The Real Story Behind Montreal's St-Viateur Bagel Shop

One of the city's oldest and most famous institutions.

I think, at this point, we all know about how awesome Montreal bagels are. There's nothing like a Montreal bagel, and a huge part of what makes our bagels so great is the rich history behind the dish.

READ ALSO: The Real Story Behind Montreal’s Cafe Olimpico

In Montreal, there are two main spots to get your authentic bagel fix: Fairmount Bagel Shop, or St-Viateur.

A photo posted by Claire Stern (@clairecstern) on

Both are located in the Mile End and named after the streets they're on. Both serve up delicious, fresh bagels baked on-site in a wood-burning oven.

And both have achieved institution status in Montreal, partially because of their delicious food, and partially because of the legit staying power both spots have.

A photo posted by Gaby Patenaude • Ottawa (@patsgab) on

St-Viateur (263 Rue Saint Viateur O), for example, has been in Montreal for over 50 years. Yes, guys, you read that right: this shop has  been serving up fresh, hot bagels for more than half a century.

But that's not the only impressive fact about St-Viateur.

The shop was actually opened in 1957, by a man named Myer Lewkowicz.

Myer was a Jewish immigrant from Poland, who was invited to come to Canada in 1952 after being found by Jewish Immigration Aid Services of Canada. Before that, Myer spent time in a concentration camp; according to Myer, during that time, "all [he] dreamt of was a piece of bread".

A video posted by St-Viateur Bagel (@stviateurbagel) on

St-Viateur Bagel was founded by Myer after nearly half a decade of learning the trade as an employee of Montreal Bagel Bakery, another bagel shop owned by Hyman Seligman.

Myer ran St-Viateur until his death in 1994, even seeing the shop through a huge fire (and re-opening) in 1985.

A photo posted by Gary Yee (@2skiandgolf) on

In 1994, ownership passed on to Joe Morena, who had worked at the shop since he was 15. In 1974, he became part-owner of the bagel shop, and after Myer's passing, he brought in Marco Sbaino as his business partner.

Since then, St-Viatuer has been a family business, full of tradition and history.

A photo posted by Lex Gordon (@meowmoriez) on

They've expanded to tons of bagel cafes throughout the city (including in Monkland and DDO), but they're still selling fresh, hand-made bagels from their original 24/7 location in the Mile End. So, St-Viateur, keep doing you, because you're awesome.

A photo posted by St-Viateur Bagel (@stviateurbagel) on


Add mtlblog on Snapchat.

Fall means cooler weather so you may not be spending as much time outdoors. That makes this the perfect time to stock up on plant friends to get you through the next several months, and there's a huge end-of-season sale happening at Montreal's iconic Dragon Flowers to help you do that.

According to an Instagram post from the family-run flower shop in the Mile End, all indoor houseplants are on sale, with discounts of up to 50%.

Keep Reading Show less

Montreal's Mile End skatepark is set to host a huge nighttime block party this September as part of MAPP_MTL's sixth edition.

The event, billed as "Montreal's projection mapping festival," is a celebration of digital art. The block party will feature monumental digital creations cast on the surrounding buildings, illuminating the skatepark as electronic music plays.

Keep Reading Show less

2 Quebec Cities Made The Top 10 Domestic Destinations Canadians Want To Visit This Summer

But places in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario ranked higher.

Based on hotel searches, Expedia released a list of the top 10 domestic destinations where Canadians are showing interest in travelling this summer — and two cities in Quebec made the cut. 

Quebec City and Mont-Tremblant ranked ninth and tenth on the list of Canadian travel destinations below cities in Alberta, B.C. and Ontario. 

Keep Reading Show less

At a press conference on Thursday, Premier François Legault, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several other government representatives announced huge new investments into Canada's aerospace industry. These investments are set to create "more than 1,000" high-paying jobs in Quebec and the rest of Canada. 

"The projects announced today are tangible platforms for creating exciting jobs," Aéro Montréal explained in a press release

Keep Reading Show less