trip!


LauraH said…
Great suggestions. I usually come home with something - shoes, boots, jewellery but not last time. I'll have to visit Galerie Noel Guyomarc'h on my next visit.
Jane said…
I was just there for number one son's McGill commencement. Looking around me at the ceremony I was struck by the diversity of your city. He's staying in Montreal. -Sigh
Duchesse said…
LauraH; May have been the rainy weather.
Duchesse said…
Jane: He's not the first expat who's decided to stay. Though it is hard to have our children at a distance, at least it brings you here more often (I hope) and maybe, one time, we can meet.
Articho is lovely and a jewel in the neighbourhood, but I went there today and all the earrings were tiny - I want somewhat larger ones, though I can no longer wear VERY long dangly ones. Oh well. I'll certainly return. They did have these wonderful prints from Daniel Fiorito:

If you should happen to go there these days both boulevard St-Laurent and rue St-Dominique are blocked off because of roadwork, and the passage they left open for pedestrians was utterly inadequate for anyone with even minor mobility problems. It was basically a ditch. Not Articho's fault!
RKG said…

I just returned from a first trip to Montreal (from the Gulf Coast) with my mother and three nieces. We had a wonderful time and were thrilled with your city. While there, I realized I wanted to come back here and thank you for the familiarity and affection I felt I already had with your city thanks to your blog. It made my experience richer and sweeter.

Returning, I found this post in my reader, and immediately ordered a tee for myself and two for my mother. She wanted a Montreal tee and found only an unsatisfactory one in a souveneir shop. I'm not much of a souvenir tee person anyway. But those you featured evoked the Plateau (where we stayed) and other neighborhoods so well I couldn't pass them up. And I recognized one of the designs, because I found and purchased 2 as totes (one for me, one for Mom), as you mentioned, from a little shop on Boulevard St. Laurent just before it closed on my last evening there.

I am in love with your belle ville and hope to return one day.
Duchesse said…
RKG: Great story. I will guess you found the totes at Onze, who have several branches in the city. I especially like the Plateau tee. I am so happy that I could contribute to your trip here, and am not surprised that you loved Montréal. Come back!
RKG said…
Duchesse, you nailed it. I could not have remembered under interrogation the name of the shop I wandered into. But now that you name it, I see the shop sign clearly. You're good.

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