If you clicked on this article, chances are that it's your birthday this month. Or someone you know has a birthday this month. Or, you know, you're bored and curious. If you fall under the latter two options, then you can go ahead and ignore the next sentence. If not, then happy birthday month, friend! My gift to you? A concise list of things to do on this, the month of your birth. So strap on your party hat and read on for 10 Montreal Things To Do For Your Birthday This November 2015.
1. Get yourself to Starbucks for a free drink.
As long as you're part of the MSR program, you get a free drink on or around your birthday. The best part? It's November. So you can get an Eggnog Latte in a red holiday cup. All for free.
2. Do your birthday up right by going for a fancy lunch.
On your birthday, #TreatYourself to lunch at one of Montreal's many, many awesome restaurants. The best part? Many top notch Montreal restaurants offer reduced lunch menu prices. Bouillion Bilk, anyone?
3. Or go celebrity sighting while you eat your birthday dinner.
Celebs love Montreal, and if you love celebs, then you're in luck. Treat yourself to more than just an extra slice of cake by hosting your birthday dinner at one of these places. And hey, who knows, if you're super lucky maybe you'll get to blow out those birthday candles with Mike Meyers. (We can dream.)
4. Check out Robin Schulz at New City Gas.
Because everyone loves Robin Schulz. (Yes. Everyone.) And what better way to celebrate your birthday than partying with an internationally beloved DJ at one of Montreal's most awesome clubs? Check out more information here.
5. Get your birthday bookworm on at Montreal's "Book Festival."
Taking place from November 18-23, Montreal's own "Book Fest" is the perfect way to pamper the birthday bookworm in your life. Check out more information here.
6. Go ice skating for the first time this year.
The skating rink at the Old Port is opening up again this month. Does this mean you share your birthday with a skating rink? Possibly. November babies unite.
7. Grow a birthday moustache.
Because Movember is upon us, and it raises awareness for an important cause. Also because moustaches are hot AF, and everyone wants to look hot on their birthday month.
8. Get yourself some free birthday sushi.
Got an ID? Good. Got an appetite for sushi? Great! Yakata Sushi (8049 Rue Saint-Denis) offers free meals to birthday peeps, as long as they make sure to respect certain conditions. Oh, and present this coupon.
9. Try not to lose feeling in your face, and go check out The Weeknd.
What could be better than jamming to The Weeknd? Jamming to The Weeknd on your birthday. Or your birthday month. Whatever, close enough. More information here.
10. Break into your new age group by picking an appropriate place to party.
Confused? Don't be. Check out this handy guide on where to go out based on your age. But TBH, I'm sure you can rock any place you go to, you birthday champ, you.
I must admit, I had never been to New City Gas (I moved here during the pandemic — please forgive me), so I had no idea what to expect. The first thing I thought was, "WOW, this space is so cool!" We walked into the lobby-bar and I was instantly taken by the exposed brick and hanging lights, which created a boho-chic Mykonos-esque aesthetic. Of course, that included a hanging bed.
We stepped inside and walked through the mysterious yet cozy and inviting interior complete with mirrors and candles galore. Before entering the restaurant, we passed through the artisanal marketplace, featuring goods from Meraki, a Laval-based boutique filled with handmade goods and imported treasures from Greece.
Next, we headed into the restaurant, which is so spectacularly done that it feels like one of the most high-end, chic spots on the Island of Montreal but with a totally relaxed and laid-back vibe. Thanks to the decor — complete with hanging baskets, long tables, neutral tones and vibrant greenery — you truly feel like you're in Tulum or in Greece.
We tucked ourselves in for a four-course meal by Chef Massimo Piedimonte of Le Mousso. We were told that the menu was "a tour through the Mediterranean": tapas, a fish course, a meat course, and dessert. Paired with drinks prepared by sommelier Maxime Laliberté of Maison Boulud and mixologist Lawrence Picard of Nectar & Co., I was in absolute heaven.
Between courses, we checked out the open-air gallery outside by S16 and the NFT Gallery by 0x Society, which is actually the first of its kind in Canada. Both of these will be available all summer long.
When the sun went down and the lights came on, the ambiance was even more spectacular. Co-owner Alex K. told me the team was inspired by their travels to places like Tulum and Mykonos, not just for their food and culture, but for the way they exude positive summer vibes. And that's exactly what I got from Bazart from start to finish!
Bazart at New City Gas
Address: 969, rue Wellington, Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: For a taste and the vibes of the Mediterranean right in the heart of Griffintown.
Being in tune with our bodies is important for many reasons. It's how we get in touch with our feelings, decipher our wants and determine our needs both physically and mentally.
The intuition that comes with knowing your body — what's normal and what's not — can be life-saving. Canadian beach volleyball player, Grant O'Gorman, knows this better than most.
Testicular cancer is the number one most commonly diagnosed cancer among young men aged 18-35. While the outcome for men with testicular cancer is often positive, early detection continues to be key. If it's caught early, it's both treatable and curable, but 62% of men who are most at risk don't know how to check themselves for warning signs. Men's health charity, Movember, is on a mission to change that.
By spreading awareness and educating men on how to self-examine at home, and encouraging them to get to a doctor if something doesn't seem right, this charity is leading a conversation that aims to change how men approach their health.
