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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 →

Free things to do this December in Montréal

We anticipate December’s holiday shopping, gift giving and celebratory meals and parties long before the first snow falls, yet Montréal also offers a flip side that doesn’t cost a thing and can often be just as glamorous. Read on for free and easy December fun! Merry making Old Montréal’s December-long winter extravaganza, Merry Montréal, adds shine to the Old World edifices and glitter to the cobblestones – drink free hot chocolate and coffee, watch Christmas-themed films like Home Alone and Elf on an outdoor screen, warm up around fires, bring kids to see Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, call the North Pole, broadcast holiday wishes on “Wish-a-Phones,” and top it all off at the end of the month with the Merry Montréal New Year’s Ball. Outdoor illumination Become a kid again – or just join the kids at play already – at this year’s edition of Luminothérapie, an interactive-art playground filled with 30 seesaws emitting sound and light at Place des Festivals, beginning December 10. Also watch for state-of-the-art video projections on nearby Théâtre Maisonneuve and UQAM’s President–Kennedy building as well as the Grande Bibliothèque, UQAM bell tower and five more looming facades. Winter in the parks… / Read More →

Tenth hour? 12 shops for last-minute holiday gifts in Montréal!

We know it: You had the best of intentions. You started thinking about it in November! But now you’re down to the wire, the holidays are days away, and you haven’t bought gifts for any of the dozen people on your list. Fear not: you’re in a shopping mecca! Montréal has got it all, the perfect thing for everyone from your second cousin to the lady who walks your dog. Here are 12 stores for the 12 days of Christmas, and the three seconds you have left to buy gifts. For toys and board games and more Valet d’coeur is a jam-packed mainstay on St-Denis that brims with hundreds of board games (in both English and French), puzzles, Dungeons and Dragons dice, miniature lead figurines and gaming cards. For crafts, art supplies and toys Brault & Bouthillier is known by schools, which it supplies, but this giant store on Beaumont is a secret source of art supplies, craft supplies, stuffed toys, balls, books, stickers, puppets, costumes… there isn’t much they don’t have. For cool knickknacks and home beautification One of the coolest things about the Quebec home wares chain Zone Maison is how it constantly reinvents itself to keep up… / Read More →

5 must-try burgers in Montréal

Montréal usually celebrates the humble burger during Le Burger Week in September, when over 40 restaurants offer specialty burgers at awesome prices. Unfortunately for burger lovers, a lot of these creations are retired after the event, never seeing the light of day again. But fear not! Here is a list of some must-try burgers that are available in the city all year long. Uniburger – Multiple locations Uniburger is Montréal’s answer to the popular American fast food chain, In-N-Out Burger. We suggest getting the “Uniburger,” which is topped with lettuce, tomatoes and signature Uniburger sauce. Pick from a variety of free toppings to your liking. The AAA grade Canadian beef is never frozen, and the fries are cut fresh daily. Don’t forget to order a classic chocolate shake with your meal—they use local Glacier Bilboquet ice cream! Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce – 5732 Sherbrooke Street West A play on the name of the borough where it’s located (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce), Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce (or NBG as it’s referred to by locals) is a popular neighbourhood burger joint that grinds its own meat, offering deliciously pink burgers. Start by choosing a 3 or 6 oz. patty and then pick from a list of 19 “free will toppings” or 12 “creation toppings” like pickled… / Read More →

Don’t whine, have wine! 10 places to drink up in Montréal

Wine is in Montréal’s blood, partly because it’s a bacchanalian sort of party town, partly because of its French heritage. But restaurants and wine bars go way beyond the limits of the Old Country today, with private-import wine lists from around the globe that inspire both oenophiles and weekend tipplers to open their minds and palettes. Here are some awesome spots to clink glasses. Philémon Bar The wine list at this stylish hangout may be short, but it hits all the marks and offers 16 choices by glass, plus it pairs perfectly with the tasty dishes so beloved by the hungry crowd of Old Montréal partyers. Try the beef tartare with smoked jalapeno sauce with a 2013 Pot d’vache Gamay from the Loire Valley. Cul-Sec Named after the French expression for “down the hatch,” this small wine hub in Little Italy invites people to take their organic, natural and artisanal wines to go (with a meal), or to sit down for a glass and a deceptively simple plateful of deliciousness, ranging from satisfying salads to decadent sandwiches (the boneless BBQ rib bun is not to be missed). Le Comptoir Nestled in a narrow storefront on the Plateau, this “comptoir à… / 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: Actress Macha Limonchik

Popular Québec actress Macha Limonchik recently won a Gemini Award for her role in the Web series FÉMININ/FÉMININ, in which she played the role of Céline, a woman in her forties who has to face single life. Macha played key roles in ground-breaking Québec television series such as La vie, la vie and Tout sur moi, and is now a role model for young actresses. What made you decide to participate in the FÉMININ/FÉMININ project? I agreed to take part in the FÉMININ/FÉMININ series because I wanted to work with director Chloé Robichaud. I already knew her work and I was drawn to the series’ subject matter because of its social importance. How is the role of Céline different from your other roles? This was my first lesbian role. I felt a lot of pressure to play it credibly, to play the role of Céline well. I wanted to be true to the character and the universe created in the series. Who have been some of your female models in your career? I was very struck and inspired by the actors with whom I shared the stage for Michel Tremblay’s Albertine en cinq temps – Élise Guilbault, Sophie Clement, Andrée… / Read More →