Those who, like Miss Crawford, come down with the true London maxim, that every thing is to be got with money, will find all of the usual international designer shops within a comfortable walk of the Sheraton, but more discriminating shoppers like Miss Price may prefer to patronise local merchants and designers in our neighbourhood and beyond, or to become a chuser of books.  Below are some suggestions.

Near the Sheraton

La Baie

Underground City, Place Ville Marie.
The first of Montréal’s “underground city” shopping malls, beneath the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and Central Station (just two blocks from the Sheraton), offers a mix of international chains and local merchants.  From Place Ville Marie, you can access passages south into Place Bonaventure or north into The Eaton Centre

The Bay (la Baie): Just east of the Eaton Centre, accessible from the McGill metro or via Les Cathédrales centre.
The Hudson’s Bay Company, North American’s oldest merchant, is now American-owned (ouch!) by Lord & Taylor, but they still carry Canadian designers (2nd level, front of the store) as well as Hudson’s Bay historic memorabilia such as blankets (street level).  Local design can be found throughout the department store.

Simmons Department Store

The Eaton Centre also leads west into Place Montreal-Trust, and, eventually, via the Peel metro complex to Simon’s Department Store. This Quebec City-based chain offers excellent value, featuring their own European-inflected designs (fashion, accessories and home fashions).  Prices, always reasonable, fall fast as the season progresses, and service is excellent.  A special boutique offers top international couturier designers, often with major markdowns.  You’ll find things in Simon’s that you won’t find in American mall stores.

Holt-Renfrew, 1300 Sherbrooke Street (corner: Mountain)
Canada’s premier, up-market fashion department store chain offers exclusive Canadian design and accessories (including furs) along with the usual international designers.  Not for the likes of Miss Price, but Mrs. Rushworth and Miss Crawford surely shop here.  Alas, the building is doomed to become luxury condos.

Maison Ogilvy

Maison Ogilvy, 1307 St. Catherine West
Once a staid, Scottish department store, now a boutique of boutiques, upmarket but not quite as expensive as Holt’s, and lots of fun for browsing.  Every Montrealer recognises the Ogilvy plaid.  And the Ogilvy piper still closes the store at 5 PM on Saturdays.

Further afield

Local fashion and home-fashion designer boutiques abound on St. Lawrence and St. Denis (and the side streets that connect them) north of Sherbrooke Street through the Plateau towards Laurier and beyond into arty Mile End.  This is great strolling and window-shopping territory, with plenty of cafés, bars and restos.  You will find several cutting-edge local designers along St. Laurence: Note that “Fripperie” means “second-hand” or, optimistically, “vintage.”

Old Montréal also has many small fashion boutiques featuring local designers.  Do visit the “juried” craft vendors in the old Bonsecours Market, a lovely Georgian building facing the harbor, just east of Place Jacques Cartier on Rue St-Paul.

West of the Sheraton, on the western boundary of downtown, is Greene Avenue, the premiere shopping street of haut-Anglo Westmount for fashion, fabrics and antiques.  Definitely Lady Bertram territory!  Several designer boutiques include the original La Cache (April Cornell’s first shop) and a branch of the popular Vancouver-based Lululemon athletic clothing.

Greene Avenue
Greene Avenue, one of Montréal’s popular shopping streets.

Food Markets

The Atwater market at the southern end of Atwater Street (walk two blocks south from metro Lionel-Groulx) is not far from the hotel and offers a delightful place to browse the local harvest and shop for exotic food imports, with many opportunities for grazing or dining.  But for a “real” market, take the metro north to the Jean-Talon Market in Little Italy.  This is one of North America’s largest markets.  You can spend hours here just marveling at the fruits and vegetables, sampling the cheeses and other local products, and of course, eating and drinking.