Spring is surely the best time of year to enjoy Montreal. A new coolness is strikingly palpable in the city's new hipster neighbourhoods, fine restaurants, and irresistible fashion stores. While attending the Grand Prix, be sure to experience the sweetness of life in this remarkable city, and to follow your own path, away from the predictable tourist attractions.
Your own panoply
Choose a sophisticated, easy look by fusing comfort and chic in your wardrobe over this Grand Prix weekend. The recipe is fairly simple: go for large pants, and pair them with feminine tops.
In his 10th anniversary Givenchy show for Spring-Summer of 2016, Riccardo Tisci presented an irresistible array of wide-legged pants, including black tuxedo versions. Like the supermodels on his runway, pair them with delicate, even draped lingerie tops. Don a matching loose cost if temperatures sink.
For a more artsy version, go for Celine's Cruise collection, where pants are either high-wasted or tightly cinched or cut in a papery beige fabric, and worn with asymmetrical striped shirts. At night, feel free to slip into Loewe's silvery crocodile pants worn with a paired white sweater sporting the Loewe name.
Your own circuit
Located in Old Montreal, Cahier d'Exercices is a must-visit womenswear treasure trove. The brand selection is cutting-edge, from established names like Celine, to legendary Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto, not to mention the red-hot Vêtements label.
Down in the Chabanel garment district is the hip temple Ssense, founded by Rami Attaah, a Canadian who was ranked among the 500 most influential people in fashion by the Business of Fashion. The store owes its aura to its terminally hip roster of brands (including Yeezy, Vêtements, and Sacaï), but also to its strong online presence.
For great vintage finds, rush to DOMO, where you can buy collectible pieces from Montreal's 1967 expo.
Montreal is especially good for long spring promenades. The Grand Prix racetrack is in the Parc Jean Drapeau, where you can also have fun in the La Ronde amusement park.
Parc du Mont-Royal is famous for the drum players who spontaneously gather around the Sir Etienne-George Cartier Monument. For picnics, go to the Parc La Fontaine.
Your own after-party
With its sleek metal and wood furniture, the Mimi la Nuit bar has an unmistakably industrial look. But don't be fooled. On the weekends, this Old Montreal haunt becomes a wild party scene, thanks to a fine selection of DJs, scrumptious, affordable meals, and their famous cocktails.
Clearly one of the most original Asian restaurants in Montreal is the relatively new Jatoba, on Philips Square. Depending on where you sit in this soberly decorated space, you can see the kitchen, where the chef is busy concocting outstanding meals of Asian tapas, shrimp dumplings, or algae salads.
Your own soundtrack
Kaytranada is the city's latest music sensation. This 23-year-old Canadian of Haitian origin started DJing at age 14. At 15, he began to produce. After working on several remixes and touring around the world (even opening for Madonna's "Rebel Heart Tour" in Canada and the United States), he released his first album in early May. Entitled “99,9%” it includes features from such artists as Craig David and Little Dragon, producing an interesting fusion of R'NB, indie, and pop music.
We hope you'll enjoy your stay in Montreal, and don't forget to indulge in poutine and maple syrup. After all, there is nothing wrong with "tourist" activities.