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Things to do in Montréal: November 27 to December 3

With December officially here this week, there’s something seasonally appropriate and festive to do every day of the week: see Santa and sip hot chocolate, go to a hockey game, shop and shop some more, see a show or a film or a choir, and drink wine and eat well. Santa, hockey and merry making  The city’s biggest Santa Claus parade was last weekend, but if you missed it there’s still more Santa to see at the Plaza St-Hubert Santa Claus Parade on November 27 at 7 p.m. on St-Hubert Street between Bellechasse and Jean-Talon. Also find Santa at Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Stewart Museum, packed with handmade Santa figurines and free all month, while toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. Whether it snows this week or not, Merry Montréal makes Old Montréal feel like a winter wonderland – warm up around fires, drink hot chocolate, bring the kids to see Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, watch Christmas-themed films and more, starting December 3. And, of course, there’s plenty of hockey: The Canadiens play on home ice at the Bell Centre three times this week, taking on the Devils, the Blue Jackets… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 20 to 26

The snow has yet to fall, but Santa’s already coming to town for Montréal’s legendary Santa Claus Parade this week, along with new documentary films from around the world, gripping opera, theatre and dance, artisanal and craft fairs, and all kinds of live music from local indie-rock and jazz to electro-pop and Bach. Santa in the city Spend some family time with Santa and a whole lot of other people as the 65th Edition of the Santa Claus Parade official starts the holiday season in Montréal on Saturday, November 21. Starting at 11 a.m. on Sainte-Catherine Street, between Du Fort and Saint-Urbain, cheer on 20 spectacular floats and a host of singers, dancers, street performers, polar bears and, of course, Santa! There’s more Santa to see at Parc Jean-Drapeau too: drink hot chocolate and see all the handmade Santa figurines at the Stewart Museum or cheer on the hundreds of runners dressed as Santa Claus for the Santa Montreal 5 km race, starting at 10 a.m. on November 21. Toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at the Space for Life lights up the season in a different way… / Read More →

10 (more) wonderful ways to explore Montréal

A second (or third or fourth) visit to Montréal is a time for really getting to know the city and its people – but where to start digging deeper? We’ve compiled a top-ten list that’s all about going beyond the main attractions – check our 10 Montréal “musts” for first-time visitors first so you don’t miss any of those! See a Show at Place des Arts Live music, theatre, dance and more is all under the roof of Place des Arts, the city’s biggest theatre complex, right downtown in the Quartier des spectacles. Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Orchestre Métropolitain play classical favourites and new music in the new Maison Symphonique, Opéra de Montréal stages lush opera productions, Danse Danse brings international dance stars to the Montreal stage, and rock stars and Broadway shows make appearances at PdA throughout the year. Shop the Plateau Find speciality stores and Canadian and Quebecois designers’ boutiques as well as bookstores, furniture and more on the streets of the Plateau neighbourhood, especially on Saint-Denis Street and Saint-Laurent Boulevard north of Sherbrooke, Mont-Royal Avenue in the several blocks east and west of the Mont-Royal Metro station, and along Laurier Avenue west of Saint-Laurent. and if… / Read More →

The loudest must-see shows at Heavy Montréal

The heavyweights of metal, rock and punk descend on Montréal as Heavy Montréal shakes Parc Jean-Drapeau August 7-9. The 7th edition of the festival once known as Heavy MTL may be its weightiest yet, with three days of music from over 60 bands. Where the August 1 weekend’s massive Osheaga festival teems with brightly-hued youthful enthusiasm, Heavy Montréal spans five decades of music and prefers to dress in black – at the same time, it’s more approachable than ever. With headliners such as spectacularly entertaining Slipknot, iconic Iggy Pop, 90s metal-fusion populists Korn and Faith No More, post-hardcore Alexisonfire and Heavy Montréal headliner veterans Lamb of God mainstaging as some of the most obvious must-see shows over the three days of the festival, several others carve niches of their own in the program. Die-hard metal fans all have their favourites in a music scene replete with sub-genres. Revered French metal band Gojira rallies the darkening crowds as Swedish extreme metal maniacs Meshuggah prove their continued might. Influential doom metalists Neurosis blow minds, British black metal originators Venom reboot as Venom Inc., founder of Norwegian black metal band Immortal, Olve Eikemo, returns solo as Abbath, while devotees of black metal underground… / Read More →

Your 2015 Osheaga survival guide

With stages every few feet and programming so richly packed there are always two acts you want to see at the same time, Osheaga is a frenzy of a festival – especially on this, its 10th anniversary! Ergo, you need a survival guide. From where to take a breather to what (not) to bring to what type of clothes to wear, read further for all the deets and insider tips you’ll need to get the most out of your festival experience. EVENT Osheaga, July 31 to August 2. Doors open at 11 am, and performances begin at noon. Performances end at 11 pm. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO A bucolic music and arts festival in beautiful Parc Jean-Drapeau, across the St. Lawrence from downtown Montréal, put on by Evenko to unite some of the world’s best acts in an open-air site. From Friday, July 31 to Sunday, August 2, get ready to party to live performances by Florence + The Machine, The Black Keys, NAS, Interpol, Kendrick Lamar, St. Vincent, The Kills, Run the Jewels, First Aid Kit, A Tribe Called Red, Young Fathers, Sza, Milk & Bone and Cri – and sooo muuuuch mooore. Truly, it’s a never-ending gold-plated, chewy-centered… / Read More →

