When you're in a city like Montreal, one of the best things to do is to read a book. Although you can do this practically anywhere in the world, there's just something about this gorgeous destination that will inspire you to embrace literature. Perhaps it's the old-world charms of Old Montreal
. Or the Paris-like vibe of this French city in Quebec. Whatever it is if you feel like getting lost in a book or two, head on over to places like Grande Bibliothèque, Tommy Café, and Clock Tower Beach! Without a doubt, these are the best places to go reading in Montreal.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Jeangagnon
It's no surprise that one of the best places to read in Montreal is Grande Bibliothèque, one of the biggest libraries in the city. Located on Boulevard de Maisonneuve E, this place also serves as a government agency. It houses the national archive, managed the legal deposit system of the Quebec region, and also serves as a national library. Because of this, locals and tourists alike enjoy reading here. Especially since it offers a whopping 3.5 million resources, ranging from books and novels to even vinyl records too. And seeing as it's a library, you can borrow all of that to read in the other spots on this list.
If you love reading about history and culture, there's no better place for you than BAnQ Vieux-Montréal. Located on Avenue Viger E, this place is a researcher's dream! The public library houses 15,000 reference materials, 100 periodical titles, and 20,000 microfilms. Some of these even date back as early as the 17th century. If you ever have to research the past, you couldn't have picked a better place. It also helps that the Gilles Hocquart building, where BAnQ Vieux-Montréal is located, is a beautiful building. You'll enjoy your time reading in this stunning, Instagram-worthy spot in Montreal
Source: BAnQ Vieux-Montréal
Westmount Public Library
Technically speaking, the Westmount Public Library isn't in the city of Montreal. As its name says, this place is all the way in the city of Westmount. However, since the latter is on Montreal Island, you can easily get there from the city of Montreal. You can even reach it via public transport
with little to no problem at all. And rest assured that all your efforts to get there won't be in vain. Why? Because the Westmount Public Library offers 170,000 books, films, and other references. Any bibliophile won't have any trouble spending an entire day here!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Anna Frodesiak
All these public libraries are well and good, but what if you want something else to go with your reading? Like a hot cup of coffee, perhaps? Or a tasty pastry? You can't exactly do those in the library, can you? So where will you go? To a library cafe, of course! And one of the best library cafes in Montreal
is La Livrerie on Ontario Street E. It may not have as big of a selection as the other spots on this list but what they do offer is still quality reading. And the fact that you can get a delicious treat to go with it is the best!
Source: La Livrerie Facebook Page
With multiple locations throughout the different neighborhoods of Montreal
, Tommy Café is certainly a popular hotspot. And it's particularly famous for its chill vibe that allows you to read in peace. Despite its popularity, Tommy Café (any location) remains a relatively peaceful cafe. It's technically a library cafe too since it offers a few shelves of books that you can read but it's nowhere near the likes of La Livrerie. So you're better off bringing your own book if you want to read here. Or even access an e-book on your phone too.
Source: Tommy Café Facebook Page/ © Chantal Levesque
From this point on, the reading spots will be places where you really will have to bring your own books and other materials. There are a few great places to read apart from libraries and library cafes, after all. Jardins Gamelin proves that! Located in Quartier des Spectacles, this is an open-air recreational space that almost looks and operates like a cafe. But in truth, you don't need to order something to get a table and enjoy your reading here. And despite its surroundings, Jardins Gamelin remains pretty chill and peaceful. It's perfect for when you want to read and enjoy some fresh air at the same time.
Source: Jardins Gamelin
Clock Tower Beach
And finally, there's Clock Tower Beach. Yes, that's right! There's a beach in Montreal even though it's not exactly near any sea. But don't get it twisted! This is an urban beach located on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. It's nowhere near the long stretches of white sand in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean. Nevertheless, even if this isn't the best place in the world to play beach volleyball or get a tan, it's still a great spot to read a book. Just head to the nearest big blue umbrella, prepare your seat, and enjoy!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Jeangagnon
Sometimes, you just have to read, right? Even if you're in a great city like Montreal, a good book offers a great escape. Luckily, this city has tons of great places where you can just read, relax, and refresh your mind!