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Your Spring Break guide to eating, drinking and partying, Montréal-style

Spring Break amazingness? You can have it all in Montréal. With its 3 a.m. closing hours, drinking age of 18 and hugely depreciated dollar (the whole city is basically a 30% off sale), Montréal is a win-win-win Spring Break party proposition. Let the following be your guide to doing it up right. Eats and pre-drinks There are those of us who would argue that the eating and pre-drinks portion of the evening is the most critical phase: not only are you laying a base for the remainder of the evening, you’re setting the tone. If you’re starting out on the Plateau Mont-Royal, imaginative hipster magnet and oyster/cocktail bar Le Majestique is all eye candy and killer cuisine. Fab fun food and drinks are also the raison d’être of L’Gros Luxe (Caesars topped with hamburgers, ’nuff said), and Big in Japan’s delectable small plate menu and vibrant vibe have also made it big in Montréal. If downtown, head to Sainte-Catherine Street West for Imadake, another Japanese small plate pub with a fun bordering on raucous atmosphere (which may have something to do with their signature “sake bombs”). Dominion Square Tavern is a must if only for the beautiful 1920s setting, though the… / Read More →

Montréal winter nights are bright with activity possibilities

Nighttime is always the right time for both family fun and slightly more adult-oriented activities and entertainment in Montréal during the winter season. Gliding on ice under night skies is a sublime pastime at the Old Port’s idyllic Bonsecours Basin skating rink, a huge open-air surface renowned for its exceptional ice. It features some of the most striking views of Old Montréal and the city skyline in an extremely fun-friendly environment. Each day has a different music theme: classical Mondays, world music Tuesdays, urban sounds Wednesdays, and so on. The ice is open Monday to Wednesday until 9 pm, and Thursday to Sunday until 10 pm. Skate rentals and lockers are available. Many of Montréal’s most beautiful parks also feature night skating along with music, warming stations and/or places to eat and, er, lubricate. The picturesque Parc Lafontaine, Parc Maisonneuve and Beaver Lake on the summit of Mount Royal are all examples of top-tier blading places that typically stay open on the weekends until 10 pm. For locations, skating conditions and other info, please go here. Speaking of the mountain, Mount Royal Park is an outdoor winter sports enthusiast’s dream. In addition to skating, sledding and cross-country skiing – there… / Read More →

10 Montréal “musts” for first-time visitors

A first-time visit to any city can be overwhelming. What to see? What to do? And most importantly — how to prioritize it all?  To simplify your initial Montréal visit, we’ve compiled a simple list of crowd-pleasin’ attractions. Think of it as a “greatest hits” list of what to see and do in a diverse and exciting city. In no particular order, here are ten activities and attractions that first-time Montréal visitors might want to put on their “must see” list. Climb Mount Royal (The Lookout) Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (the same landscape architect who crafted New York’s Central Park), the “mountain” park at the heart of the city is the city’s most iconic landmark — and the most popular place to snap a Montréal selfie. Reach the viewpoint at the top of Mount Royal Park by walking up the stairs or with a guided tour. In the chalet at the summit, visitors will find washrooms and a small canteen for refreshments. Give yourself a breezy two hours. Spree on St-Catherine As one of the longest commercial strips in Canada, Sainte-Catherine Street is the perfect place for retail rehabilitation. You’ll find international fashion mainstays such as Gap, Victoria’s Secret… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Michel Rabagliati

Michel Rabagliati is the man behind Paul, the character of his graphic novels based in Montréal and famous worldwide for quiet adventures in which Paul explores the countryside, the metro system and the fishing pond. Translated from their original French (Les Éditions de la Pastèque) into many languages (including English by Montréal comic publisher Drawn and Quarterly), Rabagliati’s work is boundless in its charm. He told us about his Montréal. Job: Graphic novelist Favourite pastime: Singing in a choir. It’s something I love, first of all because it gives me a reason to leave my house (I’d probably stay chained to my drawing table for months without noticing otherwise), and second, because it’s hugely satisfying. Working in harmony and bringing human voices together in concert is truly a unique experience. Who knows, maybe song is the solution to war! How long have you been a Montrealer? I was born here, in Rosemont, in the 1960s. I had a delightful and worry-free childhood. I’ve never envied those who grew up in the countryside. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? I think that would be going on set during the shooting of the film based on my work,… / Read More →

5 Montréal picnic and park pairings

Montréal summers are a thing to treasure. As the weather warms, our collective thoughts turn to how we can spend the most time outside, and there are few better activities than eating en plein air. To help you capitalize on this favoured summer activity, we’re offering a quick guide on where to buy a picnic, and which nearby green space you can go enjoy it in. All you’ll have to do is BYOB (by which, of course, we mean bring your own blanket). DIY: Atwater Market + the Lachine Canal Running since 1933, Atwater Market is home to a host of businesses ready to help you cobble together your perfect picnic. Start with some cheese at La Fromagerie Hamel to pair with fresh fruit from one of the outdoor vendors. Next stop is Les Cochons Tout Ronds for charcuterie, and finally a baguette from bakery Première Moisson (don’t forget to grab yourself an almond croissant for dessert). Cross over the footbridge right outside the market’s south end to find a bench along the historic Lachine Canal waterfront and delight in your spoils. Gastronomy-on-the-go: Food trucks + Mount Royal Park / Parc Jeanne-Mance Food trucks are still a relatively new thing… / Read More →

Double the Mothers! Family-Friendly Activities on Mother’s Day in Montréal

One mom, or two moms, Montréal is a fun place to bond on Mother’s Day and create great family memories. For little Montrealer Zoé, Mother’s Day is a very special occasion. Not only is it a few days before her birthday, but she’s lucky enough to have double the mothers to celebrate! Take a look at some great ideas for Mother’s Day in Montréal, whether you’re honouring one mom or two! Since cutie pie Zoé is only 2 years old, we asked her mothers Mélissa and Geneviève how they plan to celebrate Mother’s Day and Zoé’s birthday, and what their favourite family activities in Montréal are. Mother’s Day Brunch In Montréal One of Mélissa and Geneviève’s favourite places for a yummy family-friendly brunch is La Grand-mère Poule on Beaubien Street East. They serve typical brunch fare, with an extensive gluten-free section! If you want to treat mom to something a little fancier, try Birks Cafe by Europea. It’s located literally inside the elegant and iconic jewelry store. Keep mama away from the display cases though, unless you want to walk out of there with something sparkly and a considerably lighter wallet. A Sunday Stroll In a Park Zoé loves to… / Read More →

WINTER SPORTS IN MONTREAL: SKATING, SKIING AND MORE

With Montreal’s official winter sport and pass time locked up behind the closed doors of the NHL, we look towards the sky of falling flurries for answers. And there it is, white powdery snow. Grab your tuque, mittens, and child-like wonder and check out some of the winter sporting activities in Montreal: