Strolling in Le Plateau: Montreal’s hipster district

From my explore Canada travel series | Read other chapters – See photo gallery

From gourmet restaurants and cafés to boutiques and outfitters, Montréal’s trendy Le Plateau is my favourite neighbourhood for a leisurely stroll.

I have been to Montreal only twice now but since the city is extremely walkable and has good public transit, I could easily go around and see different parts of the city. Montreal is a city of neighbourhoods, each with a micro culture. For example, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal borough (arrondissement) consists of The Plateau, Mile End, Little Portugal and the tiny McGill ghetto which is a just a spiffy name for McGill university student residences.

Le Plateau neighbourhood, in particular, is very colourful and pretty. This rectangular district is bordered by a mountain (Mont Royal) on its west and a park-lake on its east; what more could you possibly ask for! The area in between is neatly filled with compact rectangular blocks of two-four storey buildings, tree-lined streets and hundreds of small and large restaurants and depanneurs.

↑ Parc La Fontaine coloured by fall

↑ Rue St. Denis filled with chic stores

Between the Tam Tam parties at the foot of Mont Royal and taking a nap in the shady La Fontaine Park, we walked around, had brunch, lunch and meals at numerous bistros and restaurants in this area. There is so much to do, I already have plans in place for my next visit.

↑ Sidewalks with storefronts and stairs ascending to residences

One of the distinctive features of the buildings here are their external spiraling staircases. A simple feature, but it transforms the character of the streets completely, doesn’t it? When I walk on the sidewalks, it seems as if the large buildings are descending to the ground to greet me.

Le Plateau’s streets are perfect for wandering aimlessly and checking out the large number of stores that dot the principal avenues: St. Laurent blvd and St. Denis st N-S and Av. Rachel or Av. Mont Royal going E-W. If you enjoy walking in an metropolitan city block with a strong European character, you’ll love Le Plateau. 🙂