For decades, period architecture and pristine cobblestone streets have kept Old Montreal well trodden by tourists. But this gracious waterfront area, dating back centuries, is regaining cachet with locals, and high-end retail has followed. A western stretch of narrow Rue St. Paul, where souvenir shops once hawked Québécois kitsch, has become an unlikely hub for high fashion. Huge picture windows in restored stone buildings now showcase of-the-moment looks to rival the hippest that New York or Paris have to offer — all with an insouciant Montreal twist.
— MICHAEL KAMINER
Credit: Yannick Grandmont for The New York Times