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Posts by Robyn Fadden

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 →

Best-selling author Yann Martel on finding home and Montréal

Celebrated Canadian author Yann Martel spent over a decade living in Montréal, part of that crafting a novel that would become not only an international bestseller but a Man Booker Prize-winner and contemporary classic: Life of Pi. Since then, both the city and the author have continued to evolve and captivate our imaginations – Martel with his new novel, The High Mountains of Portugal, and Montréal with its fusion of centuries-old history, high-tech innovation and diverse arts and cultural milieu. With Montréal’s annual international literary festival, Blue Metropolis, just around the corner (April 11 to 17, 2016), Tourisme Montréal blogger Robyn Fadden recently sat down with Yann Martel to talk about The High Mountains of Portugal and the importance of different places in our lives, as well as his favourite things about Montréal. You were born in Spain, have lived stretches of your childhood and adult life in Montréal, you’ve traveled far and wide, and your novels span the globe – why focus on concepts of home in The High Mountains of Portugal? I was looking at home in relation to the broad theme of the novel – like Life of Pi, I was interested in looking at faith. Not… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 1 to 7

April arrives in Montréal as sugar shack season begins to wind down – get your fill of maple syrup and more food before it’s over – and award-winning restaurants revamp menus while the spring cultural calendar heats up with multimedia art, dance, theatre, orchestra concerts and all kinds of live music. April flowers Step into Montréal’s Botanical Garden to see the very beginnings of spring in bud and sample maple taffy on snow during sugaring off time (only until April 3!), while indoors butterflies go free and caterpillars cocoon, and the Botanical Garden restaurant’s special Sugar Shack menu keeps everyone well fed to April 24. If you’re extending your Spring Break in Montréal, consult our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style and Montréal nightlife guide for places to eat, drink, dance and chill out. If you’re here with family, our Spring Break for families in Montréal guide has some ideas for entertaining and even subtly educational things to do with kids. Throughout the season, find free things to do in Montréal – for families, for friends, for fun (speaking of fun, these great gifs illustrate the 10 Signs that spring has totally arrived in Montréal.) Do you love spas, fancy… / Read More →

Where to hear live music in Montréal

Every band might say it in every city, but in Montréal it’s true: we’ve got the best audiences, not just on Friday and Saturday nights but every night of the week. Going to a live music show here is a glimpse at life as a Montrealer: enthusiastic applause, appreciative hooting and plenty of dancing are pretty much the norm, whether at a small venue or the Bell Centre. Since the 1920s, Montréal has been a musical mecca and nightlife destination, welcoming prohibition-era Americans to burlesque and jazz clubs that evolved into rock venues and dance clubs as the century wore on. Today, massive outdoor summer festival Osheaga, the electronic eclecticism of MUTEK and the indie-rock and hip hop of POP Montreal showcase not only touring bands but local musical geniuses, while throughout the year you can see live music at the following venues dedicated to brilliant music and quality sound. Théâtre Corona, Cabaret La Tulipe (4530 Papineau) and Le National (1220 Ste-Catherine E.): Among several venues that were at one time glitzy theatres, these three stand out for maintaining their theatrical charm – you can even go relax up in the balcony – while welcoming some of the latest and… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 25 to 31

With spring officially here and the Easter long weekend upon us, Montréal is in the mood to celebrate. Share a lively meal at a sugar shack or an award-winning restaurant, see  acclaimed dance and theatre performances, immerse yourself in multimedia art, or dance the night away. Easter treats If you’re spending the Easter long weekend in Montréal, you’ll find the city doesn’t really quiet down despite a pleasant vacation-like relaxation in the air. Take a walk up Mount Royal, go rock climbing or ice skating indoors, sample the city’s top-rated restaurants and shop to your heart’s content – most stores stay open during the holiday. And if you’re into late-night dance parties with thousands of other revellers and hot DJs, dress in white and look no further than Bal en Blanc – the theme for the party’s 22nd edition is “Hippie Chic” – interpret as you wish. For all the details and more Easter happenings, see our guide to What to do on Easter long weekend in Montréal. Signs of spring First off, we’ll let these entertaining gifs illustrate the 10 Signs that spring has totally arrived in Montréal. Whether you’re on Spring Break or simply shaking off winter with… / Read More →