Inside the Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile’s 20th Anniversary Soirée

And what to do in Montreal.

For Canadians, Montreal represents a kind of bohemian paradise: a culturally rich, architecturally arresting, walkable city with great shopping and an even better food scene. Luckily, for Ontarians, Canada’s answer to Paris is a short drive, flight, or train ride away. For a luxurious stay in the city, look no further than Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile. The five-star property lies at the base of Mount Royal in the heart of the Golden Square Mile. The area was once home to the city’s wealthiest, many of whose mansions still exist, along with museums such as the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, luxury shops from Holt Renfrew Ogilvy to Tiffany & Co., the Ritz-Carlton Montreal, and two universities. In the centre of the city, it’s within easy distance of bustling Ste-Catherine, the natural wine bars of Mile End, and the cobblestone streets of the Old Port.

Originally an office tower built in 1973, replacing the mansion once owned by Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, it was later converted to a hotel that opened in 2002.  To celebrate its 20th anniversary in October, the hotel threw a La Nuit by Sofitel bash, combining global musical acts, modern design, and experimental mixology, along with special room rates and a Le Renoir menu honouring former chefs.

Seasoned travellers judge a hotel by its bed—and Sofitel knows that. Its signature mattresses have a plush top and a construction that delivers optimal comfort, part of treating the bedroom like a private sanctuary. After a restful night’s sleep, head down to Le Renoir Restaurant, featuring French-inspired cuisine.

For the ultimate weekend getaway at the Sofitel, here’s our guide to Montreal:


What to do

Three blocks from the hotel, Seeing Loud: Basquiat and Music at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is the first major exhibition devoted to music’s influence on Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work. The groundbreaking exhibition showcases more than 100 Basquiat paintings along with archival footage and audio clips, offering a first-ever look at the role of music in the artist’s career and the performers who inspired his iconic work.


Where to shop

Start by booking an appointment with a stylist at the David Chipperfield–designed SSENSE flagship in the Old Port to try on hard-to-find wares from independent designers like Telfar and Maryam Nassir Zadeh to luxury stalwarts including Prada and Rick Owens. Then, walk five minutes down Notre-Dame to Rooney for a selection of cool, contemporary designers like Our Legacy, Ganni, and A.P.C.

Head away from the water and up Park Avenue to Mile End’s Laurier Avenue West, a menswear haven. Montreal label École de Pensée’s flagship showcases the brand’s tailoring and ready-to-wear crafted in unexpected, luxurious fabrics in a space with a rotating selection of vintage Danish furniture and Japanese objects. A couple of blocks away is Michel Brisson, an upscale menswear boutique with an impressive selection of Dries Van Noten, Lemaire, and Acne Studios.


Where to eat

The owners and chefs behind Joe Beef are growing their empire on Notre-Dame Street West in Montreal’s Little Burgundy neighbourhood on the Lachine Canal. The crown jewel, Joe Beef, has been serving what it calls “French market cuisine” since 2005 and has since combined with next-door sister spot Liverpool House—famous for its lobster spaghetti—and the casual wine bar Le Vin Papillon. For Italian fare, Elena in Saint-Henri has earned a reputation for excellent pizza and pasta, all in a multilevel contemporary space—and with a killer wine list.