View from the top: Westmount luxe life
LUXE invites you on an intimate tour, a day in the life in one of the most beautiful places to live in Canada. A chic suburban jewel nestled on the side of a mountain. Explore this vibrant city within a city, full of cafés, art galleries, parks and stunning homes—all just steps away from downtown Montreal.
Close your eyes and imagine…a morning run through a tranquil bird sanctuary in the shade of majestic trees. You exit the woods onto Summit Circle, a circular road lined with multimillion-dollar homes. Worlds unto themselves, some are barely visible behind exquisitely groomed hedges and wrought iron gates. You jog down the hill, streets lined with stately houses dating from the 1890s—gorgeous brownstone, leaded glass windows and Victorian turrets. Tradition meets opulent style.
You land in Victoria Village, a unique hip shopping district at the base of the mountain. After a quick stop into La Pantry par Dany Bolduc for a gourmet artisanal viennoiserie, you have just enough time for an authentic Italian espresso at Le Café Crème. The street vibrates with life, as well-heeled fashionistas flit between independent boutiques and designer shoe stores, bakeries and gift shops. The terrace at James Perse Côté Cuisine is right in the heart of the action, buzzing with young entrepreneurs, friends and new moms savouring California fusion fare.
Your neighbourhood prides itself on beauty. Every corner is carefully tended. Award-winning seasonal floral designs and gardens abound. If you have children, you are dropping them off at some of the best private schools in the country—Selwyn House, Villa Sainte-Marcelline and The Study. This isn’t a dream. You live in Westmount, one of the most sought-after residential enclaves in North America, just steps away from downtown Montreal.
What’s next? A meeting in Westmount Square. Famed architect Mies Van Der Rohe designed the four towers (two residential towers, two office towers and an underground shopping centre) in the International style. Like jewels, these gleaming smoked black glass towers house some of the most desirable real estate in the city. The Taverne on the Square, a chic French bistro at the base of 1 Westmount Square, is the perfect setting for a glass of rosé and a meal with friends. Or how about giving one of the newer hot spots like Café Gentile a try? Ignazio Gentile, a Sicilian immigrant, opened his first café six decades ago in Montreal’s garment district. Now his children keep his legacy alive, serving their Nonna Teresa’s comforting meals and delicious coffee to a whole new generation. At any time of day, you can catch college students, businesspeople and social media influencers setting the latest trends. If it’s sushi you crave, Westmount delivers! Beautifully designed RYU offers an upscale sushi-ya experience. The standout for locals and celebrities alike is award-winning Chef Antonio Park’s Park Restaurant. Park sushi is known as the best in Montreal.
Business accomplished, appetite satiated, you stroll one of Westmount’s most famed avenues—Greene. Stop into Galerie de Bellefeuille and add to your art collection. Or visit one of the city’s outdoor spaces. Westmount has something to offer for every season. When the snow begins to fall, Parc King George, built partly on the side of the mountain, complete with tennis courts, a dog run and soccer field, becomes a sled run in the winter. Children of all ages can be found whizzing down the hill. In warmer weather, you can lounge beside the duck pond in Westmount Park and watch the Tai Chi practitioners. Then walk through the Westmount Conservatory and Greenhouse, built in 1927, an oasis with exotic trees, orchids, fountains and waterfalls.
Westmount’s architectural gems and lush parks aren’t the only beautiful features—the people are stunning. Glowing skin and good health are part of the neighbourhood vibe. The newest offering in fitness is The Studio, a boutique gym created by Val Desjardins, go-to trainer to the stars. After a workout, head over to Annie Young Boutique Spa for the full service: luxuriate head to toe with a hydrafacial, deep tissue massage, coiffure and more. For a deeper freshening, visit Victoria Park Medispa, led by board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons.
Now imagine: end of day. You probably negotiated a merger, launched an IPO, wrote policy or even saved someone’s life. After all, Westmount is home to famous politicians, leading financiers and renowned doctors. Leonard Cohen grew up here. Painters and poets also call Westmount home.
You look out the window at your expansive view. A view from the top. Maybe you’re on the terrace that extends from your bedroom. The air is quiet, calm. The glittering lights of the Montreal skyline and the St. Lawrence River twinkle in the distance. You take a deep breath, reflect on a day well lived. After all, is there any better place to call home?
Text: Andrea Strudensky
Cover: © Susan Moss, Tourisme Montréal