By Tim Johnson, with files from Yuki Hayashi, Brandie Weikle, Lisa Murphy and Emily Ohanjanians
Family profile Sean Silcoff, journalist, Erin Downey, researcher, Clara, 2, and six-month-old Benjamin.
What Sean and Erin love about Montréal Big-city pleasures with tons of parks and activities. Everything is so close! We picked organic strawberries (fraisesetframboisesduquébec.com) with the kids just 19 minutes away from our downtown home. And there are so many places that are kid-friendly without being exclusively for kids. At Enfants du Quartier Café (enfantsduquartier.com), kids can tear around and you can have a latte and chat with other parents or read the paper. Even one of the best bistros in the city – L’Express (3927 Rue St. Denis) – welcomes little ones. Life doesn’t have to change that much…
What Clara and Benjamin love Dancing and clapping along at the Montréal International Jazz Festival (montréaljazzfest.com). Eating maple syrup off the snow in winter is part of the culture, and a toboggan is the best form of transport. What could be more fun than that?
Favourite stores and restos We like the friendly shopkeeper at Épicerie Mile-End (5710, Ave du Parc) who offers Clara free fruit. For date nights, we typically head to cool apportez- votre-vin places like Restaurant Yoyo (4720 Rue Marquette).
A perfect family day in Montréal We’d start early on a sunny Saturday, going to La Grand-Mère Poule (1361 Ave du Mont-Royal) in Outremont for breakfast – it’s our favourite brunch place, and it has a play area for kids. We’d walk around the adjacent Mile-End neighbourhood, get a $2 latte on Rue Saint-Viateur and maybe some bagels. After lunch and Clara’s nap, we’d go to Macdonald Park in Snowdon or take a trip to the Biôdome (4777 Pierre-De-Coubertin Ave.). On a perfect day, we’d go to a friend’s barbecue or an outdoor concert where we could eat on the go.
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