Style is synonymous with Montréal living. The city itself is beautiful and locals live up to the standard it sets. Maybe it’s that much touted European influence, but most Montréalers seem to instinctively lead stylish lives regardless of income level, enjoying aesthetic pleasures such as food, art and, of course, fashion.

Fashion City

Montréal is Canada’s unofficial fashion capital and many of the country’s most talented and internationally successful designers have roots here. Locally based lines include Frank & Oak, Denis Gagnon, Nadya Toto, Christian Chenail and Travis Taddeo. For more information, check out Québec fashion magazines such as Clin d’Oeil, Lou Lou and Elle Québec. Better still, visit during Montréal's August Fashion & Design Festival (www.festivalmodedesign.com), which showcases new collections.

Something for Everyone

Beyond fashion, Montréal is an ideal shopping city, full of goods you’ll want to take home. You’ll find the cream of the crop in this shopping paradise – from big international department stores to high-fashion designers, vintage clothing boutiques to weird one-of-a-kind antique shops, used-music stores and booksellers, chic home decor and more. As well, many international megastore chains have shops here, but with a local or European flair.

Need to Know

Opening hours

  • Most stores open from around 10am to 6pm Monday to Wednesday; and close at 9pm Thursday and Friday.
  • Weekend hours are 10am to 5pm, on Saturday and noon to 5pm on Sunday.

Taxes

In Québec, there is a sales tax of nearly 15% on most items (including a 9.975% province tax, plus a 5% goods and services tax).

Websites

  • Tourisme Montréal (www.tourisme-montreal.org/what-to-do/shopping)
  • Montreal Fashion Blog (www.themontrealfashionblog.com)
  • MTL Blog (www.mtlblog.com)

Sales

Montréal's prices can be high. To save cash, plan your shopping around big sales events. Keep an eye out for sample sales, when designers offload new productions and showroom pieces at rock-bottom prices. Warehouse sales, featuring big reductions on old stock (with savings of to 50% to 90%), are another draw.

When it comes to fashion, bargain hunters shouldn't miss La Braderie de Mode Québécoise. Held in April and October, the four-day sale brings big savings on more than 100 brands. It's held in the Marché Bonsecours.

For upcoming sales, check out these sites: MTL Warehouse (www.mtlwarehouse.ca), All Sales (www.allsales.ca) and I Love Sample Sales (www.ilovesamplesales.com).