Firstly, maple syrup is of very good quality in Quebec, but at these touristy shoppes in Vieux-Montreal, you will be gouged. Do as the locals do, buy your syrup at Metro or a depanneur (convienience store).
Also, Montrealers find those wooden clocks, assorted googaws, and Montreal t-shirts really corny. In Montreal we usually dress conservatively, dark colours, and men often wear scarves.
Trust me, you'll fit in a lot more this way than wearing a fleur-de-lys t-shirt.
Unique Suggestions: If you smoke, many of these crappy stores sell Zippo lighters for a better price than you'll find in the States. Keep your receipts!
Fun Alternatives: My favourite boutiques in Montreal are on rue St-Denis. There's a bookstore every block, it's way less crowded and expensive than say, rue Crescent, and most importantly, C'est plus française! (It's more French!)
Buying maple products in a souvenir shop downtown or in Old Montreal is way too expensive.
Unique Suggestions: They might be ok for postcards or have good deals on Montreal, Quebec or Canada T-shirts...but thats about it.
Fun Alternatives: I suggest you buy maple products in a grocery store instead.
If you come in the summer time and want some Canadian or Quebecois stuff, I recommend you buy them right after the national holiday (June 24 for Quebec - July 1st for Canada) because everything with the Quebec or Canadian flags with be on sale!
Another good place to buy this kind of stuff is the dollar store (flags, shot glass, key chains, pens, ash trays, etc).
The stores of Old Montreal are only a tourist trap if you let them be one! If you're like me and shamelessly admit to being a "tourist" who LOVES tacky souvenir shops, then this is the place for you!
It seems there's an area like this in every Canadian city! There are at least 2 streets of identical souvenir stores and after awhile, you can't remember which ones you've already been in. Definately a highlight of any trip :)
If you come from Europe, publicity will make you believe you will see full of Indians... What indians????
Don't go in one of those tour that makes you believe you will visit a typical indian village, it's all faked. Those village don't existes anymore. Unfortunnatly, those kind of tours sill exists...
One reason most visitors think we all live in igloos is due to the type of souvenirs that are sold in the stores. Eskimo carvings, leather with feathers, I think you get my drift. These souvenirs better depict life in the northern part of the province, but definitely not Montreal.
As you will notice, Montrealers don't walk around in buckskin nor do we wear feathers in our hair or carry a tomahawk.
It's a wonderful souvenier to bring back for your loved ones. Especially, syrup in this decorative maple leaf shaped bottle. But boy, you can pay quite a bit for this bottle of syrup and it's not worth it. The sales tax in Canada right now is 15%. So, it makes sense to buy this at the airport on your way home in the duty free shop. It also is much cheaper there than the gift stores around town.
Once again..don't buy anything that says 'authentic inuit, Quebec or indian' art because it's very likely that it's not. And PLEASE stop buying those silly looking hats! Nobody wears them exept tourists and even thought killing racoons and foxes to make hats seemed like a great idea 200 years ago we're past that stage now. And NO we don't have igloos, polar bears, live in wood houses and I've NEVER seen a Mountie. (Actually..I saw one this year at Canada day..looked ike a fool to me walking around with his costume, waving to every woman like if he was a star or something..)
Fun Alternatives: Buy normal stuff...
There's a lot of small Boutique souvenirs in Old Montreal and in the Downtown area.... Please don't buy any of these little beaver... that's a shame... exactly like buying one of these small eiffel tower in Paris... don't tell me you bought one! Give money to homeless people instead.
Please DON'T buy that esquimo/indian/inuit crap that they sell in all the souvenir shops around the Old Montreal.
Maybe it's genuine made by indians, but don't think we all wear that to work or in the evening!!!
Hey, I love collecting souvenirs from different countries. My fav is the Portugese rooster!
I found this great new souvenir for Canada, but can't find it anywhere except online at thecanadianembrace.ca . Check it out!
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