Shopping in Montréal

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Montréal Shopping

Visitors must pay 5% in federal tax, called the GST (or TPS in Québec), and an additional 9.975% in Québec tax on most goods and services. Since roughly 2010, a Canadian dollar has been worth more or less the same as the American dollar, meaning that amazing deals can be hard to find. Still, even when the Canuck buck trades at par, there are deals on certain homegrown items: furs, fast fashion from local chains, and crafty goods that reflect Montréal’s funky side.

Montrealers magasinent (shop) with a vengeance, whether they’re scurrying down busy Ste-Catherine in Downtown checking out department store bargains, or strolling up St-Laurent browsing in boutiques that stock wares from local designers, or buying gourmet food or native crafts at one of the city’s markets.

Most shops open by 10 am Monday through Saturday and close at 6 pm Monday through Wednesday. Stores stay open until 9 pm on Thursday and Friday, but on Saturday they usually close at 5 pm. On Sunday, most Downtown shops open noon to 5 pm. There are, however, exceptions. Large chain stores in Downtown often stay open weeknights until 9, and boutiques in areas that draw a drinks-and-dinner crowd, such as in the Plateau and in Old Montréal, can stay open even later in summer.

And if you’re in the market for a new fur, you’ve come to the right city. Montréal has a long history of being one of the fur capitals of the world. If you think you might be buying fur, check with your country’s customs officials to find out which animals are considered endangered and can’t be imported.

The same caveat applies to carvings and other items made of ivory, which can’t be imported into the United States or some other countries. And if you do buy Inuit art, make sure to look for the government of Canada’s igloo symbol, which attests to the piece’s authenticity.

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