How to Bring Montreal Home in Your Suitcase

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Mar 28, 2018

Byron and Dexter Peart, the twins who founded leather-goods label Want Les Essentiels, know just where to find quirky items in their Canadian home town. Compiled by Alison Boleyn.

Image: Emily Andrews

Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois

These high-quality handmade chocolates come in a range of packaging, including leather cubes and metal boxes. Corporate gift-givers can have the labels customised.

Concrete sculptures by David Umemoto

The Peart brothers are taken with this architect and sculptor’s geometric creations. “His works are a great way to remember the Brutalist architecture of the city,” says Byron. 

Ceramics by Hugo Didier

This local ceramicist crafts kitchenwares that pay homage to commonplace items while questioning them. The Pearts particularly like Didier’s poutine bowls and “Moyen Café” cup.

Books from the Canadian Centre for Architecture

When asked to name designers they admire, the Pearts usually turn to architecture and interiors before fashion. Dexter says the CCA museum sells one of the best selections of coffee-table books in the city and he never leaves without picking up something new.

3/4 oz. cocktail syrups

If you like the cocktails at Majestique and Montréal Plaza, you can take home the syrups – cola, ginger ale and tonic – from this local brand. The signature syrup, Tonic Maison, is made with cinchona bark, which gives it an amber colour.

Sugar shack Au Pied de Cochon cookbook

In addition to this ode to maple syrup by Martin Picard, Au Pied de Cochon restaurant on Duluth Avenue sells tasty souvenirs such as flavoured salts, apple jelly and maple vinegar.

Top image: Canadian Centre for Architecture

SEE ALSO: How to Shop Like a Jetsetter in Hong Kong