Located on rue Saint-Catherine, Fresh Paint Gallery occupies the historic La Patrie building, which was built in 1908 and once housed the Quebec daily paper of the same name. The Gallery, a temporary art project, was developed through the collaboration of Under Pressure, Montreal’s annual graffiti festival started in 1996, and the Church of Scientology, who purchased the building but later abandoned their own plans to renovate the space and allowed the gallery to take it.
Dedicated to street art and graffiti, the Gallery exhibits rotating artists who display an array of art ranging from paintings, drawings, sculptures, murals and installations that playfully interact with the inherent nature of the space. The Gallery also regularly hosts Beaux Degats/Fine Mess art battles, whereby several blank walls are turned over to team of artists who transform them in front of a live crowd who vote (generally by dropping their empty beer cans in their favorite teams trash can) for a winner.
221 Sainte Catherine E, Montreal (relocated in 2013)
Dedicated to Canadian history, the McCord Museum was inaugurated in 1921 by David Ross McCord, a native born Montrealer, whose family first settled in Canada in the 1700’s. McCord was an avid collector of all things related to the history of Montreal, Quebec and Canada and its varying cultures. It was his original collection and passion for documenting aspects of Canadian culture that led to the idea of forming a national history museum in the heart of Montreal.
The museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, clothing, toys and a range of other artifacts representative of different time periods and societies in Canadian history. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum hosts 2-3 temporary exhibitions at a time, focusing on varying topics in Canadian history. Past temporary exhibitions have included “Being Irish O’Quebec,” “Dream Weavers-Costumes by Cirque du Soleil,” and “Montreal, That’s Hockey” among many others.
690, Sherbrooke West, Montreal
Founded in 1987 and launching in 1988 with the Rousse, a dark amber, the first of its kind to be created by Quebec brewers, Les Brasseurs du Nord produce Boréale, a craft beer exclusive to Quebec. Maintaining an emphasis on quality over quantity, Les Brasseurs du Nord produce six ale-type beers: Boréale Rousse, Boréale Blonde, Boréale Cuivrée, Boréale Noire, Boréale Dorée and Boréale Blanche. To maintain the full complexity of each beer’s aromas and flavors, they are cold-filtered rather than pasteurized. Moreover, all of the beers, with the exception of the Dorée and Blanche are pure malt without substitutions.
To date, the brewery is still run by its three founding members, Laura Urtnowski, Bernard Morin and Jean Morin, who were students in their twenties when they established the brewery. The Boréale brand can be easily identified by the white polar beer on its label, said to representative of the brewery’s strength, independence and enterprise.
A kitschy throwback to the psychedelic culture of the 1960’s and 1970’s, Gogo Lounge is a popular late nite bar along the bustling St. Laurent Boulevard. The front lounge is filled with a rainbow of colored, plastic hand-shaped chairs. The retro accents continue as you enter further into the bar, with lit up orange, lime and cherry lamps swirling overhead. The cocktail list comes in the form of themed drink stickers covering a vinyl record. Most are of the fruity and sweet variety with offerings like the Hawaii 5-0 (gin or vodka with pineapple juice and triple sec) and Sweet Tart (vodka, blue curacao, melon liqueur and cranberry juice).
The combination of the bar’s popularity and its compact size make for crowded weekend nites after 22h.
3682 St. Laurent Blvd, Montreal
A small alcove tucked away at the end of the hallway past the main reception area, Bartini is the property’s only W owned bar on the premises. A backlit blue bar and luminescent white glow from the seating area shine through the floor to ceiling glass panels that enclose the bar space. With only four stools at the compact bar, Bartini is an intimate space that shuts out the hustle and bustle of the popular hotel and adjacent Wunderbar nightclub to make guests feel like they are at a private bar. You can choose from the list of cocktails which includes seasonal selections in addition to classic standbys such as the Mojito and Mimosa or take advantage of the personal attention afforded by the cozy quarters and allow the bartender to make you a personalized drink based on your preferences and the ingredients on hand.
Cocktails are priced around $18 each.
901 Square Victoria, Montreal