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TOYS EXHIBIT KICKS OFF CHRISTMAS AT THE MCCORD MUSEUM

It’s almost that time of year and, as always, toys are at the top of many Christmas lists. TOYS 2, the exhibit at Montreal’s McCord Museum from November 18 to March 11, is a delight for both the young and young-at-heart. I followed the path of tiny cat paws painted on the museum floor and they led me to this charming new show…

FREE THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: NOVEMBER

Falling a close second behind February as everyone’s least-favourite month (though Montreal has cleverly thrown a wrench in that logic by holding our Nuit Blanche festivities in February), November might not seem the most fabulous time in this northern town – but one look beyond the superficial and it’s abundantly clear that November is awesome, especially if you’re a fan of free stuff, the arts and leisurely times outside…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: OCTOBER 28 TO NOVEMBER 3

At the centre of the week ahead is Montreal’s favourite holiday: Halloween! Some have futilely argued with me that Halloween isn’t actually a holiday; they are wrong. Just like any other holiday worth its salt, Halloween has traditional costumes (witches, the living dead, sexy kitties), special dishes (candy), and time-honoured rituals (treat or treating, dance parties, making out with masked strangers). And this week, Halloween is celebrated from Friday night to Monday night! And in between, catch some live music, theatre, dance, a new movie and life-altering art…

ODYSSEO: A SPECTACULAR HORSE SHOW UNDER THE BIG TOP

You don’t have to be a horse lover to love Cavalia, but it helps. Never has there been a show that so unironically captures the special feelings that horses can inspire in those of us who are drawn to them. The first Cavalia was unlike any “horse show” ever created- it’s not a circus, though it’s presented under the world’s biggest big top, and it’s not a pageant, though the sets and costumes are marvelous, and it’s not a play, because there’s no storyline to speak of. And their second show, Odysseo, is more spectacular, more ineffable, just more, than the first…

HALLOWEEN IN MONTREAL: FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES

Montreal residents generally don’t need an excuse to get out and enjoy their city. But if ever there was one, it’s Halloween, which very comfortably slips the city – and its seasonally-appropriate Old World sensibilities – into an otherworldly embrace each and every October 31, with a colourful array of activities and events, tricks and treats…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (OCTOBER 7-13)

At some point in the last few years, I started calling Thanksgiving Day, coming up this Monday, Canadian Thanksgiving. I blame my American friends, many of whom don’t understand why we celebrate Thanksgiving in early October. The common ground, however, is food and Montreal’s got plenty of food! But in between the turkey and pumpkin pie and leftovers, try to stuff in a cultural activity or two: a film festival, family-friendly theatre, new art, new dance, live music and a big gay party are all something to be thankful for…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (SEPTEMBER 30 TO OCTOBER 6)

Summer is over but Montreal’s busy fall season is about to leave all that fun and sun in its wake. As the days grow shorter this week, the nights light up here: in bars and restaurants – and for outside dining too, in theatres and music venues, in art galleries and cinemas. The weekend starts with an arts and culture bang with Les Journées de la Culture, three days of free entertainment around town and around the whole province…

PET FRIENDLY MONTREAL: HOTELS, PARKS, SHOPS AND MORE

Some people travel in style in the lap of luxury, others like to trek across the world with only the clothes on their back. Some people like to travel with children, and others with a little furrier four-legged friend. For those who never like to leave their dog or cat at home, traveling in Montreal is easy! Not to mention downright luxurious…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (SEPTEMBER 22-29)

There’s officially too much to do this week in Montreal. That’s my professional opinion as a go-er and a do-er. Summer may have its multitude of festivals and picnic-in-the-park ways, but autumn packs a bounty of sights and sounds: over 400 bands and artists fill the city for Pop Montreal, jazz and classical musicians join in the music scene too (not to mention Kanye and Jay-Z), stages come alive with new theatre, dance and circus arts, and fashion, visual art and film bring in creative work from around the world…

FALL HARVEST TIME AT MONTREAL’S MARKETS

There was a time when autumn in Montreal was my favourite season – the crisp air and quickened pace, dappled sunlight on red and yellow leaves in Mont-Royal Park, everyone stylish in their new fall-season fashions. Idyllic really. Yet at some point in the past five years, I became a summer person, happiest in its heat, whether urban frenzy or country calm. High summer is also when I discovered that I really like vegetable farming (in small doses), though a visit to any of Montreal’s markets proves that both farming and farm-fresh bounties continue well into September and October…