Named “Canada’s Cultural Capital” by Monocle Magazine, Montreal is undeniably a unique Canadian city. Although both French and English are spoken fluently throughout much of the greater metropolitan area, French is considered the official language and is spoken by 60% of its residents, making it the largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris. Montreal’s retail landscape, from food to fashion, is strongly influenced by both French and English traditions, a cultural fusion that makes this city truly vibrant.
With 3.8 million residents, Montreal is the province of Quebec’s largest city. It is also the second-largest economy in Canada and the 19th largest in North America, making it a draw to many of the world’s most recognizable retail brands and companies. Montreal’s diverse economic base encompasses a wide array of industries including telecommunications, biotech, apparel, gaming, and aerospace. Home to the largest inland port in the word, Montreal is a renowned creative economic hub known for its diverse restaurants, thriving nightlife, distinctive shopping, and celebrated summer festivals including the Jazz Fest, the Francopholies, and the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival.
Constructed in 1962, Montreal’s “Underground City” stretches more than 32 km and is one of the largest underground districts in the world. A popular tourist attraction, the underground city is a passageway comprised of stores, malls, hotels, offices, museums, seven subway stations, and the Bell Center, home to the city’s beloved hockey club, the Montreal Canadiens.
QUARTIER DIX30Located in the suburb of Brossard, south of the island of Montreal and with an area of just over 2.7 million square feet, the Quartier DIX30 is considered Canada’s first and largest commercial lifestyle center. The center boasts an eclectic mix of retailers in fashion, electronics, furniture, and food service. In addition to the extensive shopping section of the complex, the center also features a medical clinic, a live theatre, an office tower, and a hotel.
GOLDEN SQUARE MILEWith a rich history that dates back to the 1850’s, the Golden Square Mile has always been synonymous with luxury. Known mostly for its high-end restaurants, hotels, and some of the most expensive condo buildings in the city, the golden Square Mile is also where Montreal’s most exclusive retailers are located: Holt Renfrew, Ogilvy, Escada, Tiffany’s, Nespresso, and Harry Rosen are just a few of the stores shoppers will find here.
Sainte-Catherine Street WEST
Montreal’s high-fashion street, Sainte-Catherine Street West, is a favorite shopping destination for both Montrealers and tourists alike. It is home to some of the city’s largest and most popular stores including the Bay, Simons, Apple, Forever 21, and H&M amongst others. It is also made up of some of the city’s largest shopping malls such as the Eaton Center, Place Montreal Trust, and Les Ailes de la Mode.
Old Montreal typically attracts a very specific type of retailer – much in part to the city bylaws and space restrictions – reflected in the scarcity of big name retail brands. Instead, the narrow streets are dotted with small shops and specialty boutiques. Many Quebec clothing and jewelry designers choose to open up in Old Montreal because of the foot traffic and volume of tourists present in the summer months.
Carrefour Laval, located north of the island of Montreal, is the largest single-story mall in Quebec with a gross leasable area of over 1.2 million square feet. With more than 350 stores, Carrefour Laval has become one of the most important retail destinations in Quebec. Big name American retailers such as Victoria’s Secret, Apple, and Crate & Barrel have taken notice and are choosing to open their flagship stores at Carrefour.
