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Many local Asian-Canadians frequent the area since the shops offer products directly imported from Mainland China or Vietnam that are difficult to find elsewhere in town.Montreal’s Chinatown also actively participates in numerous community activities.A century-old tradition of shows and performances in Downtown Montreal makes the Quartier des spectacles the heart of today’s cultural metropolis.

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Laurier Avenue (between the Plateau and Mile End) on either side of Park Avenue is also a nice place to shop and drop into a café.

For wine and spirits connoisseurs the SAQ signature store in the Complex Les Ailes shopping complex on Ste.

For more details on Montréal and available tours, visit

On the south side of the Palais des Congrès, the historical centre of Montreal dating back to the 17th Century is filled with quaint streets, shops and galleries, lots of restaurants and cafes.

The diverse cultural activities of the neighbourhood unfold in indoor venues as well as outdoors, during major events and internationally known festivals, such as the Jazz Festival. Originally bohemian and Latin, this area has lots of shops and restaurants.

Over 7,000 cultural jobs are found here, from education to creation, cultural production and broadcasting. A nice place for a late meal (till 3 AM) is L’Express. This borough is inhabited mostly by Francophones and Hasidic Jews. and Côte Sainte Catherine Road, with Bernard and Laurier Streets as the principal shopping and dining areas.

Reaching out from the central intersection of Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Laurent, the borders of the Quartier des spectacles run along City Councilors, Berri and Sherbrooke streets and René-Lévesque Boulevard. Laurent & Sherbrooke and start walking north (head south and you are in Montreal’s red light district if you wish). Laurent north of Pine is Schwartz‘s (Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen is the official name) where there are always line ups for the fabled smoked meat (forget about cholesterol for one meal – order it medium and be sure to get a side order of fries and sours-try the Black Cherry drink instead of coke). The canal was the industrial heartland of Canada in the 19th Century after it opened. Head towards the bustling Atwater Market to put together a picnic meal. The area has some of the most sophisticated restaurants, cafes and shops in Montreal. This was the center of Montreal for its wealthy inhabitants in the 19th century.

Montreal’s original ethnic melting spot there are lots of trendy restaurants along here as well as the plentiful lower priced restaurants and cafés on the pedestrian streets of Prince Arthur and Duluth. The large factories have been converted into lofts for living. If you follow the Lachine’s canal a bit longer, you will find the famous Fur Trade built in 1803 at Lachine’s National Historic Site. Montreal has a large vibrant Italian community centered around the Jean Talon Market with lots of small Italian restaurants and espresso bars. Beautiful mature trees and parks are found in this neighbourhood. Viateur and Parc and walk either way on Parc but check out the side streets off Parc. You will pass Mc Gill University, mansions, upscale shopping, museums (Mc Cord and the Fine Arts).

The key department stores are Ogilvy (upscale) and Simon’s. Catherine, Paragraphe on Mc Gill College and the Mc Gill University bookstore (on Mc Tavish) are all great for extended browsing.

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