No trip to Montreal is complete without a stop at La Maison Simons, simply known as "Simons," a large department store sitting amongst a slew of others on Sainte Catherine Street west, between Metcalfe and Mansfield Streets.
Just look for the forest-green awning with the white letters. Allow yourself plenty of time to seek out all the bargains and to try on the latest, well-made, fashion-forward creations from Quebec and Canadian and international designers at great prices.
The quality, tradition and stylish choices available at Simons make it a prime Montreal shopping destination, as locals well know but visitors can easily miss; it doesn't appear on many visitor guide sites.
La Maison Simons department store in Montreal — Photo courtesy of La Maison Simons
Simons is a well-lit and visually appealing store, with great service and a focus on fashions for the whole family. A particularly good value is the Twik line – a unique brand featuring young Quebec designers who produce fun, casual fashions for young women or the young-at-heart, older set.
Looking for an update of the little black dress? Try Simons for their perforated faux leather, open u-back or sequined bustier versions priced from $50 to $100. Accessories are on trend, and they're designed to go with the latest collections. Check out the red, green, purple and yellow leather gloves for starters. Ladies tights appear in similar colors and even more choices in patterns.
Men and boys will appreciate the international labels and well-known sports brands like Calvin Klein, North Face and Canada Goose, for their durable and fashionable wear. From the sleek asymmetric overcoat for chic business attire to the form-fitting leather bomber jacket, guys will leave well-dressed for all occasions, too.
Shopping for housewares and bedding? Simons is a great place to pick up attractive pillows, tea towels, sheets, throws and comforters in a variety of pleasing colors, textures and patterns that you won't find elsewhere.
A trusted name throughout Quebec, Simons goes above and beyond with customer service, providing easy, hassle-free returns and telephone and chat service options. As an example, to quell complaints in 2008 about the catalogue models being too thin, Simons pulled the issue.
The seven locations province-wide keep the same hours, with shopping from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Wednesday and until 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. On Saturdays, they're open from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and then from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Be aware that parking can be difficult in the prime downtown Montreal location, especially during rush hours. It's best to arrive early in the day.
For the benefit of all Canadians, additional Simons locations are planned throughout the country.