© Galerie MX
Contemporary art inpirations
Several galleries beckon along Saint-Paul Street in Old Montréal, featuring landscapes, Aboriginal art and contemporary creations – see the accessible and brightly-hued offerings at Galerie MX and the selection of Canadian art at Galerie Bloom and Galerie Youn a few blocks away. Nearby, don’t miss incredible exhibitions of world-renowned artists at the Fondation PHI pour l'art contemporain and the PHI Centre.
A one-stop-shop of sorts, downtown's Belgo Building at 372 Sainte-Catherine Street West boasts five floors packed with contemporary art galleries, including Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Patel Brown, Circa, Galerie Roger Bellemare / Galerie Christian Lambert, Galerie Laroche/Joncas, Galerie B-312, McBride Contemporain, SKOL, SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art and more.
Further into the Quartier des Spectacles, you'll find more boundary-pushing art at VOX and ELLEPHANT near the corner of Ste-Catherine and St. Laurent. You’ll find Projet Pangée in the former Czech Consulate on des Pins Avenue West. Go further west to Westmount for Galerie de Bellefeuille's contemporary collections. And if you're here in April, stop by Plural Contemporary Art Fair.
© Canadian Tourism Commission
Galleries also offer an ideal opportunity to explore beyond Old Montréal and downtown. On the border of Old Montréal, indulge in new ideas at Fonderie Darling before heading west to the neighbourhoods of Saint-Henri and Little Burgundy, where you'll find excellence at Bradley Ertaskiran, Arsenal Contemporary Art, Blouin Division and 1700 LA POSTE, among other galleries.
If you're on your way to Parc La Fontaine, step into Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain gallery on Rachel Street for incredible solo and group shows. Along nearby Saint-Denis Street, visit Galerie Bernard. Along Saint-Laurent Boulevard in the Plateau, Mile End and Little Italy, stop by Galerie Simon Blais, Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Galerie Mark Leibnerd, Lacerte and Galerie C.O.A. to see gorgeous, mind-expanding works.
Pay a visit to Centre Clark, Optica, Dazibao, Occurrence, Atelier Circulaire, Indigenous-artist-run gallery Daphne, and other galleries in art-abundant buildings on de Gaspé Avenue and Casgrain Street. Stop by long-time artist-run gallery articule in Mile End. Not far from Rosemont metro, Art Mûr gives plenty of wall space on three floors to artists who challenge conventions.
© Ashukan Cultural Space
Aboriginal and Inuit art
While walking along the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal, discover a cultural wealth of paintings, sculpture, jewelry, clothing and more by Indigenous and Inuit artists at Heritage Gallery, Indianica, Galerie d'art Images Boréales, Galerie Le Chariot and the Ashukan Cultural Space at Place Jacques-Cartier, a gallery and boutique dedicated to sharing contemporary Aboriginal arts, artists and cultures in Canada. Downtown on Sherbrooke Street West, non-profit gallery and museum La Guilde specializes in both historical and contemporary Inuit and First Nations art. And for more contemporary art, visit Indigenous-artist-run gallery Daphne.
© L'Empreinte coopérative, boutique galerie métiers d'art, Bruno Gallant
Whether you're looking for creatively cool souvenirs or dazzling jewelery, take a piece of the city home in works by local artisans. Among the art galleries and high-end shopping on Sherbrooke Street West downtown, find artisanal treasures at the Boutique and Bookstore, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the McCord Stewart Museum Boutique.
Shop for original items by Québec artisans, from ceramics and paintings to slippers and kitchen items, at L'Empreinte coopérative, boutique métiers d'art in Old Montréal and at L'art des artisans du Québec in Complexe Desjardins in the Quartier des Spectacles. And work by Québec glass artists shines at Espace VERRE just across the Lachine Canal from Griffintown.
© Mtl en Arts
Graffiti art and posters
While many of the above listed galleries also offer affordable contemporary art in Montréal alongside investment pieces, several galleries specialize in art that's easy on smaller budgets. Buy eclectic art created by some of Montréal's and the world's best graffiti, tattoo, comics, illustrations and pop art artists at Yves Laroche Galerie d'art on Chabanel Street and at S16 Gallery on St. Paul Street in the Old Port and in Westmount.
Founded as part of the long-running Under Pressure urban culture festival, Fresh Paint promotes new street art and graffiti movements in Montréal and around the world at the festival and in pop-up locations. From film posters to contemporary art prints, L'Affichiste in Old Montréal seems to have it all, while BBAM! Gallery mixes pop art and jazz vinyl in Saint Henri. Mile End is also where you'll find Expozine small press fair every November and Puces POP in September and in May, both featuring highly affordable limited-edition prints, postcards and posters. And go to the Village in late-June and early-July when Ste. Catherine Street is full of art for sale during Mtl en Arts!
Look for local illustrators
Whether in galleries, at art and craft fairs, or online, you’ll find all kinds of made-in-Montréal art by numerous local illustrators. To name a few, Evi Jane captures inspiring individuals and local spots, Pony is known for bright, colourful, comedic creations, while Marie Laure, also known as Liligraffiti, creates colorful and delicate pieces that feature Montréal's hidden gems. Romain Blais, an illustrator and comic artist, has recreated the city's iconic monuments in a poster that showcases his vision of Montréal – this project aims to present the city through his unique perspective and artistic style. And discover more local illustrators in book form at Librarie Drawn & Quarterly.
Check out the galleries’ and artists’ respective websites to buy new art you’ll love!