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Free things to do in Montréal this spring

There’s always something going on in Montréal whether the snow is falling or melting, and while many of those things come with a cost, all kinds of them don’t! We’ve got you covered for things to do in Montréal for free with friends, kids or on your own – from the first day of spring to the last. Free for the family Energetic kids can swing and make music at the same time on the 21 Swings art installation right downtown on De Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts starting April 11, and if you’re here on May 20 skip over to Parc Hydro-Québec for the Grand Pique-nique Urbain for parents-and-kids yoga and more free activities. Curious kids will love the hands-on Eurêka Festival, featuring over 100 thought-provoking demonstrations, workshops, performances, magic shows and more, outdoors in the Old Port, June 10 to 12. Delve into Québec’s varied history, art and culture with a museums pass, taking advantage of the fact that kids 12 and under have free admission at many of the city’s major museums and galleries, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (which hosts several workshops and tours for kids and where admission to the permanent collections… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 18 to 24

As the snow melts away in Montréal, urban sugar shacks serve up delicious meals, spring break activities continue, film festivals and art events grant new perspectives, dance and theatre move us, and live music sets the weekly soundtrack. Spring starts Welcome spring with thousands of Montrealers at the city’s boisterous 193rd St. Patrick’s Day Parade, taking place downtown along Ste-Catherine Street starting at noon on March 20, and keep on celebrating the luck of the Irish at the city’s best Irish pubs. In sports action, the hockey season isn’t over for the Montréal Canadiens – they play the Flames on March 20 and the Ducks on March 22 at the Bell Centre. Whether you’re on Spring Break or not, check out our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style for places to eat, drink, dance and chill out. If you’re here with family, our Spring Break for families in Montréal guide has kids covered. And if the warmer weather has you itching to paint the town red – whether that means sampling local microbrews or going late-night dancing – Montréal’s nightlife has it all. Seasonal food If you’re in Montréal in March, you must experience the Québecois tradition of the sugar… / Read More →

Art goes underground in Montréal with Art Souterrain

Winter will be warming up on February 27! It’s one of the city’s most exciting happenings ever, Nuit Blanche, the all-night, all-arts party that unites thousands. Best of all, that’s also the date that kicks off the underground art fair: Art Souterrain. Nuit Blanche could not be more Montréal – in a testament to Quebecers’ indomitable spirit, crowds of thousand gather in sub-zero temperatures to trek the city in the small hours of the morning, in search of art. That enchanted evening is also the best time to get started on your exploration of Art Souterrain, the seven-kilometre-long art walk through Montréal’s famous underground city. Art Souterrain 2016, curated by Marie Josée Rousseau, Anaïs Castro and founder Frédéric Loury, runs from February 27 to March 20 and asks the question: Must Art Seduce? Over 80 artists turned their attention to that question over 14 sites underground and 10 extra satellite spaces all over the city’s core. There are also tons of special activities, like meetings with the artists, talks, tours for kids and adults, and exclusive visits through private collections. There are artists from all over the country and even a couple of internationals in this edition, but since we’re all… / Read More →

5 art shows to see in Montréal before the holidays

Late fall in Montréal is a prime time for art gallery hopping, letting us bask in artistic genius as warm days and daylight wane. In addition to several Must-see Autumn 2015 museum exhibitions, the following five exhibitions on display in November and December offer a glimpse of the depth and quality of art in Montréal’s galleries year round. Begin your art tour with a solo show by Paris-based designer and Montrealer Rad Hourani at Arsenal, located in the Griffintown/Little Burgundy/Saint-Henri area of the city around the corner from several renowned restaurants, bars and stores on Notre Dame Street. In his solo exhibition Neutralité/Neutrality, Hourani uses painting, print, sculpture and video to expand on ideas in his unisex fashion line, challenging divisions of sex, gender, race, nationality and other social segregators. While we can’t touch the art despite its welcoming tactile nature, an on-site pop-up shop entices us to wear Hourani’s gorgeous fall fashions. While there, visit Galerie Division in the same massive industrial building just blocks from the Lachine Canal. On the western edge of Old Montréal, the factory-turned-gallery Darling Foundry greets visitors with Mirador, a public art mountain of scaffolding and other materials created by collective Acapulco, while in… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 20 to 26

The snow has yet to fall, but Santa’s already coming to town for Montréal’s legendary Santa Claus Parade this week, along with new documentary films from around the world, gripping opera, theatre and dance, artisanal and craft fairs, and all kinds of live music from local indie-rock and jazz to electro-pop and Bach. Santa in the city Spend some family time with Santa and a whole lot of other people as the 65th Edition of the Santa Claus Parade official starts the holiday season in Montréal on Saturday, November 21. Starting at 11 a.m. on Sainte-Catherine Street, between Du Fort and Saint-Urbain, cheer on 20 spectacular floats and a host of singers, dancers, street performers, polar bears and, of course, Santa! There’s more Santa to see at Parc Jean-Drapeau too: drink hot chocolate and see all the handmade Santa figurines at the Stewart Museum or cheer on the hundreds of runners dressed as Santa Claus for the Santa Montreal 5 km race, starting at 10 a.m. on November 21. Toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at the Space for Life lights up the season in a different way… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 13 to 19

