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Posts by Robyn Fadden

Things to do in Montréal: May 27 to June 2

Music and performance festivals, a ticket-free Museums Day, fascinating outdoor entertainment, world-class opera and dance, glorious urban gardens and fabulous food make this week another uniquely Montréal way to celebrate spring. Fresh air Art, music and more entertainment fills the streets this week, from the 20 poetic and playful tableaux of Cité Mémoire projected on the walls, trees and alleyways of Old Montréal and the Old Port. The annual Mont-Royal Avenue street fair, June 2-5 in the Plateau neighbourhood, closes part of bustling Mont-Royal Avenue to traffic and fills the street with music, art, food, pop-up shopping, mini golf, a giant slide and more. There’s also plenty to see, eat and do downtown at the redesigned Jardins Gamelin near Berri-UQAM metro station. Over 80 exhibitors show off their green thumbs, plants and garden accessories at the 19th Great Gardening Weekend, May 27 to 29 at the Montréal Botanical Garden. Celebrate the 140th anniversary of Mount Royal Park at the dance night on Mount Royal event, with traditional folk dancing and an electro-trad performance on Saturday, May 28 outside Beaver Lake Pavilion. Outside Place des Arts in the Quartier des Spectacles, as part of Festival TransAmériques, Montréal-based artist 2Fik reconstructs the… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 20 to 26

Outdoor life in Montréal heats up this week with the arrival of festivals and more activities – many of them free! – from multimedia projections on Old Montréal buildings to urban art by the river and live music and dance downtown. Sunny days, bright nights A new urban multimedia experience awaits visitors in Old Montréal and the Old Port: the 20 poetic and playful tableaux of Cité Mémoire are projected on the walls, in the alleys, on the ground and in the trees of the historic quarter, featuring images, dialogue and music that reveal some of the city’s most fascinating history. Also in the Old Port, the must-see Chromatic festival of urban art and music rocks under the high ceilings of Hangar 16, May 20-22, with free art exhibitions, interactive installations and live music during the day – the space transforms into a club at night. Under the big top nearby, Cirque du Soleil’s newest artistic and acrobatic LUZIA, inspired by the culture of Mexico, thrills to July 17. In Griffintown/Little Burgundy, one-of-a-kind creative business event C2 Montréal takes over the Arsenal gallery space May 24-26. Over in the Quartier des Spectacles, go on a guided walking tour of public… / Read More →

Guide to bike tours in Montréal

If you want to see the most of Montréal, rub shoulders with locals and stay active while on vacation, hop on a bike. With 645 kilometres (400 miles) of bike paths running through one of the most bike friendly cities in North America, you might want to defer to the experts first:  Montréal’s friendly bike tour companies can take you on a tailor-made trip, whether you’re looking for historical insights, excellent food or a work-out challenge. Ça Roule Montréal On Wheels Look no further than the picturesque, tourist-central Old Port, for long-running and knowledgeable Ça Roule Montréal On Wheels. A trusted bike shop and bike rental location as well as an extensive tour operator, Ça Roule has created themed tours on extremely comfortable bikes for any level of bike rider (including tandem bikes for anyone unable to ride a bike). Two professional, licenced guides lead each group – never bigger than 15 people through city streets and along bike trails, pointing out details that you won’t find in a guide book. Along with private or customized tours, tours for young families and guided bike rides, choose tours such as City of Contrasts from Old Montreal and downtown, west to Westmount… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal May 13 to 19

We’re already feeling the summer hype here in Montréal this week, with cutting-edge outdoor entertainment, farmers’ markets, walking tours and more fun under the sun, while our indoor venues light up with fabulous food and fashion, dynamic circus and drama, inspiring art and live music. Open-air entertainment The Quartier des Spectacles’ Jardins Gamelin officially opens for the season, offering a park-like atmosphere, delicious food (some from gourmet food trucks) and free entertainment in the heart of downtown near Berri-UQAM metro station. Take a picturesque guided walking tour of the Quartier des Spectacles – see public art, learn some of the city’s history, and stroll by and take a swing on interactive musical art installation 21 Swings, located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts. Walk around the city’s public markets, full of colourful fruits and veg, local meats and cheeses, full meals and delicious desserts. One step away from being outdoors, the must-see Chromatic festival of urban art and music kicks off on May 19 under the high ceilings of Hangar 16 in the Old Port, with art exhibitions, interactive installations and Afrobeat electro music by Pierre Kwenders. And under the big top nearby, see Cirque du Soleil’s newest… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 6 to 12

Mothers make the world go ‘round, and Montréal knows it – the city is set to celebrate all moms this weekend, whether at brunch or the spa, the garden or craft fairs, cocktail bars or the beer fest. There’s also Cirque du Soleil’s newest show for the whole family, a big food truck event, and evening entertainment, from symphony orchestras and ballet to musicals and  electro dance nights. Mothers’ Day Treat Moms to something special in Montréal this weekend. Numerous restaurants offer a Mother’s Day special Sunday brunch menus: the Ritz-Carlton hosts brunch and a live jazz band, while 400 Coups, Restaurant Tandem, Restaurant Helena, Les Cavistes, Chez Alexandre and Industria Brasserie Italienne celebrate mothers with multi-course prix-fixe meals. Brunch favourites Tapas 24, Mercuri, Nolana and Madre also celebrate the day with great food and service, as do many more restaurants around the city. Our guide to living in the lap of luxury in Montréal details where to shop for locally designed and internationally desired fashion, and find high-class food and drink to go with it – plus the most relaxing spas around. If you’re coming to the city with kids, look into staying at a family-friendly hotel and wonder… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 29 to May 5

