Griffintown is a neighbourhood on the rise. This gritty wedge in the southwest of Montréal was once the domain of Irish labourers; in 2012, Montréal Fashion Week (w montrealfashionweek.ca) moved in, and is now held here every spring and autumn. Griffintown is also swelling with new restaurants, bars and hotels, as well as the massive arts centre L’Arsenal (2020 rue William; t 514 931 9978, w arsenalmontreal.com), housed in a former shipyard. Griffintown, which rubs up against another emerging neighbourhood, Little Burgundy, lies a little over 1km west of Vieux-Montréal; one of the most enjoyable ways to reach it is by walking or biking along the Lachine Canal from the Vieux-Port. Explore by sauntering the streets, including rue Notre-Dame, dubbed the Quartier des Antiquaires, for all its antiques and vintage shops.