When I first moved from Brooklyn to north of Boston in 1971, I lived in the far north, near the New Hampshire line. The only thing even called a bagel was frozen in the supermarket. People had never even heard of bagels there and then. On trips to Brookline, we found Kupels bagels and wsould bring them back just like we did when we returned to NY.
I'm happy to say that Kupels is still in business and I can walk there now. The lines are Sunday mornings are out the door.
In Boston, you can't get a decent bagel at night. It's a breakfast and lunch food. In brooklyn, we wouldgo out on saturday nights and buy the Sunday paper and adozen bagels. Can't do that here.
Back when T&MW still had an office, a co-worker who lives in Boston's distant western suburbs claimed that a local bakery had supurb bagels and challenged me to prove otherwise. I brought in a dozen from Rosenfeld's and she brought in a dozen from the far west. At the end of the day. All Rosenfeld's were eaten and the her's just got stale.
New York Vs. Montreal bagels: My daughter will be visiting Montral this summer and I'm sure there will be Montreal bagels for all to eat.
I do recall visting a bagel bakery in Toronto, but it's been about 8 years.
New Yorkers will claim that bagels made outside of NYC can't possibly be as good. But they say that about Pizza, Chinese food, Italian food, Deli, and so on. To them, if it's different than NY, it can't possibly be as good.
Have you read Save the Deli? I have asigned copy. The author, David Sax, is from Toronto.