SIMON (`Spectrometre Infrarouge de Montreal') is a near-infrared (1.0 micrometers to 2.5 micrometers ) camera/spectrometer currently under development at the Universite de Montreal. The instrument will be used on the 3.6 m Canada-France-Hawaii telescope (CFHT) and the 1.6 m telescope of the Observatoire du Monte Megantic (OMM). It will house a 1024 MUL 1024 array with an image scale of 0.15" on the CHFT and 0.34" on the OMM. Two long-slit spectroscopic modes will provide resolving powers of 1300 and 5000 from 1.0 micrometers to 2.5 micrometers . The instrument could be interfaced with the adaptive optics system currently under development at the CFHT, providing diffraction-limited images at J, H, and K. This paper describes the general characteristics and the optical design of the instrument.