Can anyone tell me where to buy:
1. High end kitchen equipment?
2. Commercial grade kitchen equipment (but who sell to the public)?
3. A generalist kitchen emporium that just sells everything connected to the kitchen?
As a guide I am currently using Bourgeat, Matfer, Le Creuset, Meyer; I'd like to try and avoid the likes of Cuisinart, if possible.
You are near Ares, on Sources near the 40. Big selection. Easy to start.
J.C. Perreault on the 40 near Chemin St. Marie specializes in large appliances, but also has an excellent selection of BBQ supplies and accessories, and some smaller appliances. Worth a browse, and again, close to you.
If downtown, you can check out Les Touilleurs on Laurier, very beautiful kitchen store. It is not cheap, and selection is limited. But so very beautiful, and I have to say that when I have splurged on equipment from them, the products have been wonderful.
There is another great shop on De Maisonneuve, near Bishop. Does anyone else know what it is called? It is also very nice.
Quincaillerie Dante in Petite Italie is legendary.
There Mona, is a restaurant supply store on Parc and Villeneuve.
And last but not least, I am quite fond of finding a good bargain in pots glasswares, knifes or odds and ends at Winners/Home Sense. Yes high end stuff is rare, but when you get to find them for cheap, it makes your day. Not for the "i have to buy a 8 inch knife today" mentality though; you have to visit often, and with no predetermined shop list; because you'll never know what they will have that day.
Ares is all right for an occasional purchase, but I wouldn't stock up there, unless you want to pay through the nose for your equipment. Their pricing is very strange.
The Bay (and its online store, www.hbc.com ) is a much better choice, as they have very frequent sales, and stock mid to high end brands (you'll find Meyer, Le Creuset, Wusthof etc). Selection at the Bay and Deco-Decouverte in Fairview is limited; you'll find a better selection at the Bay downtown. You can also order online and pick up in store or get home delivery, but there is more selection downtown.
Dante is a Montreal institution, but my steak knives were half the price at the Bay than at Dante.
www.creativecookware.com is based in Laval and stock many hard to find specialised and professional kitchen equipment, including many eosoteric items like a 350$ asparagus slicer imported from France. They have occasional sales. I bought an authentic Spanish paella pan from them at a good price and they delivered within days.
I am a huge fan of Mona. I buy stuff there all the time.
But it depends on what the OP wants. Mona sells stuff to restaurants. It can be very reasonably priced. But they don't necessarily sell all the high end stuff, or have the same choice that some of the regular consumer stores might. And not all their stuff looks pretty in a high end custom built home kitchen.
But I love going through there and seeing all the neat gadgets and variety of effective storage containers. And all the variety of pots and pans and baking trays.