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A horn o’ plenty of things to do on U.S. Thanksgiving

If your name is Cobbler, Popcorn, Cheese or Abe, the last four years of the Obama administration were good ones, because those were the names of the Thanksgiving turkeys that – per White House tradition – the president pardoned in his final term. But you don’t have to be a lucky turkey to enjoy U.S. Thanksgiving, at least not in Montréal, and the following represents just a small sampling of the bounty that awaits those who visit during the holiday. American Thanksgiving is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November, which this year falls on November 24, and marks the (un)official puck drop on the holiday season. Traditionally an expression of gratitude for a healthy harvest, it’s only fitting that we begin with one of the things that Montrealers themselves are most grateful for: the city’s incredible crop of topnotch restaurants. Congrats to Agrikol in Montreal, ranked #6 on our list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016! Check out this year’s winners for Air Canada enRoute Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016 by clicking the link in our bio. . Félicitations à Agrikol à Montréal, qui se classe en 6ème place sur notre liste des Meilleurs nouveaux restos canadiens… / Read More →

MTLàTABLE sets the table in every Montréal neighbourhood

Everybody knows that Montréal neighbourhoods are singular destinations, each with their own personality. Explore them on foot or by bike and you’ll constantly find a new beat, fresh vibe and renewed creativity. Now that MTLàTABLE is happening, why not head to the four corners of the city to discover new attractions, new charm and—of course—new restaurants. To whet your appetite, hop on this guided tour! Downtown Montréal’s business and cultural centre is located due south of Mount Royal. It’s home to one of Canada’s busiest commercial arteries, Sainte-Catherine Street, so consider doing some shop-cercising before dinner. Your culinary journey begins at Pullman, the equally beautiful and scrumptious wine bar, then it takes you toward the skyscrapers to sample the fine fare at Decca 77 or the Italian cuisine at Fiorellino Snack Bar – Ristorante. Your other option is to aim high with the chic brasserie-style menu at Enfants Terribles (Au Sommet Place Ville Marie). To see all participating restaurants in the downtown area, click here. Mount royal, Outremont and Westmount Welcome to the posh end of town, where the grass really is greener. Feast your eyes on spectacular Victorian homes, verdant alleyways, manicured gardens and ubiquitous good taste. Nothing’s too… / Read More →

See art among the skyscrapers in Montréal

A walking tour is probably the best way to get the sense of any city. But when you follow one of the many cool itineraries suggested by the folks at Art Public Montréal, you’ll get the best sense you can of Montréal’s artsy core. This is a city where culture shines year-round and in every detail, down to the amazing public art you can visit for free! So grab a map, your walking shoes and your camera, and explore this crop of art works among the skyscrapers of downtown Montréal. Monument à Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1953), created by Émile Brunet Did you know Brunet also designed the Canadian pavilion for the Exposition universelle in Paris in 1937? His portrait of the former prime minister that stands in Dominion Square represents Laurier’s successful union of western and eastern Canada, thanks to the symbolic use of the maple leaf. Note the bed of flowers, too, at Laurier’s feet: French lilies, Scottish thistles, English roses and Irish clovers mix to represent Canada’s four founding nations. Autoportrait (2012), created by Nicolas Baier Baier is a young and active artist whose works you can see at the nearby Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, as well… / Read More →

A selection of our favourite Montréal pizzerias

It seems like Montréal has been developing a love affair with all things pizza in the last couple of years. Parlour after parlour keep opening up and thriving. Whether you prefer Neapolitan, Roman, New York, Montréal or a very unique style to your pizza, below are some of our favourites organized by neighbourhood. DOWNTOWN Fiorellino Fiorellino offers great Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in a wood burning oven. Café Parvis A unique decor, a hip and unpretentious ambiance, great coffee and delicious pizze, including a breakfast one for weekend brunch. La brigade Neapolitan style pizza with a twist in the heart of downtown Montréal where you customize your pie from a variety of toppings available. Enoteca Mozza Pizzeria If you find yourself craving a pizza while walking around downtown Montréal, this dynamic spot is just what you’re looking for.   LITTLE ITALY Bottega Pizzeria Bottega is a Little Italy favourite and serves great pasta dishes, gelato and of course, lovely, Napoletana-style pizza made in their famous, red-tiled, wood burning oven. Pizzeria Gema Try the classic 1889, the bitter and tangy Menina (my favourite) or go for the ever-surprising pizza of the month inspired by great culinary talents such a as local chefs… / Read More →

World’s largest Barbie museum opens in Montréal

One of the best-loved dolls of all time now has her own museum at Les Cours Mont-Royal in downtown Montréal: Barbie Expo is the largest permanent exhibition of Barbie dolls in the world, and features over 1,000 Barbies, including Hollywood stars, unique one-of-a-kind Barbie dolls and glamourous outfits created by famous fashion designers. Admission is free to the 5,000-square-feet Barbie Expo, which features Barbie dolls dressed by such world-renowned designers as Christian Dior, Versace, Givenchy, Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta and Herve Leger. Legendary show business designer Bob Mackie has also dressed 28 Barbie dolls on display at Barbie Expo. “Since the first model released in 1959, Barbie has always kept up with the trends and her never-ending wardrobe is full of every style from classic silhouettes to quick come-and-go fads,” says Valerie Law, Vice-President of Marketing for Soltron Group, which owns both Les Cours Mont Royal and Barbie Expo. “If you look back at Barbie throughout the years, you will be able to see decades of the biggest trends styled in miniature proportions.” There are also entertainment industry Barbies of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Farrah Fawcett, and… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Lesley Chesterman

