"Tell me, where does it hurt?"


Cream of the crop

St-Laurent shines with tons of must-sees

By : Lauren Chang MacLean



3536 St-Laurent

Independent, foreign language, genre and art films comprise a culturally important and infinitely interesting portion of both movie culture and the art scene in Montreal. The immense and creatively quirky Ex-Centris theatre addresses both of these concerns with its roster of films catering to these very areas of film. The funky theatre is found right in the very heart of the resto-club district of St-Laurent Boulevard, making it not only an ultra cool movie going destination, but also an ideal space for the city’s several film festivals to showcase top picks.



1195 St-Laurent

The Societé d’Art et Technologie is a hip, industrially-styled venue for concerts, art exhibits, vernissages, screenings and other such interesting cultural events which are in abundance in Montreal, and nourish the city’s mysterious artist-right-on-the-cusp-of-discovery quality. The two-story raw space is always transforming and bending, freely lending it unique and distinctly edgy vibe to whatever event it hosts. Check local and online listings to see what little-known art exhibit or fascinating speaker you might be able to catch during your stay – the events are always fresh, innovative and shrouded in a cloud of the avant-garde. A cultural delight!


Musee Juste Pour Rire

2111 St-Laurent

Montreal is hilarious! Stop by the Just for Laughs museum just below Sherbrooke on St-Laurent to find tickets to some of the hottest comedians in the world, and soak up some side-splitting history on the world’s funniest comics. During the summertime Juste Pour Rire festival (usually held in July), shows run throughout the daytime and nighttime with international funnymen and funnywomen like Bill Cosby and Jerry Seinfled cracking up audiences who travel far and wide to have their funnybones tickled. A natural tourist draw, the bilingual shows are a treat for every age group – except perhaps for the late night shows, which focus on the funnier aspects of life’s down and dirty raunch.


Musique Plus

355 Ste-Catherine W.

Quebec's answer to Much Music and MTV, this huge facility broadcasts Quebecois and North American popular culture to thousands of fans throughout the province and the world. Walking past the open windows, one can often see famous actors, singers and songwriters strolling around with water bottles, being interviewed or putting on a show for viewers. What makes it such a popular place for interviews? Gwen Stefani maintains it's because up here you can cuss on TV!


Prince Arthur

Prince Arthur Street started off as an unpaved residential alley with more personal garages and tools sheds than commercial or retail shops. Today, it’s a bustling cobblestone pathway of cute shops and grocers and more famously, tons of bring-your-own restaurants with familiar patio-furniture terraces out front. The changeover begin in the late 1970s when the Quebec government introduced the BYOW by-law, permitting merchants to allow patrons to “apportez votre vin” and consume it on the premises. Three of the original establishments to take advantage of the law, Minerva, Le Prince Arthur and the beloved Casa Greque are still dishing it out and leading the pack. In the early 1980s, the still-dirt road was set with large cement stones, and closed to traffic, creating the charming pedestrian boulevard that thousands have spent countless summer hours sauntering through, gazing at passerbyers from the terraces, and soaking up the hard-to-find, laid back culture that this little street represents. Take a stroll down our quaint little boulevard ... stretching from St-Laurent to Carre St-Louis, and witness for yourself the character, fun and joie the vivre Prince Arthur has to offer.


Perched just at the edge of Rene-Levesque and spanning just a few city blocks, is one of the most lively and tiny Chinatowns in North America. Although the city of Montreal has a relatively small population of Chinese (about 60, 000) this fun, vibrant zone has enough activity and character to fill a city of its own. Closed to east-west traffic and very pedestrian-friendly, Montreal Chinatown is gated by the distinct and antiquated pagoda-style stone gates, and contains its own Holiday Inn styled in the same ancient Chinese décor. If you’re looking for tasty dim sum, try the very ordinary-looking Ruby Rouge, located on the second floor of 1008 Clark, just off the main strip. Bakeries dot the sidewalks offering fresh BBQ pork and sweet buns, among other foreign and delightful pastries. You’ll find tea shops and bubble tea, a dozen anything-goes discount stores stocked in everything from tea sets and accordion fans, to rice cookers and satin robes. Be sure to sample the super-sweet and delicious dragon’s beard candy found right on the main artery, and if you’re going in, don’t come out without a rice farmer’s hat, perfect for shielding yourself from the sun as you continue your travels across la belle cité. Sunday is the busiest day for Chinatown, and is when you’ll have a chance to experience a full crowd. Try a weekday afternoon if you want to beat the crowds.

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