Inside their office with large windows and a view on Le Champs des Possibles in the Mile End, Frédérik-Toran Nissen and Ismaël Ulvik are brainstorming blog articles ideas. Their company Local Montréal Tours offers authentic itineraries for visitors who would like to discover Montreal from a local standpoint. The Mile End tour, stops at six unique tasting locations and one historical location.
“More often, visitors will find us online through search results for cool things to do in Montréal. Our blog articles about our favorite hangouts, affiliate commerces and venues are usually a first and relevant point of contact with the tourists” explains Frédérik.
The Mile-End walking tour will take visitors inside the kitchen of Drogheria Fine for a tasting of one of the finest Italian tomato sauce served on fresh gnocchis. Then another stop at Kem Coba ice cream, just a couple of blocks further on their itinerary. “We even get to skip the line!” joke the guys.
Walking around the neighbourhood with them, we stop here and there to chat and laugh with other locals. Frédérik and Ismaël obviously care and love their area and will do everything they can to promote and discover new talents and entrepreneurs. Here, a mandatory stop at Chocolats Geneviève GrandBois for a rich cup of hot chocolate.
“We really take pride in the process of establishing the itineraries. We first met with the businesses owners and documented their stories and values, in order for our guide to be able to consistently share this passion with their groups” explains Ismaël while browsing the new selection of fine cheeses at Boucherie Lawrence.
“We have a surprise for you” then tells me Frédérik.
Next on our way is a visit of Théâtre Rialto on avenue du Parc. Once inside, we could admire the wonderful neo-baroque stained glass ceiling crafted in 1930. The Rialto was officially made a historical landmark by the city of Montréal.
Then as promised, a couple of strings are pulled and doors get unlocked to grant us access to the rooftop where we could admire the neighbourhood we all love and share. What a great afternoon filled with good energy!