Montréal is famous for its great restaurants, and Montrealer Lesley Chesterman is renowned as one of the city’s premiere fine-dining critics and food columnists. The widely-respected Montréal Gazette food critic and author – whom you can also listen to on CHOM 97.7 FM and on the ICI Radio-Canada radio program Médium Large – is fearless and sometimes controversial, but always honest. “I was with a big New York restaurant critic last week and he thinks the restaurant scene in Montréal is the best in North America, including San Francisco,” says Chesterman. In addition to her own reviews in The Gazette, Chesterman recommends reading Eater.com’s Montréal page. “I agree with about 36 reviews on their Eater 38 for Montreal – that list is very strong,” says Chesterman. “We’re the only Canadian city to have an Eater’s page – they gave up on Vancouver and Toronto. Montréal is really that good. Toronto and Vancouver get all competitive with us, but a lot of the chefs still look to us to set a trend. You are really looking at cuisine here that is based on Quebecers. There was a time when we looked to the French, but the Quiet Revolution in dining –… / Read More →

Make your Montréal holiday stay happy – and affordable!

The holidays are about getting together with family and friends, sure. But sometimes sleeping on a lumpy hide-a-bed or a futon in a friend’s basement can put a kink in your holiday spirit – and your back. So if you’re not the couch-surfing type but you need to watch your budget, here are some affordable Sweet Deal offers (rooms under $150 and 50% off the second night) that will make your holiday visit to Montréal a little more merry. The tasteful and warmly appointed Hôtel Manoir Sherbrooke has everything going for it including the all-important, as they say, location, location, location. Situated on Sherbrooke Street a short walk to the popular restos, bars and shopping of major entertainment arteries St. Laurent Blvd. to the west and St. Denis Street to the east, the Manoir is also only a few blocks north of downtown and close to the Quartier des Spectacles. The classic, converted Victorian home comes with all the modern amenities and a complimentary continental breakfast is offered. If you want to live life like a Montrealer in one of its quintessentially Montréal neighbourhoods, the Plateau Mont-Royal, look no further than the Auberge de la Fontaine. Situated directly across the… / Read More →

Your New Year’s Eve guide to getting a glow on in Montréal

New Year’s Eve in Montréal is both the joyful pinnacle of a year of citywide festive celebrations, and the auspicious beginning of yet another round of merrymaking (and honestly, especially on December 31, who’s going to turn down another round?). Let the following be your guide to lighting up your New Year’s Eve night in the city where fun is an ever-present friend. The Merry Montreal-organized outdoor New Year’s Party in Old Montréal’s Place Jacques-Cartier and the quays of the Old Port, now in its third year, will once again be by far and away the largest gathering of New Year’s revelers in the city. Last year more than 50,000 celebrants turned up for the free concerts, midnight countdown and massive fireworks display, as well as the almost all-night DJ dance party afterward (until 2 am). This year top-tier Québec performers – namely Coeur de Pirate, Dumas, Bernard Adamus and Yann Perreau – will entertain all in attendance. The free concert and party gets going at 7 pm. Speaking of Merry Montréal, Old Montréal’s classy and sassy Hôtel St. Paul is offering guests a special Merry Montréal package perfect for ringing in the New Year: two nights stay in one of… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: World-class speed skaters Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais

In the case of world-class speed skaters Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais, it’s all about heart. It’s what propelled the young Montréalers individually to several Olympic medals (Hamelin has three golds and a silver, and St-Gelais has two silvers) as well as numerous national and international championship titles between them. It’s what caused Canadians to fall in love with them during their incredible medal run at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. And the fact that by that time they had fallen in love with each other didn’t hurt either. We caught up with the winning and winsome couple in advance of the ISU World Cup Short Track in Montréal, the first World Cup speed skating competition of the 2015/16 season, which will be held at the Maurice-Richard Arena in the Olympic Park from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. The elite facility houses one of Canada’s two National Training Centres for high performance short track speed skating, and it’s home base for Hamelin and St-Gelais. First of all, how exciting is it that the ISU World Cup Short Track is in Montréal? Charles: “When we have a World Cup in Montréal it’s always fun because that’s where we live, and… / Read More →

Seeing the world onscreen at the Montréal World Film Festival

The world is within reach – well, the world of cinema, at any rate! – with the arrival of the Montréal World Film Festival, on in downtown Montreal from August 27 to September 7. It’s got hundreds of films on view this year, with, as per usual, treats coming from the four corners of the globe, from Lithuania to Uruguay. Here are five flicks in the running for the World Competition – you won’t want to miss a minute. 2 NIGHTS TILL MORNING Directed by Mikko Kuparinen, 84 minutes This Finnish-Lithuanian production is a moody romance about a one-night stand between two strangers who speak different languages. Things take an unexpected turn when a volcano ash cloud grounds all outgoing flights. It stars Montréal actor Marie-Josée Croze across Finnish heartthrob Mikko Nousiainen. CHUCKS Directed by Sabine Hiebler and Gerhard Ertl, 93 mins Straight from Austria, this steamy, heady romance between a troublemaking cutie with long fuchsia hair and her older probation officer promises as much visual beauty as dramatic tension. The aesthetic recalls Tom Tykwer with the finesse of Wong Kar Wai, but despite the stunning settings, things aren’t all rosy in love land. THE MIDNIGHT ORCHESTRA Directed by Jérôme… / Read More →