Montréal may be Québec’s unofficial shopping capital, but it is actually Québec City which contains both the biggest shopping mall east of Ontario, Place Laurier, and one of North America’s oldest shopping districts, the cobblestoned Petit-Champlain Street. Trésor Street best showcases Québec City’s artistic side, with galleries to visit and caricaturists ready to sketch passerby’s at a moment’s notice. Place Laurier is situated next to two other major shopping malls on Ste-Foy’s Laurier Boulevard. Québec City’s other significant shopping center, Galeries de la Capitale, boasts an indoor amusement park, ice arena, and IMAX theater alongside its 280 shops. The best place to buy handmade leather goods and First Nations crafts in Québec City, however, remains the Basse-Ville of its Old Town.
Montréal, however, is still no slouch in the shopping department, complete with an underground city linking no fewer than a dozen shopping malls to each other. Ste Catherine Street remains Montréal’s high fashion center, with its endless stream of designer boutiques, but more unusual and affordable clothing can easily be found along Mont-Royal Avenue. Antique lovers will undoubtedly want to browse the Gay Village’s Amherst Street and Notre Dame Street East dealers.
Several high-end furniture shops have also sprouted up along St Laurent Boulevard, still Montréal’s leading shopping thoroughfare. Different sections of St Laurent Boulevard are dedicated to different cultures, from the Asian items close to de La Gauchetière to the Italian section between Jean-Talon and St Zotique. However, the St Laurent and Jean-Talon intersection is among the best places to stock up on traditional Quebecois foodstuffs like locally produced cheeses and authentic maple syrup.