A Montreal native, Dexter Peart, together with his brother Byron, run Goodee. The online marketplace for ethical homewares celebrates being out and enjoying nature in a sustainable environment, and this philosophy applies to how Peart recommends seeing a city, too.
Check out a Party at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Peart recommends the Nicolas Party exhibition L’heure mauve, which runs until Oct. 16. The artist works primarily with paint, sculpture and installations and creates pieces that, using colour and shape, are almost mind bending. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful exhibition. And there are a lot of activities for families around it as well,” he says. “It’s exciting to have an exhibition like that in the city.” Guided tours are available Wednesday through Saturday afternoons.
Return to live music at Osheaga
This year, the famed festival runs July 29-31, and headliners include Arcade Fire, A$AP Rocky and Dua Lipa. “Getting back to that concert scene and being outdoors, it’s going to be a really amazing for Osheaga to be back in the city,” Peart says. Even if you can’t make the festival, heading to Parc Jean-Drapeau, where Osheaga takes place, is worth a trip. “Being on the islands is great.” There’s plenty to do, from Jean-Doré Beach to guided tours, public art and cycling trails.
Check in to the Top Chef-approved Auberge Willow Inn
Located in Hudson, Que., roughly a 45-minute drive from the city, this historic inn boasts Top Chef Canada runner-up Danny Smiles as the general manager. Peart and his wife like coming here for a weekend lunch. “Anyone who’s out there looking for a terrasse in the summertime and being out by the water, on the Ottawa River, this is a great place for Sunday lunch,” he says, adding it’s a great way to have an experience outside the city. It’s also a pet-friendly, so you can bring your pup, too.
Snack and sip at Gia Vin & Grill
Ryan Gray and Emma Cardarelli, the team behind restaurants Nora Grey and Elena, recently opened Gia Vin & Grill, an Italian restaurant and wine bar that’s getting a lot of attention. Peart recommends going there for a drink and some Italian tapas. “They’ve got some of Montreal’s best sommeliers. They’ve got a variety of organic wines by the glass, or by the bottle that you can take away.” And they’re building a patio for the summer. “It you’re looking for something that’s extremely local Montreal, Gia is the place,” he says.
Relive Expo at Habitat 67
“There’s no trip to Montreal without a visit to Habitat 67,” Peart says. “It’s Montreal’s most famous residential building and happens to be my home.” Guided tours of the architectural icon are back this summer on a full schedule. Over 90 minutes, guides will walk visitors through the complex, explaining the history and evolution of the space since its creation, and tour through one of the residential units to get an idea of daily life in the space. Tours run through to the end of October.
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