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WHERE TO EAT IN AND AROUND THE QUARTIER DES SPECTACLES

Montreal is a great city all year round, but it truly comes alive in the summer when festival season starts in the Quartier des Spectacles, an area filled with outdoor stages, art installations, street performers and more. With so much vying for your attention, it can be hard to decide what to do, let alone figure out what to eat, so here are my suggestions for some great nearby restaurants…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: OCTOBER 21-28

No doubt about it, it’s fall now – the north winds blow, the leaves fall, the days grow shorter. Which also means Montreal nights are longer, and what better excuse to eat, drink and be merry well into the wee hours. Lovers of live music will adore this week in Montreal, as will lovers of film, as one film festival comes to an end and another begins. Montreal stages brace for drama, comedy, politics and the stomping of hundreds of horses hooves (seriously!). Art, poetry and spoken word round out the busy week with heady, ready made-in-Montreal creative stuff..

FREE THINGS IN MONTREAL: OCTOBER

As the warm weather truly wanes here in Montreal, our heralded free outdoor activities are slowly replaced by free indoor activities – so dress for both this October. Indoors and out, there’s much to see and hear: modern art, interactive dance, jazz, movies and more.

ARCADE FIRE AT POP MONTREAL 2011: VIDEO

Arcade Fire’s free outdoor Pop Montreal show at Quartier des Spectacles was everything we knew it would be. Over 100,000 fans showed up in downtown Montreal and were treated to one of the best concerts this city has ever seen. Check out the post below for a full review and some great photos by Susan Moss and watch this video and to get a sense of what a special night it was. Wow.

ARCADE FIRE AT POP MONTREAL: PHOTO GALLERY BY SUSAN MOSS

Arcade Fire’s love for Montreal – including the crowd of over 100,000 who came out to Quartier des Spectacles last night – was clear as soon as they walked on stage, smiling ear to ear and bouncing into Ready to Start, from their Grammy-winning album The Suburbs. Images of teenage rebellion among suburban sprawl played on screens behind the eight-member band, who seemed intent on eradicating world-wide malaise themselves. “Our hearts are very full right now,” lead singer Win Butler said, and he meant it. Arcade Fire was home.

MONTREAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S NEW CONCERT HALL

Sound snobs, this one’s for you. Yeah, you know who you are – and you’re proud of it. After visiting a Maison Symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal’s new Concert Hall, this week I can breathe a pitch-perfect sigh of relief. The place is tailor-made for those who believe acoustics can make or break any musical performance. So get ready for a lot of performances of the make variety…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (SEPTEMBER 8-15)

There’s something in the air this week in Montreal, and it’s not just a cool autumn breeze – the city has gone even more arts crazy than usual – art is everywhere! Along with its friend’s music, theatre, dance and film. From the Latin Quarter’s OUMF festival to Quartier des Spectacles’ Arts Marathon, from Le Mois de la Photo to a tattoo art convention, Montreal has the arts covered this week, especially for those who wish to make the most of staying outdoors in these last warm weeks of the year…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (AUGUST 25-SEPTEMBER 1)

While Montreal’s warm weather will continue well into late September, the beginning of September is nevertheless considered the end of summer, just as with most places in the northern hemisphere. But at least summer goes out with a bang here! The St-Laurent Street Fair sees to that, with the main shopping, wining and dining strip closed to cars and open to fun and carousing all weekend. Add to that a film festival, a burlesque festival and plenty of music and art to take the sting out of summer’s end…

MUST-SEE BANDS AT POP MONTREAL 2011

This year Pop Montreal is ten years old. To celebrate this landmark, the people at Pop have created a lineup that reflects maturity, grace and, of course, one serious party. There are over 300 bands to see in only 5 days. This is an impossible amount of shows, but that’s the point. You’re supposed to be feverishly running around town in a delirious Pop Montreal frenzy. It’s okay though, you have all winter to recover.

THE LION KING MUSICAL ROARS INTO MONTREAL

The Lion King is an award-winning musical, one of the longest-running of all time. It has traversed the globe and finally the dazzling production has made a stop at Place Des Arts in Montreal from August 9 to September 4. Long live the king!