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Posts by Brendan Murphy

Montreal’s Top Terrasses

To understand why Montreal is a must-visit destination during the summer (a whirlwind period of music, comedy, arts and culture festivals, an unending night of long dinners, drinks and after-hours merriment), one need look no further than Montreal’s winters. Montrealers, contrary to popular belief, don’t love the cold. They tolerate it- where do you think all that moody art and music comes from? So they reluctantly hole up in their houses and apartments, confident with the knowledge that, come June, they won’t be inside for a second more than necessary. From this seasonal dichotomy springs the all-out Montreal summer. It is why, on any night of the week, you will see the bars of St-Laurent and St-Denis filled with people. It is why a quiet dinner out becomes an all-evening affair. And it is why, on a sunny day, every patio (known in Quebec as a “terrasse”) in the city is filled from the second it opens until several moments after it closes. Being a city of endless variety, there is a terrasse for every type of occasion, mood, whim and/or fancy. Here then are some of Montreal’s top terrasses…

Music Videos and more at the MACM

The MACM, or Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, is normally the domain of my colleague Daviel, whose knowledge of the Montreal art scene towers over my “that’s a pretty picture” style approach to art criticism. There are, however, occasions when the MACM crosses over into the dark realm of nightlife…

Live Music in Montreal

Montreal has been a musical mecca since the 1920s, when its famed burlesque and jazz clubs offered audiences something that couldn’t be found anywhere else. Given that this coincided with U.S. prohibition, that “something” may in large part have been “booze”. But the cities’ attachment to live music has never waned and its jazz scene eventually begat the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the largest of its kind in the world. Fast-forward to the present and, internationally, the city has become known for its electronic music (Mutek is the local fest devoted to the genre) and an indie music scene that has delivered Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Malajube and more to the world’s ears. Many of which have played Pop Montreal, the indie fest that has expanded to include a bit of everything. Again the city itself plays some role in this phenomenon: low rent attracts musicians and artists from all over, and the creative bonhomie keeps them here and collaborating. Or maybe it’s just all the attractive women. Montreal is a city that likes to go out, to eat, drink, see and be seen, so you could do worse than wandering around without a plan. But if you’re looking for… / Read More →

Osheaga + MEG = Awesome

If you’re in town for Osheaga, Montreal has more than enough nightlife stuff going on to keep you dancing before, during and after the massive two-day concert at Parc Jean-Drapeau. From Thursday straight through to Sunday, be it in the city, in a park or even on a boat, Montreal is having tons of fun… A big part of the reason that Osheaga has taken commanding control of the first weekend in August is their partnership with MEG (Montreal Electronic Groove). Now in their 11th year, this 4-night electronic-of-all-types festival features its own stage at Osheaga, club events, live music showcases, some 5-a-7s and one not-to-be missed party on a boat – a great way to get to know Montreal while having a blast. From late afternoon to early, early in the morning, read on for the run-down…

Top 5 Montreal Festivals you may not know

If you haven’t noticed yet from this blog’s coverage of Mutek, Osheaga, Jazz Fest and Just for Laughs, Montreal is a city obsessed with its festivals. The reason is simple: for many cold months, Montrealers are stuck in their apartments drinking red wine and waiting out the winter, so when summer hits, no one is ready to go home until at least October… Though Montreal boasts some huge, big-ticket festivals like those mentioned above, it also boasts some smaller, yet no less big-time fests. From French music to beautiful lanterns, there’s something happening every night from now until it’s time to put the snow tires back on. Here are the Top 5 Montreal Festivals you may not have heard of:

Montreal Bachelor Party

Montreal Bachelor Party: When a good friend of mine needed a bachelor party organized, there was only one city in Canada that was up to the task: Montreal. Not just because of its incredible Nightlife scene, which has something on the go every night of the week, but because, in general, this is a city that knows how to cram a range of things into a 24-hour adventure… Sure, Las Vegas is often the bachelor party planner’s first choice, but time after time, Montreal clocks in as North America’s #2. Why? Well first off, you can do everything in Montreal that you can in Las Vegas- from gambling to big name shows- for a fraction of the price. It’s VIP high-rolling that your wallet won’t be ashamed of the morning after. Montreal also has a nightlife scene that has been thriving for decades, and when you mix in Montreal’s old-school European influence with its new-world, cutting edge taste in partying, you have a place that can host a bachelor party with class. Something that Las Vegas has to work a bit harder at…

Tourism Montreal bloggers invade New York

Dear New York, My fellow Tourism Montreal bloggers and I are about to fly into New York to lay some French kisses all over your big apples. We’ll be in town this Thursday and Friday, July 16th and 17th, for a guerilla-style assault on the romantic imaginations and recession-strapped wallets of New Yorkers…

Montreal Nightlife: Baldwin Barmacie

For the fourth installment in the Montreal Nightlife video series, I visited Baldwin Barmacie, a sleek and sophisticated bar/nightclub/lounge on Laurier, near Avenue du Parc. I spoke to Baldwin’s Alex Baldwin about designing a place reminiscent of his own living room…

Backstage at Just for Laughs with Mike Paterson

Just for Laughs, which takes place from July 3rd to July 26th, has already begun inundating Montreal with hundreds of funny men and women. The hugely popular comedy fest turns this wonderful city into a knee-slapping laugh riot. There is so much going on that sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. For this reason, I enlisted the aid of one hilarious Montrealer, Mike Paterson, to help you go backstage at Just for Laughs, to find out not only where he’ll be playing and which shows he’s excited for, but where to all the comedians hang out after hours….

Montreal Nightlife: Ginger

For the third installment in the Montreal Nightlife video series, I visited Ginger, an asian fusion restaurant with a wild side on Avenue des Pins, near St-Laurent Boulevard. I spoke to Ginger’s Jeremy Hufana about the restaurant, as he fielded phone call after phone call from people looking for a reservation…