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Where to find Wi-Fi when travelling in Montréal

Travel is fun. Roaming fees, not so much. Fortunately, Montréal is a destination with plenty of Wi-Fi options. This means that in various corners of the city, visitors can access wireless networks — most of them free — to send an email, post a picture or even capture that darn elusive Pokémon. Here are some of our favourite Wi-Fi options in Montréal. Old Montréal. Launched last year as part of the Montréal’s Smart and Digital City Plan, the majority of Old Montréal is now a Wi-Fi zone. Simply select MtlWifi on your wireless device and start surfing — no hoops to jump through! While you’re wandering through Old Montréal, use the network to view the Cité Mémoire exposition, the largest outdoor video-projection installation in the world. The Montréal-Trudeau International Airport. After your flight lands in Montréal, you might have a few moments of wait time for your luggage. Use the airport’s free Wi-Fi to post an official “I’m in Montréal” selfie! (Just don’t forget to tag it #MTLmoments.) The Entertainment District. The Quartier des spectacles (as it’s formally known en français) is the cultural heart of Montréal. Throughout the year, the district is home to massive outdoor live performances during such events as the Montréal… / Read More →

Drift the thrift: Budget-savvy Montréal

For those who’ve got their eye on a Montréal getaway, we couldn’t have better news: in this city, you can live large on very little. Get the most out of la belle ville—and your dollar—with these hot tips on cool deals. Where to stay With so many affordable hotel options available, you can tailor your accommodations to fit your exact needs. Yearning for a poutine fix over a long weekend? Check out The Sweet Deal package, where participating hotels offer the third night’s stay at 50% and you’re hooked up with a booklet full of exclusive citywide deals. For those on a family vacation, check out The Family Deal which offers savings specific to children under 12 (and don’t miss checking the attractions they can get into for free). If you’re traveling in a big group, try the apartment stay experience of Like a Hotel, where you can live like locals and pull a divide-and-conquer on the cost. Flown in and renting a car? Take a look at deals to be found at hotels near the airport; downtown is a mere 20-minute drive away. Student or solo travellers looking for a more social sojourn should try one of Montréal’s youth hostels or residences,… / Read More →

Montréal revs up: How to get your motor running on Grand Prix Weekend 2016

F1 fans, start your engines! The Canadian Grand Prix Weekend is nearly upon us, and from block parties, to live music and DJs, foodie happenings and cool urban art experiences, there is much in the way of off-track excitement to be had, so let us give you a hand with your planning. The F1 fun is family friendly at the annual three-day Crescent Street Grand Prix Festival, which runs all day from 11 am to 11 pm, June 9-11. Crescent Street – a centrally located restaurant and nightclub hub very popular with visitors to the city – will be closed off for live bands and DJs, F1 driver autograph sessions, racing simulators, race car displays and the Pit Stop Challenge (see how fast you can change a tire, pit crew style) at this free, outdoor celebration of all things fast. Just a few short blocks east is where the prestigious Formula Peel Event takes place, which closes off a block of downtown Peel Street from June 9-12. Last year, some 350,000 people took part in the festivities. Peel, renowned for its chic restaurants, clubs and high-end shops, provides a picture perfect setting for the displays of luxury cars, fashion shows,… / Read More →

Extraordinary places to get married in Montréal

Montréal is famously romantic, and it’s a go-to destination for couples getting engaged or getting married – especially thanks to the amazing exchange rate these days. But this city still has its secrets! For your Montréal marriage, think outside the box and get the local scoop on little-known, memory-making places that will make your special day the most extraordinary of all. Let’s Make History, Baby As one of Canada’s oldest cities, Montréal is neck deep in history. Its most famous neighbourhood is Old Montréal, replete with 18th century European charm – but how about taking it up a notch and tying the knot in a private chateau? The Pierre du Calvet private castle dates back to 1725, but today it’s a luxurious retreat complete with interior garden and gastronomic dining. You can not only hold your reception there, you can actually do the deed in the beautiful little chapel onsite! Other breathtaking spots include Château Ramezay and Château Dufresne, both historic private homes that can take you back in time in the most romantic way. An outstanding spot awaits discovery in the oldest chapel in the city, the Chapelle du Bonsecours (don’t miss the two paintings by famous artist Ozias… / Read More →

Cité Mémoire brings the past to life in Old Montréal

The storied history of Montréal comes to life every night in Cité Mémoire, the largest outdoor video-projection installation in the world. Cité Mémoire features some 20 tableaux composed of images, dialogue and music projected on walls, in alleys, on the ground and trees in historic Old Montréal, telling stories of famous as well as little-known Montrealers that spectators can also listen to by downloading a free mobile application. Six-years-in-the-making, the Cité Mémoire installation was created by three of Montréal’s most in-demand creative minds: internationally-acclaimed duo Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, who previously devised such large-scale productions as TORUK – The First Flight and Delirium for Cirque du Soleil; in collaboration with playwright Michel Marc Bouchard, famed for his plays Lilies and Tom at the Farm. The trio were inspired by the figures and events that have marked Montréal’s history. “We wanted to create something that had never been done before, something innovative,” says Pilon, noting over 800 people worked on this project, including 400 artists and craftspeople. “I must say choosing the themes and historical figures in our tableaux was very difficult. We began with over 200 stories.” “So we chose stories with themes and values central to Montréal’s identity,”… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 20 to 26

