The very best independent bookstores in Montreal

Montreal has seen the birth and development of some of Canada's greatest francophone and anglophone authors - Michel Tremblay, Hubert Aquin, Mordecai Richler, Arlette Cousture, Leonard Cohen, Claude Gauvreau, Rafaële Germain and many more. This strong literary tradition is one of the reasons that so many wonderful little bookshops continue to stand up to the big chains. Here are a few of our favourites.

Drawn & Quarterly

211, rue Bernard O, Montréal, QC H2T 2K5

D & Q is a bookstore and publisher. The shop is cozy and well-organized and the staff is well-read and eager to help. They put together a top-10 list of their best reads, which you can browse on their website. It’s a must-visit shop for comic and graphic novel lovers, and they carry all the top lit magazines as well as the best new releases in literary fiction. Keep an eye out for readings from your favourite writers too.

The Word

469 rue Milton, Montréal, QC H2X 1W3

The Word is a small but very cool second-hand bookstore near McGill University. There’s lots of clutter to sift through, but it’s a gold mine for those who like to dig through piles of books on every topic imaginable. If they like your old books, they’ll buy them off you too. They’re very choosy, though, and that’s why they have such a great collection.

Librairie Raffin Inc

6330, rue Saint-Hubert, Montréal, QC H2S 2M2

Did you know that this small local chain with three locations (Plaza Saint-Hubert, Place Versailles and Repentigny) opened its doors to book lovers for the first time in...1930? And it's still there, ready to meet your literary needs. Raffin offers organized meetings and round tables with authors, and you can now read books online using the company website.

Librairie Gallimard

3700, boul Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2X 2V4

Librairie Gallimard is a big promoter of Québécois culture, so it’s a great spot to discover emerging French-Canadian authors. They also have an excellent selection of cute children’s books. The shop is both cozy and chic with perfectly organized shelves and a great ambiance for browsing. They host interesting special events and readings on the regular too.

Librairie Monet

2752, rue de Salaberry, Montréal, QC H3M 1L3

Monet has one location, on Salaberry Street, in the Galeries Normandie in Montreal. The Monet staff members consider themselves to be more than booksellers – rather, to be true "torchbearers of culture." Reading circles, story time and chats with authors – this bookstore aims to bring books to life. We love it!

Livre Argo

1915, rue Sainte-Catherine O, Montréal, QC H3H 1M3

The place “Where Montreal Readers Gather,” Argo is one of the oldest bookstores in Montreal and you’ll find it right on Sainte-Catherine’s. It’s tiny and full of shelves stuffed with every imaginable kind of publication, including an amazing collection of historical books. They also host readings and open-mic nights for new authors.

Bookseller S W Welch

225 rue Saint-Viateur O, Montréal, QC H2T 2L6

S.W. Welch specializes in used and hard-to-find novels. A Montreal landmark, this shop is open late for the night owls who love to read into the wee hours. The staff loves visitors and are happy to assist you in finding whatever it is you might be hunting for. It’s also the kind of place where you’re likely to find that author you’ve been meaning to read for years.

Librairie Parenthèse

6723, rue Saint-Hubert, Montréal, QC H2S 2M7

Located on the Plaza Saint-Hubert, this dynamic neighbourhood bookstore not only offers used books and CDs but also advice and suggestions, courtesy of staff members who love everything related to books. Here, one can buy, sell, exchange and, above all, take one's time. The bookstore does not have an official website, but its Facebook page is very busy and awfully inviting!

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The croissant: adored by all, straight from the Magdalen Islands to Montreal! For the sixth year running, we're celebrating this popular pastry with the 2017 Montreal Croissant Festival. To mark the occasion, 96 artisanal pastry chefs will be joining forces on May 6, 2017 to offer you a croissant for just $1. You'd be crazy to miss it! Here are some of the places in Montreal where you can enjoy a taste: [image credit iStock]
From 21 to 29 January 2017, la Tablée des chefs – an organisation whose mission is to provide food to people in need and educate young people in the culinary arts – and Valrhona are teaming up to bring you the Grande tournée du chocolat chaud. Try delectable hot chocolates for $4 each, with 50 cents from each purchase being donated to la Tablée. Here are a few of the Montreal establishments taking part! [Photo: Donat Boivin]
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