Trendy restaurants, designer boutiques, green spaces, and water views are just a few of the reasons Les Quartiers du Canal is Montreal’s most up-and-coming area. Located in the southwest section of the city, the Lachine Canal occupies a 13.5-kilometre route that is framed by three neighbourhoods: Griffintown, Little Burgundy, and Saint-Henri.
Each have their own unique vibe and reasons to visit. We recommend walking or cycling along the Canal for a day-long adventure, eating, drinking, and shopping in all three neighbourhoods. Read on for what not to miss.
If you’re starting from downtown, walk or peddle down to Griffintown, a neighbourhood that is quickly becoming the most sought-after postal code in Montreal. Start your day getting inspired by designer chic home decor at stores including Celdon Collection, MUST Société, and Ligne Roset, all located in a one block radius on Rue Peel. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, walk down Rue Notre-Dame Ouest and drop into Bird Bar for brunch, Wednesday through Sunday, and sample their famous fried chicken and waffles.
If you’re still in town later that evening, check out Hvor for fine dining, famous for its urban garden where they grow much of their own produce, or Le Fantome for their daily 6- to 9-course tasting menu. After your meal, hop back onto two wheels and continue down the Canal pathway to drop into your next neighbourhood.
Pick up a rare antique find or catch a show at the revitalized Corona Theatre as you stroll down the streets of Little Burgundy. Care for a side of surf with your coffee? Drop into the September Surf Cafe, for your favourite brew (they also serve craft beer in the afternoons), and good vibes.
Then it’s time to get on the water at the Lachine Canal Nautical Centre with a kayak rental or paddle boat adventure. We recommend the giant swan boats for the perfect photo op. Looking to learn more about the history of the Canal and Montreal? Sign up for a guided kayak tour.
Back on land, plan a visit to Joe Beef, Liverpool House, or Vin Papillon, legendary establishments that are all owned by Montreal restaurant royalty: Dave McMillan and Frédéric Morin. Earning a spot on basically every best restaurant list there is, each of these locations brings something different (literally) to the table. Cap your night off with a whisky tasting from Burgundy Lion just across the street, home to the largest whisky collection in Quebec.
Rounding out your day, or weekend-long adventure, is a visit to Saint-Henri, starting off with the Atwater Market. This fresh market is open year-round and it’s the perfect place to meet a local cheesemonger, butcher, or farmer. Pick up a few of your favourites or try something new for a picnic lunch on the canal.
If you’re looking for a sit down breakfast or brunch place, head to Arthurs Nosh Bar to experience Jewish classics served with a twist. Then it’s time to escape, literally, at A/Maze Montreal, where you and your travel companions will have up to 60 minutes to solve the mystery, decipher the codes, and break free from a locked room.
After you’ve made a successful escape, cool off and rest your feet at the St-Ambroise Terrasse overlooking the Canal while you sip on local McAuslan beers. Keeping things casual, grab a bite to eat at food-stall gone restaurant Satay Brothers on Notre-Dame street. This Singapore and Malaysian restaurant started out as a food stall at the Atwater Market for many years, before opening up a year-round location to keep up with demand. Finally, cap off your night with a five-minute walk down the street to Saint-Henri’s newest speakeasy, the Atwater Cocktail Club. This bar boasts an impressive list of cocktail creations with flavours that include truffle, fig, and lavender.
Visit all three neighbourhoods in one action-packed day, or take your time and discover each at your own pace over the course of a few days. However you explore the Les Quartiers du Canal, you’ll come back with a new understanding of Montreal locals and their joie de vivre!