Well hello! Welcome to Montreal!
If you’re in town for the Lolë White Yoga Tour, we know you’ll be breathing deep and focusing on your down dog, but if you’ve got time on your hands, roll up your mat and explore this fantastic French Canadian city.
Here are the places to eat, move, shop, and ‘get zen’ that we’d recommend to our best friend – you’ll definitely feel a positive “je ne sais quoi…”
If only doing the right thing always felt this good….! Cafe Santropol is a seriously special vegetarian restaurant, tucked away on a corner of St. Urbain Street since the 1970s. Eclectic decor inside and the most charming courtyard out back (with leafy trees, indigenous plants, and a fish pond) makes it a great stop rain or shine. Chunky sandwiches are hearty and filling, and the vegetarian chili is just good for the soul.
3990 rue Saint-Urbain
If you’re looking for an entire food experience rather than just a meal, head on over to Jean-Talon Market – one of the oldest public markets in Montreal – and breathe in the incredible aromas of tomatoes on the vine, fresh bread just out of the oven, rainbows of flowers, a dizzying array of cheeses, and seafood sizzling on the BBQ. This is a great place for a mini food tour, or to stock up for a picnic lunch.
7070 Henri-Julien Avenue
Montreal’s got a great public bike sharing system (bixi) with docking stations all over the city – so with a quick swipe of the credit card, you’re on your way! Our favourite cycle is from the Old Port to Atwater Market along the Lachine Canal, a beautiful heritage park site that’s just steps from the heart of downtown, but incredibly serene and, for non-bikers, welcomingly flat.
If you’re on a budget and want to get a little extra exercise along with some panoramic views of the city, then Mont Royal should absolutely be a stop on your list (fun fact: it was originally landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted, who is most famous for designing Central Park in NYC). If you’re feeling energetic, you can run the trails or climb the 275 steps to the top, but if you’re more in the mood for a leisurely stroll, just mosey on up the gently winding main path.
Whether you’re shopping for loved ones or just being nice to yourself, it’s really hard to leave David’s Tea without a little pouch in your hands! This Canadian institution has branches all over the city, and the walls are lined with canisters of the most delicious (ask to smell!), exotic, unique infusions you’ll find pretty much anywhere. If you’re someone who needs a boost in the morning, shop for intense black teas and yerba mates, or for a healthy kick, go green and fruity and get your detox on!
You’ll need to hunt a little for this gem – it’s a ‘Yoga Bookstore’ tucked into a third-floor suite of a building on St Alexandre, downtown, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for inspirational purchases. Publications on living well, meditation, yoga and divinity line the shelves, as well as meditation accessories, yoga props, dvds and music, and buddhist statues.
If you’ve shocked your poor body with all those sun salutations, then a long, luxurious massage will be in order. Treat yourself to some downtime at Victoria Park, an urban spa where you can customize everything from the music playing during your treatment to the scent of the aromatherapy oils perfuming your relaxation room.
376 Victoria Ave., Suite 240
Another wonderful choice for the perfect unwind is Espace Nomad, a cozy, peaceful oasis off busy St. Laurent Street. They use all organic products for their divine body scrubs and wraps, and you’ll find every kind of massage you’ve ever dreamed of, from holistic reiki to lomi lomi and shiatsu.
4650 Saint-Laurent Blvd.
→ Check out more of our suggestions at Tuja Wellness …and leave a comment below with your favourite post-yoga hangouts!
Tuja wellness is an online healthy living community. We’re both an online magazine and directory, connecting you the best-of-the-best health and wellness vendors across Canada. From Halifax to Vancouver, we’ve got you covered. Visit us at www.tujawellness.com and we’ll show you the way to a healthier, more sustainable life.