Montréal offers a feast for the senses this week, with new films set on earth and in the sky, high-energy sports and video gaming, drama and dance, cutting-edge visual art and local artisanal creations, and a seemingly endless amount of live music. On-screen adventure Hundreds of new documentary features and shorts from around the world come to Montréal screens this week during the 18th annual Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), November 12 to 22 – along with so many eye-opening films on subjects ranging from war and refugees to environmental issues and government reform, go to talks by directors, actors and film industry members, special events and more. Catch the newest in French-language films (with English subtitles, bien sûr) at the CINEMANIA festival until November 15, including Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan and the premieres of Floride by Philippe Le Guay Marguerite et Julien by Valérie Donzelli and Je suis mort mais j’ai des amis by Stéphane and Guillaume Malandrin. As well, at the Phi Centre, see David Oelhoffen’s Loin des Hommes, November 16 to 18, an adaptation of a short story by Albert Camus and starring Viggo Mortensen. The Éléphant Classiq festival honours Québec cinema masterpieces, November 19 to 22, opening… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Rad Hourani

Lauded in Paris and New York as one of the finest fashion designers of his generation, Rad Hourani is the first designer invited by La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris to create and showcase a unisex line. In 2005, Hourani revolutionized fashion when, at the age of 23, he designed his first unisex collection, then launched his namesake label in Paris in October 2007. But Paris-based Hourani – who spends some four months of the year in Montréal, the city he calls his hometown – is more than a fashion designer: he is a visionary designer, artist and photographer, and his new multi-disciplinary exhibition of original artworks, Neutrality (Neutralité), at the Arsenal Montréal contemporary art venue, expands on his vision of a neutral world without boundaries or limits. What is your favourite pastime? Yoga and cooking. I love to cook. I also enjoy hiking and spending time with kids. I am the godfather of two children. How long have you been a Montrealer? I have been in Montréal for half of my life. I discovered myself as an adult in Montréal. That is a very important moment in one’s life, it happened here, so I will always… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 6 to 12

November warms us up with gourmet food and drink at MTL à TABLE, La Grande Dégustation and more delicious events, along with the thrills of this week’s high-energy hockey and dance, innovations in film and art, and joyous fun of theatre and live music. Go gourmet Eat well and often as the city’s best restaurants participate in MTL à TABLE, Montréal’s official Restaurant Week, a celebration of food and drink with special prices to match. Until November 8, food lovers can enjoy table d’hôte menus at reduced prices ($21, $31 or $41), culinary tours, wine tastings, chocolate sampling, special events and more at 150 restaurants and other locations throughout the city. See our Tourisme Montréal Guide to the 2015 Edition of MTL à TABLE for details and feast at brilliant brunch eateries, family-friendly restaurants, group-friendly locales, bring-your-own-wine favourites and much more, plus try out local cheeses or take a gourmet excursion. Not only that but month-long event Happy November adds to the festivities, including La Grande Dégustation de Montréal, November 6 and 7, showcasing 200 wine producers, distillers and brewers and their fabulous wares at Place Bonaventure. And if you’re vegan or simply vegan-curious, check out the 2nd-annual Montréal Vegan… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montréal October 30 to November 5

Clocks turn back but Montréal faces forward this week with innovate and affordable gourmet cuisine at MTL à Table Restaurant Week, all manner of Halloween celebrations, mind-expanding new dance, theatre, film and art, and live music that shakes up the status quo. Restaurant Week specialities Food, glorious food, rules the city this week as MTL à Table, Montréal’s official Restaurant Week, celebrates the pleasures of a good meal, a perfect snack and the best tipple to pair with it. Until November 8, food lovers can find table d’hôte reduced prices ($21, $31 or $41), culinary tours, wine tastings, chocolate sampling, special events and more at 150 restaurants and other locations throughout the city. See our Tourisme Montréal Guide to the 2015 Edition of MTL à Table for details and get ready to feast at brilliant brunch eateries, family-friendly restaurants, group-friendly locales, bring-your-own-wine favourites and much more, plus try out local cheeses or take a gourmet excursion. Alternatively, if you’d like to get in the kitchen yourself, choose the Montréal cooking class that suits your tastes. Find autumn delicacies at local farms and wineries and take a delicious piece of Montréal home with you in a jar with these locally-made treats…. / Read More →

10 (more) wonderful ways to explore Montréal

A second (or third or fourth) visit to Montréal is a time for really getting to know the city and its people – but where to start digging deeper? We’ve compiled a top-ten list that’s all about going beyond the main attractions – check our 10 Montréal “musts” for first-time visitors first so you don’t miss any of those! See a Show at Place des Arts Live music, theatre, dance and more is all under the roof of Place des Arts, the city’s biggest theatre complex, right downtown in the Quartier des spectacles. Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Orchestre Métropolitain play classical favourites and new music in the new Maison Symphonique, Opéra de Montréal stages lush opera productions, Danse Danse brings international dance stars to the Montreal stage, and rock stars and Broadway shows make appearances at PdA throughout the year. Shop the Plateau Find speciality stores and Canadian and Quebecois designers’ boutiques as well as bookstores, furniture and more on the streets of the Plateau neighbourhood, especially on Saint-Denis Street and Saint-Laurent Boulevard north of Sherbrooke, Mont-Royal Avenue in the several blocks east and west of the Mont-Royal Metro station, and along Laurier Avenue west of Saint-Laurent. and if… / Read More →