Since it pays such a tribute to the city, it's only right that Montréalité occupies a key spot on "the Main" – better known as St. Laurent – a major shopping and dining street that divides east and west Montreal.
Montréalité grew out of an idea from Jenx, the artist-owner, who believes that a city as wonderful as Montréal should have better T-shirts to represent important icons associated with the beautiful city than what was available at the time he opened his shop in 2002.
One of Montrealite's T-shirt designs, with a map of Montreal — Photo courtesy of Montrealite
The designs at Montréalité are an extension of Montreal street art, depicting symbols and attractions that showcase the unique character of the city.
Jenx is happy to talk to customers about the art and how he chooses specific designs.
He gives the example of local statues that appear in the designs. The Angel and The Man are not only beautiful pieces of public sculpture, but they're also significant, as they sit at the sites of public gatherings that focus on peace and music, in Jeanne-Mance Park at the foot of Mount Royal and Saint Helen's Island.
"We began with 15 designs, some of which are still available. Our present line-up includes 25 designs, and if you come by our flagship store at 3960 Boulevard St. Laurent, it's possible to find some of our original designs, which have been discontinued," adds Jenx.
Montréalité uses shirts made by American Apparel, which Jenx believes are some of the best 100% cotton T-shirts available in North America. Attractive, colorful and comfortable, they will be the first thing you grab from your wardrobe. The shirts are fair trade.
The company also sells eco-bags, totes, buttons, magnets, mirrors and souvenirs. Jenx' business is run according to best green practices, and he specializes in eco-friendly products.
But if you want to shop early, best to do it online, as the bricks and mortar location doesn't open until 11 a.m. everyday. You can, however, shop until 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday evenings, a perfect stop before hitting the Main for dinner and drinks in your new artsy T-shirt.
Or, pick up one for a friend. These souvenirs are so much nicer than the tacky fridge magnets and cheap tees you find everywhere else. Delivery is available across Canada, the United States and even overseas, just in case you can't pick your favorite design before you have to leave town.