Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (also known colloquially as NDG) is a neighborhood in the Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough. Part of the city of Montreal whose origins go back to the time of New France, it is today one of the most multiethnic of the city.

Located on the western slope of Mount Royal, the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce district is today bounded on the north by the Côte Saint-Luc Road, on the east by Claremont Street (south-east) and Victoria Street (northeast), south on Saint-Jacques Street and west on Connaught Street.

The commercial heart of NDG, Monkland Avenue – or Monkland Village for the Intimate -, has a good pace. In summer, even on weekdays, the terraces in the heart of the are are crowded. A little further west, where shops are more scattered, the Bacaro pizzeria announced its arrival this fall.

Starbucks, Sushi Shop, Pizzédélic, Second Cup and Yeh! Frozen yogurt & coffee are as zoned as the independent Melk coffee. “It’s going well here,” says Elias Assaleh, who runs the Sparkles Confections party accessories store. Mont-Royal Avenue, on the Plateau, where I also have a store, has changed … by degrading itself. While ridership has increased on Monkland. ”

Systematically, the customer is greeted in French and English in the shops. “It’s an obligation to be bilingual here,” says Sophie Rayef, Director of Marketing for Gastronomia, owner of Cool & Simple frozen food shops. We already had problems because we only said “Hello!” We had to review all our communication. ”

“That said, my English-speaking clients speak impeccable French,” notes Dominique Jacques, owner of Melk.

The neighborhood, which has 191 businesses, has attracted several young Francophone families from the Plateau and Outremont for 15 years.

“In 1990, we found The Gazette, but very little La Presse on Monkland! The increase since then in the number of Francophones has had an impact on the type of products and services offered.

” – Claude Lauzon, Director of the Côte-des-Neiges Development Corporation – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
Francophones, Anglophones, young and old alike rub shoulders harmoniously. “Two high schools are just minutes from our local. Students make up a large part of our clientele, “says Pascal Salzman, owner of Le Cheese restaurant, who praises the” community “side of the neighborhood. “A force in NDG! People like to support us. We are like their friends. “
Examples ? To mark the beginning of the summer holidays, Ben & Jerry’s tradition is to distribute free ice cream to local schools. “It costs a fortune! launches Claude Lauzon. And when Monkland Shoe Repair went into fire in 2012, the manager of the Royal Bank spontaneously organized a fundraiser to relocate her. The owner couple was stunned. “
Another distinctive attraction: with its restaurants, its florist, the furniture store Zone, its banking institutions, the supermarket Provigo, the SAQ and the health services, Monkland is self-sufficient! “In the area, it’s one of the few streets that offers everything,” says Claude Lauzon. Hampstead, Westmount, Montreal West and Côte Saint-Luc have no arteries with bars and restaurants, except for Sherbrooke and Greene. Monkland is both a street of proximity and destination. All the banks are there. The Caisse Desjardins on Décarie is coming soon here! ”


The high family income and the type of occupations of its residents favor the tangle of the street. The median household income of Côte-Saint-Antoine, the neighborhood where Monkland Village is located, is $ 110,000. And 23% of households in this neighborhood have a family income of more than $ 125,000. “About 10% of the sector’s workforce is self-employed,” says Claude Lauzon. Without taking the car, you can live, work and play on Monkland. “

However, victim of its popularity, Monkland offers less and less affordable premises to traders. “The street has changed a lot in 25 years,” says Claude Lauzon. Not in terms of its layout or its friendliness, but the type of shops. Today, we see more banners, restaurants and bars. As a result, rents have risen, which has disadvantaged independent trade. “
The owner of Alex H knows something about it. In 2000, after having run a restaurant for ten years on Monkland, he moved his menu and tables to a local Sherbrooke street. “I liked Monkland a lot, but the rent was expensive,” says Alex Haddad. On Sherbrooke, it was half the price! “
Fortunately, when you walk away from rue Décarie, leases are “three to four times cheaper,” notes Pascal Salzman. “
But since we’re out for business, it’s harder for us to attract people,” says Sophie Rayef. So we have a loyalty card, we make promotions and we adapt the offer locally. On weekends, we organize free tastings. ”


Chocolates Geneviève Grandbois, 5600

Monkland’s customers have been discovering Geneviève Grandbois’ caramel with fleur de sel and metallic packaging since last fall. Notice to future conquered palates: we will soon offer a new version of the square chocolate bar, a must-have for chocolate. “This is the first time we have settled in an English-speaking neighborhood,” says consultant Laetitia Shaigetz. People are discovering us. Chocolate has no language, but we must succeed in bringing them home! “
Melk Coffee Bar, 5612
Want a homemade scone? Direction Melk! “We do not find that good usually, concedes the co-owner Dominique Jacques. A scone, the next day, taken in the fridge, it’s only a ball of dough! But fresh, it’s delicious! They are made with organic flour and the sugar is cut a lot. For the past two years, the 450 sq. Ft. Café has stood tall in front of the nearby Starbucks and Second Cup. “We made it welcoming for all, notes Dominique Jacques. We really rearrank it when we arrived. And the customers immediately encouraged us. “
Sparkles Confections, 5615
It’s a candy paradise! The 2700 sq ft room has 2000 kinds! “And these are more than just supermarket gummies,” says partner Elias Assaleh. We have rare sweets such as Australian licorice. We also have a lot of retro sweets, as we found in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. “The rest of the space is devoted to accessories for birthdays, weddings, corporate events and other bar mitzvahs. A rainbow for the eyes!
Cool & Simple, 5855
Welcome to the frozen grocery store! The long zen and airy freezers contain 350 pizzas, candied meats, appetizers and pastries. “From appetizer to dessert,” says Sophie Rayef, marketing director of Gastronomia, owner of Cool & Simple. We have occasional products for every day. However, we put more and more on the daily newspaper. More local products and dishes are offered. We can also often enjoy tastings and promotions.
The Cheese, 5976
During a craving, at noon and at 3 o’clock in the morning, go to Cheese. First a street food truck, the place was converted, in 2014, into a delightful 18-seater sun-yellow restaurant where macaroni and cheese are served and grilled cheese that tastes … the shepherd’s pie, the Big Mac or chicken wings! “We offer classics from our childhood that are reinvented with local products and cheeses,” says owner Pascal Salzman. And it appeals to young and old! “
Tricot Area, 6050
The all-white place contains walls of wool balls grouped by colors. The effect does not leave indifferent, whether you are a knitting enthusiast or a beginner. For the past five years, Espace Tricot has been attracting women and men from the neighborhood and the city. “The internet has really helped the popularity of knitting, because of the sites and forums,” says consultant Amalia Siontas. Espace Tricot specializes in wool made in Canada and hand dyed in Quebec. Sold from $ 5 to $ 50, the balls can be used at home or on site during “Knit Nights”.
Italian pantry, 6132
We know that it will taste good as soon as you set foot in this charming pantry! For the past five years, the tiny, busy place has been selling dumplings, lasagna and good sandwiches. “We’re like a little Italian convenience store,” says co-owner Steve Marcone. And we like to advise the clientele. To spoil yourself further, you go to the neighbor De ‘Mercanti for a biscuit or a coffee. “They are friends who have sold the place, says Steve Marcone. We really form a beautiful duo! ” 

Source: Isabelle Massé – La Presse