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MONTRÉAL CiRQUE FESTIVAL features circus shows in all shapes and sizes – some for families, some for late-night thrill seekers – but no matter what, expect to be amazed and delighted by international and local performers doing what they do best in a city known to push the limits of circus. Event The 7th edition of MONTRÉAL CiRQUE FESTIVAL, July 7–17, 2016 Official Social Media @mtlccirque #mccirque Location Various locations, including TOHU, one of the world’s largest circus arts centres, and Place Émilie-Gamelin and St-Denis Street in the Quartier des Spectacles downtown, plus neighbourhood shows city-wide. How to Get There For downtown outdoor venues, take the metro to Berri-UQAM, or Place d’Armes for Old Montréal. For TOHU, located at 2345 Jarry East (above Highway 40 east of Papineau Avenue), take the metro’s blue line to Iberville station and bus 94 north or the metro’s orange line to Jarry station and bus 193 east. If driving, pay parking is available on site. What to Bring A sense of humour to go with your sense of adventure. What not to Bring A fear of clowns. What to Wear Sunglasses, sunscreen and silly hats for daytime outdoor shows. Casual chic for indoor shows… / Read More →

The rock ‘em sock ‘em world of the Montréal Roller Derby league

Hundreds of roller derby fans scream and cheer at the exciting and colourful action-packed games of the five teams that make up the women’s Montréal Roller Derby league (MTLRD) which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this season. The derby names of the league’s athletes pretty much tell the tale, names like Gun Moll Mindy, Trash N’ Smash, Rock E. Road, Chlomydia, Boobi Puncher and Criss D. Crowbar. “We are the first Canadian league to join the international Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) and our league has become so popular over the past decade that we now draw an average of 500 to 600 fans to each of our home games,” says Montréal Roller Derby media spokesperson Caroline Poudrier whose derby name is Laisse Tomber les Filles. Three home teams make up the MTLRD – The Contrabanditas (also known as “The Ditas”), Les Filles du Roi and La Racaille (or “The Scum” in English). The league also has two travel teams that represent Montréal on the international level: New Skids on the Block (MTLRD’s all-star A travel team) and Les Sexpos (their B travel team), whose name is a pun on the old Montréal Expos baseball team. “The league is very… / Read More →

Your 2016 Montréal Pride Survival Guide

Over half-a-million revellers are expected to attend Montréal Pride, the largest LGBTQ gathering in the Francophone world, from August 8 to 14. Participants will include Justin Trudeau, who will become the first-ever Canadian Prime Minister to march in a Pride parade in Montréal. Over 125 events will be held during the week-long festival, including Montréal Pride’s three flagship events: Community Day on August 13, along Sainte-Catherine Street East in the Village; the ever-popular Pride Parade on August 14 at 1 pm; and the iconic Mega T-Dance at Place Émilie-Gamelin on August 14 beginning at 1 pm. Here’s a guide to making the most of Pride in Montréal: Remember why we are here Pride is about the community coming together, celebrating the social and legal advances that have been made and galvanizing our commitment to continue the fight for LGBT human rights. The first-ever Pride march was held in New York in 1970 to commemorate the first anniversary of the historic Stonewall Riots of 1969. This year, Pride parades are also honouring the victims of the mass-shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Do not forget Montréal Pride’s annual powerful Moment of Silence during this year’s parade will begin at 2:30 pm to honour LGBTQ pioneers and those… / Read More →

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… / 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 →