Things to see and do - Montréal
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Montreal enjoys its status as one of the "UNESCO Cities of Design", of which there are now eleven worldwide. We pay homage here to its style and the talents of its creators.
A forest of pink trees!
There are more than 25,000 designers who have helped create the city. The convention centre houses a forest of pink trees designed by the Quebec architect Claude Cormier. At the foot of its colourful façade, a sculpture by the artist Jean-Paul Riopelle comes alive at certain times, with displays of flames or mist. A few streets away, in the changing Quartier des Spectacles, the photographer Geneviève Cadieux has installed a giant pair of lips (her mother’s!) on the roof of the Museum of Contemporary Art. "Design has been seen to be an economically favourable factor. It enriches our city with its diverse heritage and its legacy from different cultures, French included" says Marie-Josée Lacroix, the design director at the Office of the City of Montreal. This energetic Quebecer has as much passion for the expansion of the Museum of Fine Arts, entrusted to the Dutchman Rem Koolhaas as she does for the delivery of 400 newly styled bus shelters.
In the trendy Plateau Mont-Royal, Annie Legroulx, a design graduate from UQAM (Université du Quebec a Montreal), exports irresistible hand painted bicycle bells to New York or Tokyo. She set up her studio called "Dringdring" amidst a number of small boutiques where an almost tangible wind of creativity blows. It’s here that you will also find the largest underground city in the world where you’ll encounter stylized perspectives along its 30 km of tunnels. Another cosier place to warm up is the refined Scandinave Les Bains Vieux-Montreal, an elegant spa with a décor of wood and slate. You’ll find these on the banks of the Vieux Port, just a few steps from where, in 1642, fifty French settlers founded Ville-Marie, which was to become Montréal on the grand St. Lawrence river.
Where to stay
Hotel Saint-Paul, in a revamped historic building.
355 McGill Street
Double rooms from £120
LHotel - a renovated former bank building with contemporary paintings by Warhol, Lichtenstein and Miro on its walls.
262 St. Jacques Street West Montreal
Offers from £75
Places to shop
Harricana (Mariouche Gagné).
3000 St. Antoine Street West.
Marie Saint Pierre, leading Montreal stylist who dresses Montreal's stars with her wrinkled Japanese fabrics.
2081 Mountain Street.
170B St. Paul Street West.
Places to relax
Taking a coffee break