When you get off the Mont Royal metro station, the vibe that you get is totally different from downtown and Old Montreal (which is not that far away). Le Plateau has a small neighbourhood feel. Here you will find musicians (like the quartet band above), brick boutique buildings, artisanal coffee shops and famous bagels (St. Viateur Bagel). The word that comes to mind when I walk around this predominantly French speaking neighbourhood is eclectic.
Little markets and brick buildings house restaurants and retail shops. If you walk inside the side streets, there are many charming houses. Walk-up staircases outside of buildings are very characteristic of Montreal.