DailyXY’s 2011 Gift Guide: Montreal

When I originally moved to Montreal, I was an impressionable youth — frivolously spending on drink, late-night eats, concerts and cabbing. In all honesty, not that much has changed. But over time I’ve been exposed to more than what once made Montreal the original Sin City: its arts community is booming, independent shops are thriving, and its European charm is ever-present. Below are gifts representative of the city I’ve fallen in love with.

Furni Clocks 
One of the few good things about harsh Montreal winters is that they encourage a man’s second-favourite pastime: sleeping in. Unfortunately, we’re not all lucky enough to work seasonally. The best way to get a civilized Neanderthal out of bed in the morning is a compelling alarm clock. Act quickly, as Furni’s holiday deadline is December 12. $150

Papirmasse Art Subscription
Every year, I try to go to more art openings. Often, prior engagements interfere, or other times the vernissages start too early. Papirmasse is an easy way to get your culture fix without rearranging your schedule: receive an art print in the mail every month for a year. $60

Blomus Hip Flask
Aux Plaisirs de Bacchus stocks a number of outstanding products for hosting wine and cheeses or even potlucks. Still, I’m more the grab-and-go type — and, after my cellphone and keys, a proper flask is something I like to keep on my person (one never knows when last call will come too early; plus, not enough bars stock good single malt). $35

M0851 Urban Backpack
I don’t care how many 0s there are on your Christmas bonus, you’re never too successful to own a backpack. With the return of varsity jackets in men’s fashion, you may already be sporting an academic appearance; this handsome bag not only completes the look, but also organizes your important paperwork into three neat compartments. $415

Carinthia Boot Re-cobbling
Despite the fact that we’ve been blessed with a prolonged autumn, the weather seems to alternate rain and snow, sometimes both at once. This has a knack for putting me in a bad mood, but I’d be in a much worse one were my boots in tatters. Carinthia Shoe Co. (1228 St Marc St., 514.935.8475) puts a skip in your step by fixing stitching, heels, and leather woes — a great and thoughtful gift for any man who loves his boots and wears them right down to the soles. From $60

Image courtesy of Humanoide.

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