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Summer in the Gay Village: Patios to discover

Montreal is famed for its hundreds of summertime patios where locals and visitors alike while away leisurely hours sipping hot cappuccinos or cold cocktails while people-watching. One of the city’s finest strips is the lively one-kilometre pedestrian mall on Sainte-Catherine Street in the Gay Village, stretching east from Place Émilie-Gamelin near Berri metro station to Papineau Street. Here, the city’s iconic “Boules Rose” cover the entire pedestrian mall, including the patios outside the many bars, cafés and restaurants. Here are some great patios to discover in the Gay Village: After its spectacular 2015 debut, Les Jardins Gamelin returns to Place Émilie-Gamelin at the western end of the Village, from May 12 to October 2. Les Jardins Gamelin features a hosting bar and restaurant services with a large patio from Thursdays through Sundays, and is covered by a spectacular suspended sculpture that forms a luminous canopy. In 2016, Les Jardins Gamelin again hosts a variety of cultural programming, including renowned DJs.  The site is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Free admission and free Wi-Fi. The terrace at Cabaret Mado is one of the busiest bars in the Village and a great place to spot celebrities and drag queens. Named for Montréal… / Read More →

Family-friendly hotels in Montréal

Summer is just around the corner, school will soon be out and you and your brood need a vacation. With its wall-to-wall festivals, countless attractions, parks, sports, and general good times going on, Montréal makes the perfect family getaway. To help you figure out where you and your crew can camp out—whether you’re on a budget or will be splurging—we’ve put together a list of family-friendly hotels in the city. Old Montréal History, architecture and culture are just some of what Montréal’s old city has going for it. What about a zip line, street performers, the Montréal Science Centre, an IMAX theatre, rappelling, remote-controlled sailboats, cruises… hey, there’s not enough room to write it all in! But most important, here’s where you can stay while getting in on the action: Le Place d’Armes Hôtel & Suites: Let everyone enjoy a little ooh-la-la in the luxury establishment. Get 50% off a second room when you book a room or suite and enjoy breakfast with room rate. Other perks include a welcome gift for kids, in-room movies and popcorn, tuck-in service with milk and cookies, free extra cot or crib, mini-fridges in rooms, WiFi, on site restaurant and babysitting services. Liking it,… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: LP Maurice

Job: Entrepreneur. CEO & Co-founder of Busbud, an app to help travellers book intercity bus tickets worldwide. Favourite pastime:  Travel, music and photography. Ideally all three together! How long have you been a Montrealer?  Since birth! Then I spent most of my 20s outside of Montreal studying and working in Boston, San Francisco, New York, Paris, London and Beijing. That said, I’m looking forward to spending all of my 30s based in Montreal! What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? I became an uncle when my brother had his first boy earlier this year! Other than that, I went hiking on Kauai island in Hawaii, which blew my mind, and had an awesome roadtrip week in the canyon lands between Nevada and Arizona. I also had the chance to visit two local gems this summer in Quebec: Bic park near Rimouski and the Saguenay/Lac-St-Jean region. I’ve travelled around the world and I’m always stunned by Quebec’s world-class natural beauty, with so much to explore right in our backyard. What’s the next big thing you’re planning? Right now I’m planning a series of business trips to San Francisco & Silicon Valley in January, New York in February, and… / Read More →

Experience Montréal in the lap of luxury

Looking for pampering? You’re in the right place. Montréal gets a ton of high-fallutin’ international guests every year, whether it’s Jazz Fest musicians, pop superstars, Formula One racers or star hockey players. Hell, even visiting comedians need paraffin mani-pedis! The result? Our service industry is poised to satisfy your every need and make your trip to La Belle Ville the most memorable it can be. Here’s your cheat sheet to the best things in life. SLEEP WELL High-end stays abound in Montréal, for all the reasons mentioned above. From Madonna to Aretha Franklin to Lady Gaga, we’ve hosted all the divas! Exacting guests flock to the gorgeously redesigned Ritz-Carlton Montréal, where you can leave your classically appointed suite and be at La Maison Ogilvy in five minutes flat.
 Hôtel Le St. James is probably the city’s most luxurious stay, nestled in a historic Old Montréal building appointed with priceless antiques. Loews Hôtel Vogue, Hôtel Le Crystal and InterContinental Montréal are perfect downtown pied-à-terres, with incredibly comfortable rooms and great bars and restaurants. To be within seconds of the Old Port, you’ll want to stay at either the sleekly contemporary Hotel Gault, Hotel Nelligan (the rooftop terrasse bar is a must),… / Read More →

