Secret Cities: Montreal

The Tastemaking Peart Twins Share Their Guide to the Modern Canadian Mecca

From of-the-moment concept stores to bustling oyster counters, Canada's cultural capital is made ultra-relevant by twins Dexter and Byron Peart, style blog fixtures and founders of the covetable luggage and accessories label WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie. Combining old world quality standards with 21st-century technological savvy, the Peart duo has collaborated with Opening Ceremony, J.Crew and New York’s NoMad Hotel, in addition to representing brands like Acne and Fillipa K. via their creative agencywork that keeps them on the go. "Travel takes people out of their daily routine and allows them to discover, experience and explore," the brothers explain of their attraction to the genre. "It was the lack of luggage for the new, more technological lifestyle that first drew us in." The team is also behind WANT Apothecary, a storefront in Montreal’s historic Golden Square Mile district offering a selection of luggage, menswear and grooming products and modeled after a 19th-century pharmacy. "We are constantly inspired by our environment," the Pearts say of their home base, "and Montreal, a UNESCO City of Design, is a city that geographically and philosophically exists as a hybrid of European and American lifestyle and tastes." Here photographed by Alexi Hobbs, the style-setters reveal the essential corners of their modern metropolis.

Hotel Gault 
Superb boutique hotel in a majestic building conveniently located in Old Montreal, yet discreetly tucked away on a quiet side street, away from the hustle and bustle.
449, rue Sainte-Hélène, Montréal, QC, H2Y 2K9; Tel: 514-904-1616

Les Touilleurs
We never thought we could get excited about cooking utensils until this fantastic specialty kitchen boutique opened. We have since replaced everything in our kitchen. 
152, avenue Laurier Ouest, Montréal, QC, H2T 2N7; Tel: 514-278-0008

Joe Beef
The lobster spaghetti is epic.
2491, rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC, H3J 1N6; Tel: 514-313-6049

This is our favorite haunt in Montreal for collecting mid-century antiques. The owners Andre and Lambert have a keen eye and have tastefully curated this shop, where you will find collectibles worthy of the set of Mad Men.
3901, rue St-Denis, Montréal, QC, H2W 2M4; Tel: 514-282-4141

Liverpool House
The restaurant brings a unique Cape Cod feeling to Montreal's Little Burgundy quarter. The amazing old world wines and fresh oysters are not to be missed. 
2501, rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC, H3J 1N6; Tel: 514-313-6049

The Canadian Centre for Architecture
This museum's incredibly curated exhibitions have featured Mies van der Rohe in America and John Soane.
1920, rue Baile, Montréal, QC, H3H 2S6; Tel: 514-939-7026

C2-MTL (New City Gas)
Revered Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil partnered up with design agency Sid Lee in 2012 to create an annual symposium, Commerce + Creativity. Arianna Huffington, Francis Ford Coppola and Google's Robert Wong spoke at the inaugural session, which was a huge success. We suspect the Spring 2013 edition will be one not to be missed.
172, rue Dalhousie, Montréal, QC, H3C 2L1; Tel 514-879-1166

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    Return of the Sun

    Filmmakers Glen Milner and Ben Hilton Witness the Greenland's First Dawn of the Year

    Set against the expansively beautiful and iridescent landscape of Northern Greenland, Glen Milner and Ben Hilton's subtle and touching short visits the annual sun-welcoming ritual of the country’s Inuit population, which celebrates the dawn after more than 40 days of complete winter darkness. Following the daily routine of an Inuit ice fisherman and his son, Return of the Sun examines the affects of the changing climate on their livelihood and community, and pays tribute to the locals’ innate adaptability. “While we were there our fisherman lost hundreds of pounds of fish due to ice breaking away and lines being lost, rare for this time of year,” explains Milner. “The fishermen were already thinking of new ways to hunt and the Inuit attitude in such a harsh environment proved inspiring.” Although the pair had previously worked together on diverse projects including Rwandan genocide prisoners and a short on experimental rock band Rolo Tomassi, filming in Greenland’s harsh environment offered unique new challenges. “Filming in such low temperatures with high winds is grueling. Keeping the camera out of the battering snow, keeping it warm and getting sound away from the winds was really tough, and it's so dark,” says Hilton. “But emotionally, you see nature at its most inspiring and its most intense.”  


    Ilulissat, Greenland. 

    Longitude and Latitude
    69° 13 min N; 51° 6 min W.

    Average daily temperature

    Average daily wind speed
    5.6–11 km/h (Force 2, Beaufort Scale).

    Affect of changing climate
    Ice depleting by up to 15 meters (49 feet) per year in Ilulissat, meaning 20 billion tons of iceberg break off and pass out of the Ilulissat fjord annually.

    Hours of darkness per day while filming 

    Days of total darkness per year 

    Average sunlight per year 
    On balance, 1,878 sunshine hours––approximately 5.1 sunlight hours per day.

    Traditional first annual sunrise
    January 13 (13 minutes before 13:00).

    Sunrise in 2011
    January 11.

    Number of inhabitants 

    1 x 4x4, 6 x planes, 1 x small fishing boat, dog sleds.

    Number of dogs per sled 

    Sony F3 with Zeiss ZF lenses.

    Length of shoot 
    Two days traveling to location, six days filming, two days traveling back.

    Clothes worn while filming 
    North Face everything.

    Average number of layers of clothing 

    Skin care 
    Arctic skincare packs and lots of ChapStick.

    Food during filming
    Equal mix of fine dining and Pot Noodle.

    Safety equipment 
    Not enough.

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    She’s Electric

    Santiago and Mauricio Hit the Gas in Their High-Speed Neon Short

    Pop photography and filmmaking siblings Santiago and Mauricio Sierra take us on a high-octane night ride starring a vamped-up Alana Zimmer in their latest short, She’s Electric. Looking back on growing up in the 80s, the brothers drew inspiration from Japanese anime, Atari video games and Disneyland’s Space Mountain attraction to create the retro imagery. “We remembered watching ET and Back to the Future, and when our dad got the first Mac,” says Santiago. “It was an interesting time where new technology was shaping the vision of the future.” Previously creating color-bursting fashion shoots and sparkling campaigns for the likes of Interview magazine and Dior, Santiago and Mauricio cast otherworldly Canadian model Zimmer as their “perfect future 80s character” to sport the head-turning spring/summer beauty looks from makeup artist Romy Soleimani. “What we do isn’t film, it’s images in motion. It’s the new photography,” explains Santiago of their post-production-heavy technique. Adds Mauricio: “People can recreate entire universes out of nothing, and that’s one of the things we love to play with.”

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