This week, we are welcoming Nadine from Robin 2 brousse, a blog about marketing & economic development. You can also find her on Saudad.com, on instagram @morena_loca7 and on Pinterest. Nadine is also working on a wonderful crowfunding project related to improve access education in a village in Cameroon, where she is originaly from. Please do have a look on #EcoleDigne Project.
I’m super excited not only because we are tackling one of my fave city in the world, but more importantly because my friend Nadine is the go-to person for any tips, addresses in general and I know she is generous so we will all benefit from her 😉 Enjoy!
Since when do you live in Montréal?
I lived in Montreal for 13 years and decided to move to Toronto last July after a 6 months trip abroad.
What makes Montréal so special?
I left Montreal last December and since I got back to Canada, I have really realized how much I love the city. Montreal is the perfect mix of the European and American culture. Summers there are amazing, there are a lot of free festivals and outdoor activities going on.
I love the fact that it’s a multicultural city, which really fits with my international background. There are a lot of places to visit, museums are pretty great and the architecture is nice. Being a foodie, I can appreciate its wide variety of restaurants with international cuisine.
Finally, Montreal is an island. I used to work very closed to the South Shore and I loved the fact that I could watch the St Laurent from my desk everyday. My favourite neighborhoods:
- The Old Port and its European architecture and you have a great view of the river. You can also enjoy a nice diner on a boat and watch Montreal from the St Laurent. I used to go and walk in the Old Port every time I missed Paris.
- NDG and especially Monkland Village is a great neighborhood with lots of nice little coffee shops, shops and restaurants. I used to go to my favourite place for brunch Orange Cafe. It’s affordable, the food is great. This place is an institution in NDG.
- St laurent street and The Plateau. If you like vintage, these are the places to go! I found my favourite jacket in a consignment store on St Laurent for only $20 bucks!!!
- The Gay Village is just a great place to hang out during the summer. It’s always a party there!
Pros / cons of living in this city?
- It’s a cosmopolitan city but I love the fact that the city is very accessible. Public transit is effective.
- You also have easy access to a lot of parks right in the city. The city is great for families.
- The cost of living is relatively low. You can afford huge apartments with lots of closet place for less than $1,000.
- I love street art and I feel like contrary to places like in London where Murals can be considered as vandalism, Montreal really embraces street artists. There is a great festival (Mural Festival) that takes place in Montreal every June. The murals stay up all year long, which give the city a lot of personality.
- The winter is though man!!! And long. It’s because of it that I decided to move to Toronto.
- Montreal is part of Quebec, where French is the official language. I think that the fact that the province has to “compete” with the rest of the country, made people from Quebec – in my opinion – a little insecure about the rest of Canada.
- There are not as many opportunities in Montreal than in Toronto for instance. The language barrier, higher taxes are big obstacles to encourage entrepreneurs or big companies. I also think that in Quebec, we are less open-minded as the rest of Canada.
Your favourite restaurant/brunch/lounge
Brunch: Orange Café in NDG
Lounge-Club: Peopl in Old Montreal.
Restaurant: Man there are so many.
- Nouveau Deli Express for Indian Food in Verdun
- Red Tiger for vietnamese tapas – The village
- Mikado for sushi – Le plateau
- La Buvette Chez Simone – Mile End
Coffee Shop and other:
Your favourite clothing/beauty shop:
I usually just buy stuff from lots of small and random places or in regular places like Gap or Zara. I prefer shopping online on international websites to find unique pieces.
I don’t really put on makeup so I just go to the pharmacy to find beauty products. I mostly use a lot of organic products from Cameroon.
- Eva B – Consignment store. You can get a bite of chill on the patio while looking for your next best find
- Tony Pappas – Shoe Store in The Plateau
You favourite bookshop/museum/music venue:
- Fav bookshop – Indigo-Chapters on St Catherine. I also like hanging out in second hand bookstores. There are a lot of them in the Plateau. But to be completely honest, I usually go to Indigo to check stuff out and buy books on itunes.
- Fav museum: Museum of Beaux Arts on Sherbrooke street.
- Music Venue: Club Soda is a very intimate venue.
Give us 5 hotspots right now including restaurants, shoppings, clubbing:
I have been away from Montreal for almost a year so I wouldn’t know what’s hot right now. Plus, I usually go out based on my mood and to discover new places. I really don’t like to go to trendy places. I prefer originality and more intimate spots.
In your opinion how would you qualify the Montréal way of life?
I would say it’s a mix of a lot of different things. Lots of contrasts.
What is the best with people Montréalais?
They are easy-going and honest.
Give one word that describe your relationship with the city:
I hate it when it’s cold. Summers are amazing and everytime I travel, I really miss my fav places and my super fast internet. LOL