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 →

Montréal’s Best Irish Pubs

The Irish pubs of Montréal are among the very best places to get an authentic taste of the city’s nightlife while also satisfying your thirst. Though renowned for our wealth of high-end, fancy cocktails spots, if you’re looking for a simple, friendly place to get a pint of beer and some great pub food, Montréal has you covered. You may be surprised to learn the extent of Montréal’s connection to Ireland. When the Great Irish Famine hit the Emerald Isle, large numbers of Irish immigrants made their way to the new world, many of whom settled in Montréal. It’s perhaps not all that surprising that they were received well by the French Canadians – both groups were Catholic and both groups (this part is largely anecdotal) enjoy a good drink, song and a party. For proof, look no further than Montréal’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade, one of the largest in the world (and a heck of a good time). In that spirit, let this be your guide to some of the city’s best Irish pubs….. McKibbins Irish Pub – 1426 Bishop Street and  3515 Saint- Laurent Boulevard A very authentic slice of Ireland, of their four locations, the original… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 12 to 18

Montréal pairs Valentine’s sparkle with glittering winter entertainment this week – the city’s top restaurants and hotels ready for romance, and the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter festival kicks off, along with inspiring international ballet, contemporary dance, art, theatre, film and live music. City lights Winter, spring, summer or fall, we’re counting the ways Montréal warms our hearts – and this week’s kickoff of massive winter festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE has us all fired up. Opening Thursday, February 18, the family-friendly festival’s free outdoor site entertains with multimedia shows, ice slides, a Ferris wheel, fabulous food and more, while indoors see dozens of musicians and performers, including Swiss Maestro Charles Dutoit and Argentine pianist Martha Argerich with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra at Place des Arts February 18 and 20. Day or night, skate next to the Saint-Lawrence River at the Bonsecours Basin ice skating rink in the Old Port and at the Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Park Esplanade. Also near the Olympic Park, the wonders of the natural world await at the Space For Life, home to the Biodôme, Botanical Garden and Planetarium – the Botanical Garden’s Butterflies Go Free exhibit opens February 18, this year butterflies share the spotlight… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 5 to 11

Montréal takes the chill off February this week with food festivals that celebrate poutine, chocolate and full-course meals, alongside winter festivals Fêtes des neiges and Igloofest and a glittering array of opera, art, dance, theatre, film and live music. Winter fun Whatever the weather, head to scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau for the final weekend of family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, a massive activity park featuring tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, a toddler play zone, hot beverages, delicious snacks and lively entertainment on Saturday and Sunday. The winter sports action continues at the Bonsecours Basin ice skating rink in the Old Port and at the Village MAMMOUTH at Olympic Park (also home to the Biodôme, Botanical Garden and Planetarium). Nighttime stays bright as massive outdoor party Igloofest – also in its final weekend – gets people dancing in their parkas at the Old Port – this Friday dance to Michael Mayer, Tale of Us and more artists, while Saturday brings Brodinski, Swindle, Laura Scavo and more to the festival’s two stages. And the Montréal Canadiens try to get back on top of their NHL hockey game in three home rounds at the Bell Centre this week, facing the Oilers on Saturday, Hurricanes… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 15 to 21

Montréal makes the most of every snowfall with the incredible winter activities of Fêtes des Neiges, outdoor dance party Igloofest, restaurant event Happening Gourmand, international dance, theatre and film, and all kinds of live music. Winter entertainment Montréal is well known for brightening up winter and helping you keep your most fun New Year’s resolutions – this week get happy in the snow at Fêtes des Neiges, a family-friendly weekend of activities, from giant ice slides to zip lines, and entertainment at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Keep your parka on for the nighttime entertainment of massive outdoor dance party Igloofest, now in its 10th year – this Friday go for Paul Kalkbrenner, Kim Ann Foxman, Alicia Hush and more, while on Saturday it’s Dave Clarke, Misstress Barbara, Debbie Døe and more, along with eye-popping visuals, at the Jacques Cartier Pier in the Old Port. Outdoors at Place des Festivals, play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie until January 31. Go ice skating and sliding at Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade, skate to music at the Old Port’s Bonsecours Basin rink, and cheer as the Montréal Canadiens play the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on January 19…. / Read More →