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Posts by Robyn Fadden

10 fun facts about St. Patrick’s Day in Montréal

No matter what the weather, Montréal brings on spring with the biggest parade of the year – some would claim our St. Patrick’s Day parade is the third biggest in the world, but we’ll stick with tried‑and‑true facts and figures on what makes Montréal’s St. Patrick’s Day so great. 1. The Montréal St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the longest-running of its kind in Canada – uninterrupted since 1824! The parade was actually cancelled in 1918 for various reasons, some ascribed to controversies over WWI conscription, but Montrealers defied the city’s orders and paraded nonetheless. 2. During the three-hour parade, hundreds of floats, marching bands, performers and revellers march along Sainte-Catherine Street on the first Sunday after March 17 (this year that’s March 22). General attendance runs anywhere from 250,000 to 700,000, depending on the weather, which can range from sun-spangled t-shirt weather to unexpected winter wonderland. 3. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade celebration in Montréal took place in 1759, three years before the start of New York’s famed parade. 4. The first Irish person arrived in Canada in approximately 1661: Tadhg Cornelius O’Brennan came to Montréal in a wave of Irish Catholics escaping war, poor harvests and a severe penal system…. / Read More →

Things to Do with Babies and Toddlers in Montréal

Anyone who has traveled with a baby or toddler knows that there are challenges involved, to say the least, but whether you’re in Montréal with a newborn or a new walker, you’ll find plenty of baby-friendly places to go and pint-sized things to do. Along with walks and stroller-strolls in the city’s big parks – Mount Royal, La Fontaine and Jean-Drapeau – take a walk in a different sort of park at the Botanical Garden, where plants and trees from around the world grow in the greenhouse and throughout the sprawling grounds. As well, see brightly-hued lanterns in autumn and live music and dance in summer. Many of Montréal’s parks, such as Parc Jeanne-Mance and Parc Laurier, feature toddler-dedicated playgrounds and free wading pools all summer. Kids and adults can burn off some energy at Vida Sana, a community-minded centre with free drop-in play times and exercise classes for kids and adults. Close to restaurants and cafés in Mile End, Centre Amuza offers workshops for both adults and kids in music, art, storytelling and dance. Take playtime up a notch at indoor amusement parks just for kids: Kidzilla Fun and Zig Zag Zoo. In the city centre, stay entertained on… / Read More →

A beauty makeover in Montréal

It’s a fact that Montrealers love to look good, especially in their own distinct ways, and especially when it comes to hair and beauty. Whether you’re ready to make a drastic change or simple need an update or some premium pampering, Montréal’s hair salons and spas are here to snip, shine and buff away anyone’s style woes. Discover the best and most trusted of the city’s beauty scene right here. When it comes to a day at the spa, many of Montréal’s upscale hotels know just how to treat you right. Mix Old Montréal charm with contemporary and professional treatment at the spa of the Hôtel Le St-James, while nearby Away Spa at the W Montréal inspires a hip, happening level of relaxation. Downtown, step into superior sumptuousness at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel’s Gibson Spa. Five-star Hôtel Le Crystal’s Amerispa will not only spruce up your hair, make-up and nails but features an outdoor hydro massage bath year-round on its 12th-floor terrasse, with incredible views of the city. Steam all the toxins out at the first hammam in Montréal at the opulent, urban-chic Le Place d’Armes Hôtel & Suites’ Rainspa, outfitted with all the esthetic treatments your face and… / Read More →

Snow Days and Nights at Fête des Neiges 2015

The joys of a real Canadian winter abound at Fête des Neiges de Montréal, a free outdoor event for snow fans of all ages. Get in on the fun every weekend from January 17 to February 8, when Parc Jean-Drapeau becomes a playground for winter sports and high-energy entertainment. Montreal’s reputation as an urban winter wonderland goes back decades, boosted in recent years by international-profile events such as Igloofest and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE paired with the snow-capped traditions of family-friendly Fête des Neiges. Skating, snowshoeing, skiing and snow-tubing return this year along with less traditional fare – zip lines, an illuminated Ferris wheel, giant foosball and food trucks – and new Saturday night dance parties that light up the park. All that and a spectacular view of the city skyline too. Kids get special attention every weekend at Fête des Neiges. Not only can they ride down the park’s massive ice slide and snow-tube down the hill all day, they can also wander a snowy labyrinth, traverse an obstacle course, ride a carousel or play soccer while encased in personal plastic bubbles (as hilarious to watch as to play). Giant inflatable bouncy castles and a play zone just for them… / Read More →

Wild Worlds at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema 2014

Cool and cutting-edge, Montreal’s Festival du Nouveau Cinéma showcases hundreds of the latest and most exciting creations in international, Canadian and Quebecois film, from famed directors and big-name stars to experimental auteurs and emerging artists…

Things to Do in Montreal: September 12-18

The fall season begins with a rock ‘n’ roll bang in Montreal, from a star-packed outdoor block party followed by the Pop Montreal music festival, to exciting new art, film and cultural events that both enlighten and entertain…

Things to Do in Montreal: September 5-11

September gets off to a sunny start in Montreal with indoor and outdoor entertainment for all ages, new art, a tattoo festival, live music and all kinds of fantastic food, from burgers to oysters and more…

Classic, New and Noteworthy in Montreal’s Mile End

Much has been said about Montreal’s Mile End residential-meets-commercial neighbourhood, a hub of hipness that has gone through some big changes in the past decade or two, evolving from the best place to buy bagels and sip espresso into a go-to zone for local-designer shopping, contemporary culinary adventures and laid-back, late-night drinks…

Things to Do in Montreal: August 29-September 4

The Labour Day long weekend may mark the end of summer, but Montreal’s enthusiasm for open-air entertainment keeps going strong: eat, drink, shop, see films and hear live music outdoors and in this week and throughout the month…

Lanterns Lead the Way Through Gardens of Light

As summer turns to fall, the Montreal Botanical Garden celebrates the changing seasons with its annual Gardens of Light show, transforming the natural beauty of the Chinese and Japanese Gardens into illuminated works of art…