04 Jun 2024

Time 5 minutes

Summer in Old Montreal: The Must-Haves to Pack in Your Bag

Summer in Old Montreal: The Must-Haves to Pack in Your Bag

Summer is here, the sun is shining and the season’s beautiful: in other words, it’s time to go out in Old Montreal! Whether you’re in for the day from far away or you’re a “Gens du Vieux” seasoned regular, here is our list of essentials to put in your bag for some guaranteed fun in the sun! Psst: you can get it all once you arrive!

To protect your eyes and your skin

A summer season must-have, don’t forget that sunscreen! Upon exiting Square-Victoria-OACI metro station, you’ll find a Jean Coutu right in front, featuring an ample selection for solar protection: from sprays to creams, no matter the SPF, this pharmacy has just what you need!

Sunglasses for every budget but without compromising on style, now that’s what we like. Head to Le Magasin Général du Vieux-Montréal on St-Paul Street for all-purpose as well as highly original sunglasses that you’ll surely want to be sporting all summer, no matter what you have on. We go for the variety of styles on offer, wallet-friendly prices and, well, everything else we love about this store! They also carry hats, which just so happens to be another item you should really have with you.

For sunglasses on the high end of the spectrum, get yourself to McGill Street where you’ll find the not-to-be-missed Bar à lunettes by Marie-Sophie Dion. For character, chic and a timelessness marked by striking originality, here you’ll find “bespoke eyewear” courtesy of an outstanding selection of ready-to-wear or custom frames. Staying well-protected never looked so good! Our fave? The collection by Gamine with its sunglasses in bright colours and graphic shapes for a summertime style that is truly unique.

Stay hydrated, all day

A water bottle, it’s safe to say, is pretty much your best summer friend. Insulated, yes, to keep things cool, but if you have a penchant for fizzy drinks, you’re better off avoiding those interior metallic linings. To find that best friend, make a stop at Le Petit Dep, where an adorable palette of lively colours is available in bottle, mug or cup form. Mandy’s also offers a really great Nalgene bottle inscribed with a lovely little message in a handy 500ml size.

Looking for something else to quench your thirst? Check out our complete guide to the neighbourhood’s original and refreshing summer drinks!

To enjoy outdoor spaces

If you feel it’s about time to lay down on the grass, whether in the shade at Place d’Youville or basking in the sun on the Grand Quay Esplanade, nothing says taking it easy like a nice beach towel, summer mat or picnic blanket. For a bohemian, natural vibe, we found some pretty pompom and cotton ones over at The Boho Lab.

To gear up from head to toe

For some seriously unique caps, Salmo Nature is your place. This McGill Street shop specializes in fly fishing, but its outdoor clothing and accessories section is a real gold mine for anyone looking to spend their summer in comfort, without sacrificing when it comes to style.

As for shoes, Sandrini boutique on Notre-Dame proposes Asportuguesas sandals and flip flops, which we highly recommend you slip into your bag, if not directly on your feet. Always practical for when you want to walk pain-free, or when you’ve just had it with wearing closed shoes. Voilá! A warm-weather pair you’ll bring everywhere.

Great reads, all summer long!

Ah, summer. With everything toned down to a more relaxed rhythm, we say it’s high time you dive into a really good book! Bertrand Bookstore is an absolute treasure house of excellent recommendations thanks to its passionate, knowledgeable and engaging booksellers. Looking for a romance novel? Perhaps a history book about the old quarter, a suspenseful thriller or an insightful essay? Here, you’re sure to leave with the great read (or reads) you need!

For a choice of thematic works that tackle social issues, self-awareness, or that explore questions of identity, the Maktaba Bookshop-Boutique has a fine selection of fiction and non-fiction, magazines, poetry collections, and much more.

To satisfy those little cravings

There’s nothing quite like having something to nibble on by the pétanque courts between rounds or while lounging on your blanket, casually reading that summer-perfect book. In the name of sweet snacks, head over to Boutique Bonjour Montréal and stock up on your fair share of “c’est BONBON” gummies: vegan bears, summer fun mix, sweet mix, sour cocktail, mini vegan fruity popsicles… You’ll pretty much need a bag of each!

If you’re leaning more towards the savoury side of snackable things, be sure to drop by Chez Potier, where you’ll find a whole collection of products from Brets, a French chip maker that does things as crispy as they do creatively!

Need some ideas for a quick bite? Take a look at our address book of great meals on the go for under $20 in Old Montreal. A perfect complement to those candies and chips!

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NOTA BENE: Your business would fit perfectly here but isn’t mentioned? Don’t hesitate to write to us at info@sdcvieuxmontreal.com, and it would be our pleasure to include it.