October 28, 2017

MONTREAL TRAVEL GUIDE: The BEST Shopping at Quartier DIX30.

    When I was in 9th grade, my Honors English class used to have a weekly discussion question on our class website. It was kind of like a mini essay, to practice writing outside of traditional papers. Anyways, I'll never forget that one week's question asked what your biggest goal was in the future for your life. Most of my classmates responded with things related to educational goals, having families someday, once in a lifetime dream experiences, or things along these lines. My answer to the question at age 14? To shop at the Mall of America. I know, I know. I'm cringing now thinking back on that!! (Really Annaliese?! That was your life goal?) But that just goes to show you how I've always been a fan of the retail experience. I'm sharing this little story to give you a bit of background into how much I truly enjoyed visiting this special shopping center outside of Montreal last weekend! I've definitely found one of my new favorite places here in the North.


    One of the things that I dislike the most about life in my new home state of Vermont is the extreme lack of brick and mortar retail. Vermont's government has a ton of regulations in place to make it very hard to new growth and development to enter the state (even in populated areas), and while I do see the benefit of maintaining the natural beauty of the state... I'm also 110% team retail/new buildings/economic growth/NEW THINGS! Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the country right now, both population and industry, so it was definitely a shock to move here to Vermont. Having such a lack of retail presence is definitely hard as a fashion blogger! Of course online shopping is available and I have taken advantage of it since moving, but in my heart I've always been more partial to the experience of shopping in-store or at a mall. The "largest mall" in the state of Vermont is a town over from Burlington... and let me just say it is SAD, y'all. I go there sometimes to pick up Bath and Body Works candles... and literally the status of every other store in there depresses me! There are actual malls in New Hampshire and New York, but the closest ones are still about three hours each from the Burlington area, and that's a long ways to drive with my current work schedule of being on-air six days a week. So for the longest time, I didn't have a solution to my lack-of-shopping problem! 


     I don't know why it took me a full six months since moving to realize this.... but the winning answer wasn't in New Hampshire or New York. It was to the north, in Canada! Hello province of Quebec and Montreal metro area... land of abundant malls and fabulous shopping! 


Best Montreal Shopping Guide


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     One of my coworkers, Joann, and I did a day trip to Montreal last weekend, and after spending the earlier part of the afternoon in the downtown of the city, she told me that she had to take me to a nice shopping area outside the city on our way back to Vermont. I was expecting something maybe of the size of a large strip mall? Like I said- Vermont has almost non-existent retail, so just about any type of shopping center seems cool compared to where I live now! Joann took me to Quartier DIX30... and this place was unreal. My mouth actually dropped open in awe as I parked the car and we started walking! Forget one really nice strip mall... this was like 12 huge strip malls all next to each other! I've always enjoyed visiting large malls and shopping centers when I travel, and despite all the malls that I've been to in the past, I've NEVER seen something like this before in my life. It was ENDLESS.


   



     Here's a picture of the DIX30 directory for reference!! Each of those colored sections is like a huge strip mall in itself. I really don't feel like I can convey how big this is! I tried to find some more specific info about the shopping center online. DIX30 is considered to be Canada's very first "lifestyle" shopping center, and by square feet it is actually a little bit bigger than the Mall of America! My favorite mall in Charlotte, SouthPark, had 150+ stores. Currently, DIX30 has 300+ stores, and it isn't fully completed yet!! It truly is a "lifestyle center." 


     



      This was my favorite second of DIX30! Two HUGE locations of two of my favorite stores, right next to each other!! The Zara was three levels and I could not get enough. I haven't shopped at a Forever 21 in-store since before I moved, and it was so fun to finally do that again! 






     For American stores, DIX30 has a lot of popular American fashion and home goods retailers like Banana Republic, Michael Kors, Pier 1 Imports, American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie, and Urban Outfitters. I was also really surprised to find an Anthropologie there! I used to love browsing Anthro back in Charlotte, and I had no idea that they had international locations. DIX30 also has a huge plethora of wonderful Canadian retailers. While exploring, I saw locations for Le Chateau, Ardene and La Senza, which are just a few of my favorite Canadian stores! 



     Another thing that I loved so much about visiting DIX30 is that it wasn't just about the great shopping, it truly was a whole experience and ambiance. Each shopping district had its own feel to it, and many of them had pedestrian only streets that were decorated to the nines. The one pictured below was one of my favorites that we saw- it had a gorgeous fountain in between several buildings with shops and restaurants, and one of the walkways had beautiful lanterns hung between the buildings (which you can see up close in the first photo in the post!).



Quartier Dix30 Montreal




     Joann and I were only able to spend a couple hours at DIX30, and I feel like I barely touched the surface on this amazing shopping center. My dad is coming to visit me in Vermont next weekend, and I already told him to pack his passport and prepare for a shopping trip! I can't wait to go back and experience more of this place. 



     Quartier DIX30 is located in the Montreal suburb of Brossard, Quebec. Brossard is on the South Shore of Montreal, so it is closer to Vermont/New York. You don't actually have to cross the bridge into Montreal to get to DIX30, so you don't have to stress about city and bridge traffic to visit here. It's about an hour and forty five minutes to get to DIX30 from Burlington- plan for about a two hour drive in case you have any traffic at the border, which can happen. 


     Right now it is so to the advantage for US residents to shop in Canada, with the way that the dollar exchange is right now! It is very favorable for US currency holders to shop in Canada currently- and it will save you money on clothing purchases to do so there! I am just so frustrated that I didn't start doing this sooner.... Montreal and its suburbs are really so accessible to Burlington, and clearly the retail options are much better! 



     I hope y'all enjoyed this little recap of my visit to DIX30! Question: would you be interested in a blog post where I visit and review multiple malls in Montreal and the suburbs? Although DIX30 is the largest shopping area, it certainly isn't the only one, and I think it might be fun over the next few months to visit different malls up there and review them all in a guide for US shoppers! Is that something that would interest you?




     God Bless,



     xoxo Annaliese 

1 comment:

  1. This is so cool! We're talking about going up there this winter for a weekend, and I haven't been to a big mall like that in FOREVER! Love it!

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