Since April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, Movember is teaming up with this young cancer survivor to spread the word.
In 2019, Vancouver-based Grant felt like a superhero. The then 25-year-old Olympic hopeful went from representing Canada at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour to being completely blindsided by a chilling cancer diagnosis.
Now, he's working with Movember to tell his story and help educate others on the risks of testicular cancer.
No matter your age or how healthy you are, Grant says it's crucial to be aware of your body and to go see a doctor if anything seems off: "You might think you're super healthy, but trust me, I was the healthiest guy and it happened to me."
In an exclusive interview with Narcity, Grant opens up about his personal journey and offers advice to young men.
Questions and responses have been edited for clarity.
Tell us about your journey with testicular cancer. When were you diagnosed and how did you find out?
"In the middle of 2019, my teammate Ben Saxton and I were at the world championships representing Canada, and I noticed that my nipple was feeling a little weird. I thought maybe I dove and scratched it or something. But a couple of weeks later, it started to get bigger. When I squeezed it, liquid came out, and I thought that was super weird.
When I got back to Canada, I went to the doctor and had an ultrasound done on my nipple. Nothing came up. They couldn't figure out what was going on.
I went to a couple of different doctors, and finally one of them suggested I get an ultrasound of my testicles, and that's where they found it. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer."
In what must have seemed like the blink of an eye, you went from being a healthy professional athlete to someone dealing with cancer. What was that like, and how did being diagnosed change you?
"I've always been very strong and healthy as an athlete. The discomfort in my nipple didn't affect my playing, so I thought I was totally fine.
But when they told me, 'You have cancer, you have to get surgery to get this removed,' I remember thinking, 'Why is this happening to me? How is this happening to me? I'm healthy and strong. I do everything I need to for my body.'
Being an athlete, I always felt like a superhero, and as soon as this happened, I just felt vulnerable."
What treatment did you have, and did you fully understand the support available to you?
"I just had my right testicle removed — I didn't have to get chemotherapy or anything else. Luckily, it hadn't spread.
Support-wise, I was lucky to have my whole Volleyball Canada team. I have a psychologist available to speak with me whenever I need, a physiotherapist, my teammate, and my wife, Isabela, so I was okay.
It was the start of the COVID-19 pandemic though, so we were sort of isolated from everyone, which made it a little bit tougher."
What do you wish you had known then that you know now?
"I wish I'd known to really be aware of my body and if something is off — even if it's a small thing — to get it checked out right away. Knowing your body is crucial.
Also, never be shy to go to the doctor, even if you think it's embarrassing. I probably wouldn't have gone to the doctor if my wife hadn't made me go, and then the cancer could have spread more."
For many men, it can be uncomfortable to talk about topics like this. What have you found is the general attitude towards testicular cancer among your peers, and how are you working to change perceptions and raise awareness?
"It's important to realize that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. It's a health issue. It's about remaining healthy and alive. You shouldn't be shy about it.
I was never really nervous to tell my friends or anyone, but I think if I was younger I probably would have because it's a very private area.
The main thing is checking yourself regularly, or if you're someone who wants to keep your partner or someone in your life safe, be sure to tell them to check themselves.
If you detect it early, you might only have to get the surgery, as I did. If not, it could be worse."
What is one piece of advice you have for newly diagnosed men, and one piece of advice for men in general?
"If you've recently been diagnosed with testicular cancer, know that there are a lot of other people who have gone through it. I spoke to another beach volleyball player who also had testicular cancer in the past, and it really made me feel more comfortable and that I wasn't alone.
For men in general, know your body well. Besides your testicles, know your feelings, know your hormones... if something's changing, get checked out."
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
"Testicular cancer is a young man's cancer, so check yourself regularly. But if you also have brothers, partners, husbands and fathers that are in your life, remind them to check themselves regularly too.
You can follow the YouTube channel my wife and I have created to learn more about our journey with testicular cancer."
To learn more about testicular cancer, visit the Movember website or check out Movember's Nuts & Bolts page for relevant and reliable tools to help you confidently handle the testicular cancer journey.
This article was originally written by Ashley Corbett and published on Narcity Canada.
A family-run business, Le VSL was started in 2019 after being an at-home bakery. "[We] had the idea of bringing a third wave coffee shop to Ville Saint-Laurent where we all grew up and since the opening, we have received tremendous support from the community," JJ, the manager and in-house barista, told MTL Blog.
Le VSL makes all types of drinks, including cappuccinos, lattes, mocha lattes, matcha lattes, as well as homemade cool drinks, like homemade lemonade and iced tea. Plus, they've got amazing bites, inspired by their grandmother's recipes.
But what LeVSL is definitely known for is the birthday latte, made with double espresso, three syrups (white chocolate or condensed milk, hazelnut, and vanilla) and your milk of choice (vegan options included), all topped off with stunning rainbow latte art and sprinkles.
"Birthday latte is not only just for your birthday, but for whenever you want a sweet coffee," Le VSL said.
The duo told us there are even more treats, drinks and surprises coming this summer, and we can't wait to see what else is in store that'll no doubt bring even more (much-needed) smiles to our faces.
Café Le VSL
Address: 753, boul. Decarie, Saint-Laurent, QC
Why You Need To Go: For drinks and treats that are as delicious as they are beautiful.