Fun with Kids this Summer in Montréal

It’s summer and the kids must play – Montréal keeps kids happy, entertained and active all day and into the night with festivals, music, games, swimming, sports and more throughout July and August. Many of the city’s famed festivals not only welcome families but feature outdoor shows and activities made just for kids. Step into the Place de la Famille kids zone at Just For Laughs at Place des Festivals, full of amusement park rides and games, laughter workshops and performances, open afternoons and evenings July 11-25, while street buskers amuse us at every turn and the Twins Parade on July 18 delights with wild costumes and music. Hot air balloons may be the heart of the International de montgolfières de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, but the festival also boasts a variety of kid-focused activities and performances, August 8-16. With more activities than ever, it’s easy to spend a day or two in the Old Port of Montréal: from a sky-high zipline ride to an authentic French carousel, mini-train adventures to a Bateau-Mouche boat ride on the river, the SOS Labyrinthe‘s biggest indoor maze in the world and the skill-testing, all-ages Peur Dépôt live game. Kids can play pirates for hours at Voiles… / Read More →

Your July guide to Montréal summer music festivals

As July approaches, Montréal continues to be flooded with an almost overwhelming array of musical options. So you don’t miss out on any of the excitement this month, here’s your July guide to Montréal summer music festivals! The Montréal International Jazz Festival, from June 26 to July 5, needs little introduction, but heck, we’ll do it anyway: the planet’s greatest, grandest jazz fest turns 36 this year with hundreds of concerts representing numerous genres including some 300 free outdoor shows that inundate downtown Montréal with a flood of music-loving merriment. From moving music to moving to the music, the International Percussion Festival turns 14 down in Old Montréal and the Old Port from July 3-12. A participative event (spectators are encouraged to get in on the playing and dancing action), the festival is also multidisciplinary, uniting music, dance, visual arts, film, food, workshops and conferences in the company of over 500 artists. The summer heat will begin to peak with Montréal’s vibrant and lively Nuits D’Afrique world music festival, July 7-19. Boasting the best of African and African-influenced music from some of the biggest names in the game at numerous indoor and free outdoor shows, Nuits D’Afrique is a guaranteed… / Read More →

Montréal’s most scenic bike paths

Rated “North America’s premiere biking city” by the Copenhagenize Report (2013), Montréal boasts 645 kilometres of bike paths. Itching to explore the city on two wheels? Here are our picks for Montréal’s prettiest urban routes, pedaled carefree and car-free. The Lachine Canal bike path Ranked third on Time magazine’s Top 10 Urban Biking Trips in 2009, the nearly 15-kilometre-long Lachine Canal bike whisks cyclists alongside a canal that is operated by modern locks, open to small pleasure craft and bordered by old 19th-century factories. Starting from the Old Port, up to the Atwater Market, until the Chemin du Musée, in Lachine, where a stop-off at Parc René-Lévesque is recommended, this pretty circuit winds you through natural spaces and industrial parks alike. On the way back, follow the Berges Ouest bike path along the St. Lawrence River to Verdun and LaSalle, where you can watch surfers or kayakers navigating the rapids. De Maisonneuve Boulevard bike path Ideal for exploring downtown by bike! If you start from the Grande Bibliothèque (near the Berri-UQAM métro station), you can ride past skyscrapers right up to the sweet boutiques and museums of downtown Montréal, and get a glimpse of Place des Arts at the same time…. / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 22 to 28

It’s hopping in town this week – between C2MTL, Museums Day, MUTEK and Festival TransAmériques, our schedules are already full! But with the weather the way it is, it’s essential to take a chill pill and hang out in the sun a bit too. Culture corner It’s Museums Day! This Sunday, May 24, all museums and most cultural institutions in the city of Montréal offer free entry, plus shuttle buses along five different trajectories to take you from one to the other. It’s the best way to explore areas off the beaten track. Two shows launch at TOHU this week: Les Étinceleurs, which runs from May 26 to June 7, a high-octane show featuring the best and brightest of the National Circus School, and L’Art de la Fugue, starting on May 27 and running until June 7, which is an homage to Bach, à la circus. Not to be missed! May 23 is your last chance to catch Death and the Maiden by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, a choreography by Stephan Thoss inspired by the Franz Schubert score of the same name and presented at Théâtre Maisonneuve. (Don’t miss the free pre-show talk hosted by Shelley Pomerance an hour before… / Read More →

My top 10 favourite places to photograph in Montréal

When asked to write a guest blog post for Tourisme Montréal on my top 10 favourite places to photograph in Montréal, I was torn with what to include. Montréal offers a multitude of great places to shoot and keeping the list to just 10 was quite a challenge. One of my top reasons for loving Montréal is the wide variation in seasons that provides the photographer an ever-changing canvas. In putting together my list, I tried to incorporate places that provide a different atmosphere depending on the season. 1. Bonsecours Basin I included the Bonsecours Basin for a number of reasons. First, it’s a great place to visit pretty much anytime of the year. In summer you will find people enjoying the pedal boats, in winter you have the ice rink and in autumn the trees are bursting with colour. The basin also provides a great spot to photograph the city skyline at sunset. 2. Place d’Armes Recently renovated, Place d’Armes in the heart of Old Montréal is a key stopping point for anyone visiting Montréal. In the centre of the small square is the monument to Paul de Chomedey and with the backdrop of the Notre-Dame Basilica, the art-deco… / Read More →