First it was the coolest street, now it’s the coolest neighbourhood. The city of Montreal continues to shine on the world stage, according to Time Out Magazine.
While Colonia Americana in Guadalajara, Mexico, got the top spot, 13 neighbourhoods in North America made the annual list, including Dundas West in Toronto (12) and West End in Vancouver (25).
Time Out says 20,000 city dwellers and local experts were polled in the survey.
Recognized for its hip, laid-back vibe and multicultural roots, the Mile End is an area that boasts long-standing history with modern flair.
“It’s a tiny neighbourhood in the city but there is so much to it. It has back-to-back festivals. It has some of the oldest food, drink boutique institutions in the city but it also has the newest restaurants, the newest bars and the coolest stuff happening,” Time Out Canada editor Laura Osborne said.
The Mile End has it all, according to Osborne, from local cafes that draw in daytime crowds to modern cocktail bars and music venues that bring in the night owls.
Osborne writes that the Mile End “is an enclave for some of the city’s best restaurants, independent bookstores, flower shops, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.”
Institutions like sandwich shop Wilensky’s and rival bakeries, St Viateur and Fairmount Bagel, also add to the neighbourhood’s allure.
Longtime resident Amelia Wong-Mersereau wholeheartedly agrees with the coolness ranking, saying the area has always been this way.
“It has changed a lot but I think despite that it’s kept its authentic charm,” Wong-Mersereau said. “Clearly we have managed to hold onto the heart of it.”
Osborne says the best thing of all is that the people in the neighbourhood are the definition of cool without showing off.
“People are just doing what they are doing. There is nothing self-conscious about it. It’s just effortlessly cool,” Osborne said.