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Brainstorming in Montréal: places that inspire us

Brainstorm (n.) : Creative approach to resolving a problem, a sometimes informal and spontaneous collection of ideas. (See: brainstorming)


Whether it be to resolve a business problem or to work on a class’s final project, many people will turn to brainstorming over the course of their lives. While this exercise requires little to no resources, one element cannot be underestimated: a location conducive to creation.

We often forget the importance of a space to the production of ideas. Although the actual process takes place in your thoughts, it is essential that the physical space gives you a feeling of openness, as if anything and everything is possible. “It’s a space where you can see yourself moving forward and don’t feel confined. You could say that it even puts us in a better mental state”, said the architect Pierre Thibault, a coach in Creative Leadership.

Obviously, it all depends on what you are looking for. A brainstorming team of 25 people in a hipster café in Mile End? Maybe not the best idea. To make it easier on you, we have put together a list of places conducive to brainstorming and creativity, while considering your various needs.

For lovers of caffeinated brainstorm sessions…



Crew Collective Café

This isn’t your usual café. While you can simply go to sit down and enjoy a coffee, Crew Collective also offers coworking spaces. Members choose from a range of subscriptions to get access to private work spaces, conferences rooms, and even a concierge service. It can get noisy during weekends and afternoons but during the day, the atmosphere is perfect for brainstorming. This free work space is ideal for individuals or small groups (5 people or less).

For solo brainstormers…



National Library and Archives of Québec

Let’s turn back time to about 40 years B.G.*. Think back to your trips to the library, the smell of dusty encyclopedias, the heavy weight of dictionaries…That’s what the National Library and Archives of Quebec (BAnQ) has to offer. Like in every library, silence is enforced. If you are looking for a low-key (and free) spot for brainstorming, this is the place for you.

*Before Google

For team brainstorming



Breather, is like AirBnB, but instead of renting by the night, you can rent magnificent spaces throughout the city by the half-hour. Certain spaces can fit up to 30 people. Most Breathers include Wi-Fi, work tables, and boards to write on or to project a presentation. Of course, this service will ensure complete privacy since you are renting a place just for yourself (and your team). Prices can vary between $25 to $50 per hour. More than 30 Breathers are now available in Montréal. If you need to break from your routine for your next team brainstorming session, Breather is your best choice!

For the outdoorsy brainstormer…


© Marie-France Coallier / Montreal Gazette

The Westmount greenhouse, in addition to being a beautiful place to relax, is a perfect space for brainstorming. Sit down at one of its iron tables and let your thoughts drift amongst the vegetation and flowers until you find yourself in a creative mental state. The greenhouse is open throughout the year and entrance is free. This spot is sure to satisfy your creative spirit.

Creative Leadership course

This article was written in collaboration with the Creative Leadership course that strives to train visionaries capable of mobilizing a work team’s creative strength, shaking up old routines, and developing innovative solutions to challenges in both professional and social settings.

See the training