If you’re looking to explore Montreal, then you have to take a day trip to Griffintown – one of the trendiest and coolest places in town. The previously industrial area is transitioning into a hip neighbourhood for students, young professionals, and empty nesters. The neighbourhood currently hosts a combination of old industrial buildings, high-rise condos and other styles – all of which blend in with each other to create a place where everyone wants to be.
Things to do in Griffintown
You’ll be thrilled to discover the area’s rich history, beautiful walking areas, art galleries, and collection of modern design shops.
If you’re more into things of an older style, you’ll find a handful of antiques dealers still standing in Griffintown with unique treasures for sale, but which also add more cool factor to the neighbourhood. Although Griffintown was once home to more than 50 antiques dealers, there are only a handful left today, lining Notre-Dame St., such as Milod Antiquities, L’Allumeur, and Freddy Weil, to name a few.
When you’re hungry, sit down for a bite at any of the numerous options available. Some of the city’s best restaurants are in Griffintown, with some, like Le Richmond, influenced by Northern Italy.
But, you can also find delicious burgers if that’s what you’re craving, like those served up at Café Griffintown located at 1378 Notre-Dame St. West. While there, don’t forget to try their famous homemade ginger beer.
For a great pub that offers great nachos and ribs, drop by Caesars at the Lord William on William Street.
Named after Mary Griffin who illegally gave half the land to some Irish folks, Griffintown is definitely a spot to explore in Montreal.
It comfortably rests between Autoroute 10 and Georges-Vanier from east to west, and from the Lachine Canal and Notre Dame Street from from north to south.
Some of the area’s buildings are industrial, remains of manufacturing days (although some are operational), but many have been demolished and replaced with condos. The best ones are those that have been redesigned or repurposed.
When you visit Griffintown, you’ll notice the history around you, blended in with all the new buildings and modern-day comforts. One thing to keep an eye out for is L’École de technologie supérieure, located at 33 Peel. Today it is Quebec’s largest engineering school, but it used to house Dow Breweries that once was one of the most popular beers in the province. Dow is celebrated with a small exhibit, free of charge, open on weekdays. You’ll see first-hand, the 60s beer bottles and TV ads run by the old Griffintown brewery.
The art galleries are yet another attraction in this Montreal neighbourhood. The restored iron works factory is one example of repurposing buildings, and this one houses works of the Montreal Art Centre, which is open every day. You’ll find lots of the local artists creating art within their respective workshops. Arsenal’s collection is more cutting-edge art, including pieces by renowned international artists. Arsenal is open Wednesday through Saturday.
Other sights to take in include the design shops which are a must-see. Of course, these trendy shops in a hip neighbourhood offer impressive and unique gadgets and other items at eye-popping prices, but they’re nice to look at even if they’re out of your price range. Look out for Ludovik and Item among other great design shops.
After all that, take a walk along the Lachine Canal on the boardwalk. Griffintown is so beautiful on the water, but it can be quite windy thanks to the open space so be prepared.