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09 Feb, Thursday
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Montreal Families

Pointe Claire Village – more than just picturesque

Several family-friendly businesses have recently opened their doors in the village, making this a great spot to spend the day with the family. Take a stroll, have a picnic by the lake and find some unique gifts in small boutique stores.

For many parents, balancing family time with long to-do lists can be challenging. Faced with a free day, many moms and dads feel torn between running errands and enjoying a few hours free time with the kids.

But with a trip to Pointe Claire Village, parents can do both. Located on the West Island about 20 minutes from downtown Montreal, this is a great spot for a family excursion. The charming, historic community hugs the shore of Lac St. Louis, which provides lovely views.

On a sunny day in any season, the village is a wonderful place to stroll with kids, sip a cup of coffee or shop for unique items not usually found in big-box or department stores.

Many of the village’s buildings date back to the turn of the century and the area has maintained its small-town charm. In the last year, several stores geared to families have opened in the village.

Strolling through the village, it’s easy to see the lure for parents. At Bummis, for example, moms Kristin Brambler and Valerie Chacra were looking for hard-to-find baby items like cloth diapers, organic cotton baby clothing, BPA free bottles, and specialty nursing bras and clothes.

“We come every few months,” said Chacra, while Brambler added that this trip allowed her to search for a special carrier to accommodate her growing 18-month-old daughter.  Strapping her child into an Ergo brand baby carrier, Brambler noted, “You can’t find these kinds of things in regular stores.”

A few doors down from Bummis is Village D’Enfants, a kids clothing store offering new and consignment apparel. Manager Melissa Melchiorre said that, while many customers come in looking for new designer kids’ clothes, even more shoppers are drawn to a downstairs consignment area.

“People are looking for deals and kids grow out of their clothes so fast,” she explained.

Consignment items, accepted daily on an appointment-only basis, sell for less than half of their original asking prices. Savvy shoppers can find items by Tommy Hilfiger, Petit Lem, Deux par Deux, and more.

The village is also home to Mama Mia Maternity, a store specializing in stylish, multi-functional maternity clothing that can be worn before, during and after pregnancy. At this store, there are refreshments, a kid-and-daddy waiting area as well as unique diaper bags, baby gifts and nursing and body care products.

Just around the corner, shoppers will also find Belles Mamans, a new store offering a wide-range of programs from CPR and first-aid for families to mom-and-baby dance and music classes. There is a spa, a childcare space and a boutique carrying organic products for parents and kids.

Meanwhile, expecting and new moms can take care of their physical and spiritual health at Centre Holistique Om West, which offers prenatal yoga. The centre also offers yoga classes for kids and teens.

Both parents and children are sure to enjoy a visit to either Rêve d’Enfant, a toy store, or Babar Books, which specializes in children’s literature. Rêve d’Enfant offers the sort of toys you probably won’t find at a mega-store: high-quality puzzles, a wide selection of family board games and European-made toys. The store also organizes workshops on the weekends.

Peering in from outside, it’s hard to believe that Babar Books holds more than 50,000 books. Inside, the charming little store has unexpected nooks and crannies brimming with books, educational board games and children’s costumes. For lovers of the written word, it’s a wonderful place to spend a few hours.

Indeed, discovery might be the best word to apply to Pointe Claire Village. Wander its streets and find stores catering to gourmet cooking, fair trade products and stylish clothing. Then stop for a meal or purchase items for an impromptu picnic on the shores of the lake. You might just find that the hardest part of the visit is going home.

A visit to Pointe Claire

Babar Books
46 Ste. Anne St., #6 • (514) 694-0380

278 Lakeshore • (514) 674-0828

Centre Holistique Om West
46-3 Ste. Anne St. • (514) 836-5578

Rêve d’Enfant
290 Lakeshore #105 • (514) 426-3717

Village d’Enfants
290 Lakeshore #106 • (514) 695-0480

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