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Three Perfect Days: Montreal

Once a remote fur-trading post, Montreal is now a thriving modern city brimming with Old World charm.

Author Maura Egan Photography Peter Frank Edwards


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Riddell Fishing Tackle & Appliances has always been a source of fascination for me. It’s a messy little joint crammed full of trophies and talismans made and collected by George Riddell, an avid fisherman and luremaker who opened the place in the ’60s.



In the Plateau and Mile End, there are alleys bursting with fruit trees and stands selling reproductions of Goya prints. Those alleys are reminders that revelations lurk all around.



Niu Kee is a Szechuan restaurant that plays Beijing opera and fills nearby blocks with the fragrance of “flower” pepper.


Indulge your vintage cravings.

Image – Peter Frank Edwards

The furniture stores on Amherst Street in the city’s Gay Village are a gold mine for midcentury finds. Start out at Jack’s, the biggest dealer on the stretch, where you can pick up pottery in neon colors, Danish credenzas and vintage rotary phones and television sets. Cité Deco stocks glamorous lucite desks and coffee tables, as well as whimsical pop art paintings. Montreal Moderne focuses on teak and rosewood pieces, including wall units and dining tables. The prices are reasonable, and the quality of the pieces runs from good to mint. And while an Arne Jacobsen egg chair might be too cumbersome to lug back in your suitcase, most of the store owners are flexible with shipping fees. Just browsing? You might enjoy watching employees carefully restore the pieces’ original grandeur.


Pig out at one of Montreal’s hottest restaurants.

Image – Peter Frank Edwards

Au Pied de Cochon is a carnivore’s paradise. The restaurant, which opened on a side street in the Plateau district back in 2004, has lured meat lovers (including chef Anthony Bourdain) from around the globe for artery-clogging dishes such as pig trotter salad and steak tartare. Chef and owner Martin Picard has developed bad-boy status in the culinary world with his unshaven look and larger-than-life personality. Though the dining room, with its wood burning fireplace, is quite serene, Picard is pumping out sinful dishes including 10 different preparations for foie gras—on hamburger, on pizza and, naturally, as a topping for the local specialty, poutine. If you can’t get enough of Picard’s gut-busting cuisine, head just north of the city, into the Laurentian Mountains, to his Cabane À Sucre (Sugar Shack), a cozy restaurant where the chef dishes up everything from buckwheat pancakes to fried lobster during the maple syrup– tapping season, typically mid-March to mid-April.

3 Responses to “Three Perfect Days: Montreal”

  1. Isolde Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I’m always curious to see what’s recommended to tourists, and this would definitely give them a true taste of beautiful Montreal!
    I am very surprised however to see that CLuny is mentioned, right after DHC/ART, without specifying that the cafe is located inside the Darling Foundry, Montreal’s edgiest contemporary art centre.

  2. Alfred Snyder Says:
    February 3rd, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    As A Lifelong Specialist And Expert On Canada Including The La Belle Of Quebec. I Know Everything There Is To Know About Montreal. From parc du Mont-Royal, To The Notre Dame Basilica, To Ville Place Marie. You Name It. The List could Go On And On, I Have Been To Canada And Quebec Inculding Montreal And Toronto. As I Can Tell You, That If You Really Want To Practice Speaking French, Chances Are, You Have Come To The Right Place. Knowing That Montreal And All Of Quebec Have a Very Proud French Culture Of Its Very own In Its Own Right. And So, Keep This In Mind, When You Go Plan a Trip To Montreal, Enough Said.

  3. Michael W. Cater, MD Says:
    February 15th, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed the recent Three Perfect Days in Montreal. For history buffs I would recommend the Sir William Osler Museum for the History of Medicine at the Monreal General Hospital. Sir William Osler, the world’s most notable physician at the turn of the 20th century donated his vast library of ancient medical texts including works by Vesalium, Willis, Addison, Bright, etc. to McGill University, his alma mater. A must see for all those interested in the history of medicine.

    Yours truly,

    Michael W. Cater, MD
    American Osler Society

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