St. Henri’s Second Coming

Montrealers have been calling their ‘hood “the next Plateau” for as long as I can remember. The Plateau is the epitome of the once-downtrodden Montreal neighborhood finding new life, being revitalized and becoming practically self-sufficient. The neighborhood currently seeing the most distinctive change is St. Henri.

With triplexes being renovated and new condo developments popping up just about everywhere, the demand for new restaurants, pubs and shops has increased. St. Henri is slowly transforming into the type of place that offers a home to people with wider tastes while retaining its cool underground vibe. Once known as Les Tanneries (leather tanning was once a dominant industry), the area was predominantly Irish and French Canadian before becoming more multi-ethnic and evolving into the up-and-coming neighborhood it is today.

A big draw in the area is the Atwater market. A diverse market with stalls and stores offering everything from fruit to flowers to wine and cheese, it has almost anything you can imagine and it’s a great jumping-off point to finding exactly what you need. It’s easily accessible from the streets, as well as from the many bike paths that intersect and run along the beautiful Lachine Canal.

There’s no shortage of restaurants and bars in St. Henri.  One of the newest bistros is Le Smoking Vallée.  This bring your own wine place has been on everyone’s list to check out.  If seafood is your thing, you might like Tuck Shop, and if coffee is what you want, there’s Caffé Mariani (4450 Notre Dame St. W.) which has great brunch and an enticing dessert menu.

Though St. Henri remains an underground for alternative musicians and artists, urban professionals and explorers alike will be acutely tuned-in to the evolution of the city’s latest  hot ‘hood.

Image courtesy of matt.hinsta

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