The Best-kept Secrets of Montreal, Québec

Montreal, Quebec, Canada in the summer
Montreal, Quebec, Canada in the summer | © Chloé Durand / Alamy Stock Photo
Margarita Milne

With a population of 1.65 million and 19 boroughs, Montreal is the largest city in Québec. It is no wonder then that the city has many hidden gems, including vintage shops, parks, streets, restaurants, bars, and so on. Here we list just a few our favorite best kept secrets of Québec, Canada.

The Little Shop


It’s easy to miss this vintage shop, located on the residential stretch of Parc Ex. The three story brick house contains piles upon piles, walls upon walls of vintage clothes and objects. The Little Shop was established almost 50 years ago by Ann Silverstone, who was an art dealer in the 1930s. According to the current owners, daughter Jill and her colleague Phyliss, the store’s has had many famous faces pass through. Overall, it’s a great place to shop and people spot.

Big In Japan Bar

Bar, Contemporary

The bar known as Big In Japan is small in Montreal. Not many people know about this great old-fashioned bar simply because it is so unmarked. It’s easy to miss the small grey door even with the address in hand. The bar is full each night with people who are in on the secret but, in general, Big In Japan Bar gets far too little attention.

Le A Bar

Bar, Beer, Canadian

On Le A Bar’s Facebook page you’ll read: ‘le bar le plus discret du Plateau’ and ‘un petit secret bien gardé’. This bar is well aware of its secret status and it enjoys preserving it. Indeed, many of the residents of Plateau Mont-Royal don’t even know that Le A Bar exists. Romados and Café Neve are right beside it and yet A Bar is frequently missed. Through the tiny bar you’ll find a larger space with cheap wine and a great atmosphere.

Steep Avenue


Most other guides to Montreal will point you to the city’s historic buildings. This guide to Montreal’s best-kept secrets directs you to one of the city’s steepest hills, an amusing place to see people and cars walk up and down. For a taste of the real Montreal, or the city’s landscape, it is well worth giving this street a visit.

Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge


Parc du Bois-de-colounge is an idyllic park with fantastic views of the St Lawrence River and beautiful gardens in which to wander. The park is very calming, so it is also a great escape from the bustling streets of Montreal. Whilst strolling around, you can also visit Quebec’s Government House, known as Spencerwood, which was built in 1854 and was the Vice regal residence of Quebec.

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