Sunday, 10 June 2012

Montreal streetsnaps: St. Denis

One of the streets that I always found myself returning to in Montreal was Boulevard St. Denis (deh-nee). Parallel to St. Laurent, St. Denis is one of the main streets running North-South that are a must-see in Montreal. Chock-a-block full of unique boutiques, restaurants, cafes and brimming with street art around every corner, it's a stretch that's nice to walk down even if all the stores are closed - which was often the case for me. I had a hard time adjusting to the opening hours of the stores in Montreal. When I was there in March and April (I suppose it's considered late Winter/Early Spring for them), most of the stores closed at 6pm early in the week e.g. Mondays to Wednesdays. 6pm!!! I usually finished at the hospital by around 5pm and would rush down to one of the cafes on my list while they were still open, after which I attempted to get some shopping done but almost inevitably, the stores would be closed. So I ended up spending many occasions simply walking down the street, croissant/cupcake in hand, admiring store windows and making a mental note of the stores that I wanted to check out over the weekend. Yeah, major sigh there. 




In a way, it's funny how the things are never perfect. One of the things I like about Montreal is how laid-back and relaxed the people are. They know how to enjoy the simple pleasures of life - dinner and drinks after hours with friends, nature in all its abundance, material pleasures, but never overwhelmingly so (unlike certain cities like New York, which reeks of commercialism. But don't get me wrong, that's one of the reasons NYC is my favorite place in the world). But at the same time, while I admire their carefree attitude towards life (and envy it, certainly), a part of me missed the bustle of a city that's on the go 24/7. When I found out that the store that closed the latest was Urban Outfitters and closing hour was 8pm, it took ages for my jaw to come back up off the ground. Where are the shops that close late at night? What do people do after work/after dinner if they don't drink?! That was a question that circled round in my head continuously as I looked with resignation at all the closed shutters at the 'late hour' of... 6.30pm. That said, it's always a matter of compromise. The culture of any place has its pros and cons and I suppose if I were to immerse myself in a place that's a lot more relaxed and laid-back and generally less economically-driven all the time, I would really appreciate how much more sustainable it is for people, physically and mentally.


(coat and dress: Ruche, sweater: Sonia Rykiel, boots:, necklace: Vamoose)


Not that I really had the opportunity to take outfit shots much, but here was one that my mum managed to help me take when she was still there with me very early on in my stay there. :) Being in such a cold place for 2 months definitely helped me learn a few things about dressing for winter -- 1. You really don't need to pack very much because 2. All you really need is a good coat, good sweater, good thermals. Because apart from those few essentials 3. You're really not going to be wearing very much else. BIG mistake on my part to have brought all my work pants/skirts (what was I thinking; SKIRTS?!) because I ended up just wearing the same thing day after day with minimal variations. 

That said, after all the complaints about the weather, I wish I were over in Montreal now that it's summer. SIGH <3<3<3 


  1. Wow, Montreal looks/sounds so lovely ~ I've always had a fetish for those type of housing/apartments in the second photo. There's just something classical about the exterior that I really love.
    I love your necklace! :)

    1. Haha me too! I just loved walking down the streets taking in all the lovely and unique architecture of the city. :D