Montréal is a shopping city with international and local brands and goods available. Locals and visitors live to magasinent (shop) in the more than 1,500 shops in the underground city with many more at street level and above.
Canadian souvenir items like maple syrup and anything with a maple leaf can be found everywhere. There are a few specialty items for Montréal.
- Fur - Though fur has a bad reputation in most places, Montréal has a long history as a fur capital of the world. If you want to purchase a fur, check with your country's customs officials to find out which animals are considered endangered and cannot be imported.
- Inuit art - Ivory carvings and native art are a popular souvenir. Look for the piece to be stamped with Canada's igloo symbol, which attests to the piece's authenticity.
- Food items - While it may not be possible to bring back a poutine, local wines and foodstuffs can make great gifts and reminders of your trip.
- Ave Mont Royal - A haven for funky boutiques and shops, including up and coming Québec designers.
- Avenue Laurier - Short strip of upscale shops in posh Outremont.
- Avenue du Mont-Royal - Small, trendy, shops line this street running from east to west. St-Denis crosses Mont-Royal running north-south.
- Boulevard Le Corbusier - Located in the suburb of Laval, Le Corbusier runs north-south, parallel to Autoroute 15. This area is ideal for finding great furniture deals.
- Chabanel - The heart of the Canadian garment industry north of downtown. The buildings of this are with manufacturers, importers, agents, buyers and deals. The best time to go is on Saturday mornings from around 9:00 to 13:00. Generally, the higher the address number of the building, the more expensive the garment. The 555 Chabanel building offers importers from France.
- "La Main" - The multi cultural heart of the city, this area is also known as Boulevard St-Laurent. It offers independent boutiques, emerging designers and cutting edge fashion.
- Notre Dame antique district - Stretches from Notre Dame street at Guy until Atwater.
- Rue Sherbrooke - Exclusive boutiques, jewelers and antiques
- Rue Ste-Catherine - Trendy shops with the latest fashions
- Ste-Catherine - Downtown area with world class department stores
- St-Denis St - Unique, edgy, stylish shops. Avenue du Mont-Royal crosses St-Denis running east-west.
Markets offer the chance to shop for fresh, local goods from area farmers and shops.
- Jean-Talon Market (7075 avenue Casgrain; metro: Jean-Talon or De Castelnau) - This market west of the Jean-Talon metro stop offers produce, fish, meats, and unusual spices. Open daily from 8:00 to 18:00
- Atwater Market (avenue Atwater - south of rue Notre-Dame Lionel-Groulx station) - Small market that has some of the city's best butchers, cheese, fish, and produce.
- Marché Maisonneuve (4445 Ontario East, between Pie-IX and Viau) - Open year round, this market produces fresh produce and goods. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Most grocery stores in Canada sell a full range of fresh, dry, and frozen foods, as well as household goods, stationery, clothing, toiletries and cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and electronics. Many issue weekly or bi-weekly sales flyers online or via mail, indicating special reduced prices for products for a limited period. Most grocery stores offer complimentary plastic or paper bags, but encourage the use of reusable bags or bins.
Major grocery store chains: Atlantic Superstore, SuperValu, Dominion, Loblaws, No Frills, SaveEasy, Valu-Mart, Fortino, Freshmart, Save-on-Foods, Sobeys, Metro, Supermarches GP, Safeway, Foodland, IGA, Price Chopper, and Whole Foods.
Canada adds sales taxes to most goods and services.
GST (Goods and Services Tax) is a federal Government of Canada tax added to the price of most goods and services in Canada. Generally, the list price of goods and services in Canada does not include GST. GST is 5%.
PST (Provincial Sales Tax) is added to GST in most provinces, and ranges from 7-10%. Alberta, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon do not have PST. Generally, the list price of goods and services in Canada does not include PST.
HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) is a combination of GST and PST added to goods and services in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador. HST is 13-15%. Generally, the list price of goods and services in Canada does not include HST.