Outdoor life in Montréal heats up this week with the arrival of festivals and more activities – many of them free! – from multimedia projections on Old Montréal buildings to urban art by the river and live music and dance downtown. Sunny days, bright nights A new urban multimedia experience awaits visitors in Old Montréal and the Old Port: the 20 poetic and playful tableaux of Cité Mémoire are projected on the walls, in the alleys, on the ground and in the trees of the historic quarter, featuring images, dialogue and music that reveal some of the city’s most fascinating history. Also in the Old Port, the must-see Chromatic festival of urban art and music rocks under the high ceilings of Hangar 16, May 20-22, with free art exhibitions, interactive installations and live music during the day – the space transforms into a club at night. Under the big top nearby, Cirque du Soleil’s newest artistic and acrobatic LUZIA, inspired by the culture of Mexico, thrills to July 17. In Griffintown/Little Burgundy, one-of-a-kind creative business event C2 Montréal takes over the Arsenal gallery space May 24-26. Over in the Quartier des Spectacles, go on a guided walking tour of public… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal May 13 to 19

We’re already feeling the summer hype here in Montréal this week, with cutting-edge outdoor entertainment, farmers’ markets, walking tours and more fun under the sun, while our indoor venues light up with fabulous food and fashion, dynamic circus and drama, inspiring art and live music. Open-air entertainment The Quartier des Spectacles’ Jardins Gamelin officially opens for the season, offering a park-like atmosphere, delicious food (some from gourmet food trucks) and free entertainment in the heart of downtown near Berri-UQAM metro station. Take a picturesque guided walking tour of the Quartier des Spectacles – see public art, learn some of the city’s history, and stroll by and take a swing on interactive musical art installation 21 Swings, located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts. Walk around the city’s public markets, full of colourful fruits and veg, local meats and cheeses, full meals and delicious desserts. One step away from being outdoors, the must-see Chromatic festival of urban art and music kicks off on May 19 under the high ceilings of Hangar 16 in the Old Port, with art exhibitions, interactive installations and Afrobeat electro music by Pierre Kwenders. And under the big top nearby, see Cirque du Soleil’s newest… / Read More →

WANT Les Essentiels: a Montréal success story

With a world-renowned luxury accessories brand and store locations on the globe’s chicest streets under their belt, twins Byron and Dexter Peart of WANT Les Essentiels are figureheads of the Montréal design world. We sat down with them in their beautiful Sherbrooke Street store, the WANT Apothecary (now celebrating 5 years!), on the cusp of their appearance at C2 Montréal, where they’ll be speaking about the importance of longevity, inventiveness and impeccable quality. How long have you been Montrealers? Byron: 21 years, since 1995. We grew up in Ottawa, went to University of Western Ontario in London, and afterwards moved here to build a life and career in fashion and business. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? Dexter: The coolest thing by far is we opened our first WANT Les Essentiels store in New York. That was in October last year, but it feels like it’s still brand new! It’s in a residential neighbourhood in the West Village, so not unlike what we’ve done here in Montréal, having WANT Apothecary in Westmount. It’s a really local environment, there are cafes and restaurants and lots of residential homes around, so we’ve been able to tell our story… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 29 to May 5

Montréal puts some spring in everyone’s step this week with Cirque du Soleil’s newest show in the Old Port, food trucks out and about, spring fashions for sale, and nighttime entertainment from ballet and contemporary dance to film and theatre, classical music, indie rock and metal. Walk and roam See the springtime sights at a slower pace by taking a walk: take the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal past museums, restaurants and shops; head downtown to try your hand at making music on art installation 21 Swings, located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts; or take the metro east to the Space for Life to walk around the blooming Botanical Garden or the Biodôme, currently celebrating Bird Fest. Indoors, there’s plenty of ground to cover at the Montréal Science Centre and Pointe-à-Callière archaeology museum. See Minor League Soccer team the Montréal Impact on the pitch with the Colorado Rapids at Saputo Stadium on April 30. And find more places to go in our free things to do in Montréal guide, whether this is your first time here or your tenth. Spring shopping Find fashion, beauty and health products, food items, travel ideas and more at over 300 exhibitors… / Read More →

Be a European explorer: walks in Old Montréal

One of the best ways to experience the city’s diverse nature is on foot, and what better place to start than with Old Montréal, where history meets cutting-edge ideas and European style shares each block with Montréal flare. Take this walk in a morning, afternoon or evening to discover everything from centuries-old architecture to remarkable restaurants. Start your Old Montréal walk with some local history, beginning at the corner of Notre Dame Street East and Saint Claude with City Hall built in the mid-1870s and where French President Général de Gaulle declared “Vive le Québec libre!” in 1967. Across the street, find the Chateau Ramezay historical site and, a couple of blocks east, the Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site for a peek at 19th century Montréal. From there, walk past the Place De La Dauversière gardens to admire the view from the Nelson monument before walking down Place Jacques-Cartier, a wide boulevard filled with restaurants, shops, live music and street artists. Take Saint Paul Street East to go to Marché Bonsecours, Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, the Museum of Costumes and Textiles and the Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum. Where to eat: Savour the gourmet Québécois creations at Le Club Chasse et Pêche on… / Read More →