Montréal puts some spring in everyone’s step this week with Cirque du Soleil’s newest show in the Old Port, food trucks out and about, spring fashions for sale, and nighttime entertainment from ballet and contemporary dance to film and theatre, classical music, indie rock and metal. Walk and roam See the springtime sights at a slower pace by taking a walk: take the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal past museums, restaurants and shops; head downtown to try your hand at making music on art installation 21 Swings, located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts; or take the metro east to the Space for Life to walk around the blooming Botanical Garden or the Biodôme, currently celebrating Bird Fest. Indoors, there’s plenty of ground to cover at the Montréal Science Centre and Pointe-à-Callière archaeology museum. See Minor League Soccer team the Montréal Impact on the pitch with the Colorado Rapids at Saputo Stadium on April 30. And find more places to go in our free things to do in Montréal guide, whether this is your first time here or your tenth. Spring shopping Find fashion, beauty and health products, food items, travel ideas and more at over 300 exhibitors… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 22 to 28

The snow is gone and the sun is out – it’s perfect walking weather! Explore all kinds of art in the Old Port and downtown, make your way to the Cirque du Soleil big top, hunt down the city’s most legendary restaurants, and spend a night on the town with theatre, dance and live music shows. Get outside  The spring weather calls out for outdoor time: Take a sight-seeing stroll with our guide to walks in Old Montréal to see all the sights and historical locales of the old city and find the best restaurants and cafés. Or head downtown for a musical ride on 21 Swings, an interactive and community-minded musical instrument, art installation and colourful swing set all in one, located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts. After dark, the building facades in the Quartier des Spectacles see 9x [MTL] Video Projections, colourful photomontages of iconic people, places and events in Montréal. Duck inside the Botanical Garden’s main exhibition greenhouse at the Space for Life, where the Butterflies Go Free event has local butterflies venturing outdoors and tropical butterflies and caterpillars inside until April 24. Even if you’re indoors, kids can play and learn at the… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 15 to 21

Take your pick of outdoor and indoor activities this week in Montréal because warm weather has returned – pair it with some truly world-class wining and dining, digital art, bountiful nature, incredible circus shows, literary luminaries or live classical, rock and electronic music. Whatever the weather Spring can be unpredictable in Montréal, but that also means the city’s full of surprises – discover all kinds of free things to do in Montréal this season, whether this is your first time here or you’re searching for the latest and greatest things to do. Downtown, try your hand at making music just by swinging: located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts downtown, 21 Swings is an interactive and community-minded musical instrument, art installation and colourful swing set all in one, ongoing to May 29. When night falls, look up on building facades in the Quartier des Spectacles area to see 9x [MTL] Video Projections, colourful photomontages of iconic people, places and events in Montréal. Nature thrives at Space for Life, where the Butterflies Go Free event has local butterflies venturing outdoors and tropical butterflies and caterpillars inside at the Botanical Garden’s and Insectarium’s Main Exhibition Greenhouse, until April 24. And… / Read More →

Be a European explorer: walks in Old Montréal

One of the best ways to experience the city’s diverse nature is on foot, and what better place to start than with Old Montréal, where history meets cutting-edge ideas and European style shares each block with Montréal flare. Take this walk in a morning, afternoon or evening to discover everything from centuries-old architecture to remarkable restaurants. Start your Old Montréal walk with some local history, beginning at the corner of Notre Dame Street East and Saint Claude with City Hall built in the mid-1870s and where French President Général de Gaulle declared “Vive le Québec libre!” in 1967. Across the street, find the Chateau Ramezay historical site and, a couple of blocks east, the Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site for a peek at 19th century Montréal. From there, walk past the Place De La Dauversière gardens to admire the view from the Nelson monument before walking down Place Jacques-Cartier, a wide boulevard filled with restaurants, shops, live music and street artists. Take Saint Paul Street East to go to Marché Bonsecours, Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, the Museum of Costumes and Textiles and the Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum. Where to eat: Savour the gourmet Québécois creations at Le Club Chasse et Pêche on… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 8 to 14

The lively streets of Montréal get even livelier this week with the return of 21 Swings musical installation at Place des Festivals alongside more innovative art, theatre and dance at Place des Arts and beyond – add to that world-class restaurants, a literary festival, fun family activities and plenty of live music. Swinging spring Whether this is your first time in Montréal or your tenth, expect the unexpected: like 21 Swings, a musical instrument, art installation, colourful swing set and gathering place all in one. The swings return to the streets for the sixth year, lining de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts downtown, from April 11 to May 29. At night, the 9x [MTL] Video Projections illuminate the facades of eight building in the Quartier des Spectacles, screening colourful photomontages of iconic people, places and events in Montréal, created by motion designers, Gabriel Poirier-Galarneau and Vincent Bilodeau. Another sign of spring: the Butterflies Go Free event at Space for Life, where local butterflies venture outdoors and tropical butterflies and caterpillars have the run of the Botanical Garden’s and Insectarium’s Main Exhibition Greenhouse, until April 24. On top of that, see the Harlem Globetrotters on April 8 and the Montréal… / Read More →