|KEY AREAS / STREETS/SHOPPING CENTERS||Consumer Profile||MAJOR RETAILERS PRESENT||NEW ENTRANTS||TYPICAL NET RENT FOR UNIT OF 2,000 SQFT||RANGE OF UNIT SIZES|
|Sainte-Catherine Street West||Tourists, local shoppers, local business density||The Bay, Simons, Apple, Forever 21, Zara, H&M||Armani Exchange||$190-200 PSF||1,500-50,000 SF|
|Underground City||Local business density, Tourists||Old Navy, Winners, Gap, Zara||Yeh, Tim Horton's||$90-125 PSF||300-50,000 SF|
|Carrefour Laval||Regional shoppers||Simons, H&M, Victoria's Secret, Crate & Barrel||Williams-Sonoma, Zara Home, Topshop||$125-180 PSF||300-100,000 SF|
|Old Montreal||Tourists, local shoppers||Jean-Coutu, SAQ, Art Galleries||100 Laisses||$25-50 PSF||800-10,000 SF|
|Quartier Dix30||Regional shoppers||Cinemas Odeon, Aldo, Best Buy||H&M||$25-35 PSF||2,000-200,000 SF|
|Golden Square Mile||Local shoppers, tourists||Holt Renfrew, Ogilvy||Tiffany & Co.||$40-75 PSF||800-20,000 SF|
Data as of November 2013
Considered the most European city in Canada, Montreal is home to some of the best restaurants in North America. Ranging from famous local indulgences such as smoked meat poutine, to upscale French bistros, Greek tavernas, and local fresh market eateries, it is no surprise that Montreal is behind only New York City in having the most restaurants per capita in the world.
The Downtown Core is home to the widest array of restaurants in the city. From the busy lunchtime food court at the Montreal Eaton Center to the upscale Portuguese restaurant Ferreira, along with the casual restaurants on McGill College Avenue and Crescent Street, the Downtown Core has something for every appetite and budget.
The Plateau has long been considered a Montreal foodie’s urban escape and is home to classic fine dining establishments such as Milos, Moishes, and ‘Au Pied du Cochon’, as much as it is home to the crowded smoked meat institution known as Schwartz’s. Some of the city’s best Greek, Portuguese, and French restaurants can also be found in the area.
Not so long ago, the Downtown South neighborhoods of Little Burgundy, Griffintown, Old Montreal, and St-Henri were made up mostly of industrial and abandoned buildings. However, in recent years the areas have undergone gentrification and are now the go-to neighborhoods for some of the trendiest restaurants in the city. Restaurants like the well-known Joe Beef and Liverpool House were some of the first to take a chance on an up and coming area and more recently urban cuisine restaurants like Grinder, Nora Grey, and Tuck Shop have also paved the way for others who have opened nearby.
Montreal’s heavily trafficked Decarie Boulevard has developed significantly over the last 10 years. While the area was formerly dotted exclusively with fast-food restaurants such as the Orange Julep and McDonald’s, the Smart Centre’s development has brought in brand name restaurants such as PF Chang’s and Baton Rouge. Other family-style restaurants have also begun to appear in the area.
Centropolis Laval is the North Shore’s go-to destination for restaurants featuring both family-style eateries such as Boston Pizza and Houston’s as well as more upscale restaurants such as Ammos and Mikasa. Interestingly, the center features a blend of both chain-restaurants and independent owner-operated units.
Montreal has several Bring Your Own (BYO) restaurants – establishments that do not charge a corking fee for wine or beer.These types of restaurants have become increasingly popular in recent years and while there are more than 180 BYO options in Montreal alone, some popular chains such as L’Academie, Steak Frites, and Amelio’s have begun to emerge as major space occupiers.
|KEY AREAS||CONSUMER PROFILE||FOOD & BEVERAGE OPERATOR INCLUDING||NET RENT FOR 3,500 SQ FT|
|Downtown Core||Business density, regional residential population, tourists||Ferreira, Queue de Cheval, Sho-Dan, Eaton Center Foodcourt||$25-$100|
|Plateau||Local and regional residential population||Au Pied de Cochon, Schwartz's, Moishes, Les Enfants Terribles||$15-$40|
|Downtown South||Local and regional residential population||Joe Beef, Garde Manger, Le Locale, Grinder, Burgundy Lion||$20-$40|
|Decarie Blvd||Local residential population||Orange Julep, PF Chang's, Rib n Reef, Baton Rouge||$25-$35|
|Centropolis Laval||Local residential population, Business density||Art Java, Elixor, Ammos, Sterling Steakhouse||$25-$35|
|Decarie||Local and regional residential population||Orange Julep, PF Chang's, Baton Rouge||$25-$30|
|Laval||Local and regional residential population||Houston's, Ammos, Mikasa||$25-$30|
Data as of November 2013