Quick Store Tour of Montreal
By David L Banks Jr, TFCB
TFCB September, 2015
Our May TFCB meeting speaker Les Wilson was also speaking up in Montreal the night before our meeting. I thought Les might like to see some of the stores up in Montreal and I had asked some friends up there if they could recommend stores to visit since I would be able to take the afternoon off and go up early. I received a great offer by Julien Poupard to actually show us a few of his favorites. We started with a quick tour of Julien’s ever changing fishroom. Each time I go there, he has almost completely new fish he is working with, and I have been able to visit him 2 or 3 times a year it seems. He is a very successful breeder and once he succeeds, he moves on to another species.
Our first store was the oldest aquarium shop in Montreal, Aquarium du Nord, and once we got thru all the traffic, we parked and walked a few blocks. The street reminds me of a very large version of Church St in Burlington, except there was still car traffic allowed on it. There were many small store fronts for many blocks in each direction, each store front was fairly small but the stores were deep.
This store had many smaller tanks along one wall. There was a great variety of fish available, even some I had never seen in my many years in the hobby. Julien commented he sees new fish every time he comes in the store! We talked with the staff and they were excited to know I had come up from Burlington and that Les was the speaker that night at the Montreal Aquarium Society meeting.
Our next stop would be to a store I had been to, about 20 years ago. It is out on the west island on Montreal and again we hit a little traffic, but not too bad. Nature is a huge store, with lots of large tanks and a full line of all kinds of pets. We went in the back door, which brings you right to the fish area. We walked up to the “front” of the store, from there is looks like a much smaller store, and you don’t see any fish related items except for a few tanks on display in the front window. Again we were met by the staff and talked a little about fish and what they had in stock. The tanks were all well stocked, usually only a few species in each tank or even just one species. They also had a huge section for dry goods and aquariums. There were some very nice looking tank setups here for sale, not the typical tank, hood and metal or even wooden stand.
Not far from there is Aquatica. This store is also very large, but is all fish, no other pets. While Julien and I roamed thru the tanks admiring the variety of fish they had, Les spent most of the time there talking to the staff. We were running a little behind, and the store was getting ready to close and the staff was letting us know that, but once Julien and I were back up front, the conversation continued.
One more stop before the meeting, time for dinner. Julien had planned for us to stop in at a local restaurant which was close to the meeting. This was May, but it is definitely still hockey season in Montreal and the Canadiens were playing the Boston Bruins in a playoff game. We were there before the start of the game, but had to talk our way into getting a table and promise to leave before 7:30. The game had started as we were finishing our very good meal, and the place erupted with noise as the Canadiens scored a goal! We were out as promised before 7:30 though, as the game continued on.
The game also was a concern for the meeting attendance, but 25 interested hobbyists came to hear Les talk on Fish Nutrition. There were updates throughout the evening, and a few took a break from the meeting to listen into the game, but overall it was a very interested group. The meeting was an outstanding end to an interesting day in Montreal. Special thanks to Julien Poupard!