Shopping in Montreal–my Pilgrimage to Simons on St. Catherine

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I was recently at my high school reunion in beautiful Montreal.  If you have never been to Montreal, you must go.  The food is great, the atmosphere is always joyful and the shopping is… well… the best.  I loved returning to my old stomping ground and revisiting my Alma Mater – McGill University. 
One of the other reasons I love being on McGill Ave. is that it is steps to St. Catherine’s Street (one of the best shopping streets in Montreal).  This is the streets where to biggest retailers in Canada once resided: Eaton’s, The Hudson’s Bay Company, Simpsons, Birks.  Alas, there are only two of those four giants left – HBC and Birks.The fortunate thing is that one of the most progressive and fashion forward retailers in Canada has taken over the iconic Simpsons store. 
Welcome to the retail game Simon.  You are newer to the rest of Canada but you have become an established player on the Montreal scene.  I discover Simon a few years ago when I was on another visit back to Montreal and I found myself shopping yet again (yes, my workout is shopping for 6 hours – don’t judge me).
As I said, whenever I am in Montreal I now make a pilgrimage to Simon because it is…well… oh so cool.  Whether it is the latest fashions, the extremely helpful and customer focused personnel, Simon is the place to be.
I tell you, there is NO ONE that can beat the shopping experience at Simon.  The sales associates are plentiful, they will assist you however they can and if someone makes a mistake in pricing, they gladly honour the price – with a smile.  They were also nice enough to let me take a picture of them because I thought they were soooooooo fashionable.     Montreal 2013-05-19 005
What he is wearing:

Ø  large black frame glasses
Ø  a patterned bow tie
Ø  a red plaid shirt
Ø  a kerchief in his jacket pocket
Ø  black & white hound’s-tooth taper trousers
Ø  pointed paten leather shoes

Honestly, I can only assume he was wearing crazy socks – since that seems to be all the rage in men’s fashion.  He was so gracious to let me take this picture.  More importantly, he was very helpful and welcoming.
I look at his unique style and find myself surrounded by fashionably dressed men – that’s what happens when you’re in Montreal. Young, old black, white, Asian, Latino, Anglophone, Francophone – all fashion forward. I wish I had more willing models in my children but alas, they did not want to model my funky purchases so… you’ll just have to imagine these outfits on 14 and 16 year old girls.
This had been a long shopping excursion and I had walked through most of the store browsing every aisle and every rack to see what I could find for my girls. There was no shortage of choices for two teenage girls. So this is what I picked up for them.
Here are the super cool leggings that I got DD2 they were a rainbow of colour and it goes with just about everything. I was a bit worried but I know that she would love it. I was right!

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For DD1: I picked up these Buffalo Jeans. They are a beautiful indigo that then shades into purple & pink with a bird pattern in black. I know the description doesn’t do it justice but she was T.H.R.I.L.L.E.D. with the effect.
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I wanted these patterned jeans for myself… but I got these for my DD1. Thank goodness for technology as I sent a picture to my daughter before I got them.  I remember when I was young that I always wanted to get my very own pair of Buffalo jeans… *sigh* I just want to be a teen again…
Who doesn’t like a little sparkle and sequins?  I sure do.  I think this bathing suit was so cute.  I decided to get DD1 two tops so she can shake it up a bit. You are truly only young once so I think she will look darling in this bikini.
Lastly, I bought a slew of hosiery at Simons because I think it has THE BEST SELECTION of any department store in Canada.  I love, love, love this department. I bought some beautiful fishnets, tights and socks but I cannot show you pictures of them because I am saving those for the fall for the girls.  Since they read my blog on occasion, I don’t want them to see them yet! 
I cannot say enough about the unique and high quality selection of merchandise at Simons.  If you can’t be there in person then at the very least shop on-line.  Its not the same as the personal touch that you get in this iconic store but it might just be better then you had hoped.
I know I’ll be back… they have a fan in me!
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Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for and other online media outlets.

15 thoughts on “Shopping in Montreal–my Pilgrimage to Simons on St. Catherine”

    • Joyce, you have to go to Montreal or Quebec City. There are no other cities like that in Canada. The English-French mix is just lovely and the food is out of this world! Do come to visit Canada!

    • That but without any of the drama. DD2 just came back from Quebec City and hit Simons again. Love that girl. Her friends were all, WHAT??? (you can hear the tone of voice, right?).

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