The sixth edition of Montreal's Atwater Christmas Village is serving up seasonal cheer in the heart of the Sud-Ouest. Without a doubt one of the most festive spots in the city, the village consists of dozens of small huts in a European holiday market-style arrangement.
Visitors can browse the creations of local artisans, grab some mulled wine, churros, crêpes or waffles and even catch some free performances.
This year, the Atwater Christmas Village will host concerts, choruses, DJs and circus acts. Santa will be back in his yurt to greet families.
As in previous years, "soirées gourmandes" will take place every Friday: "La Montréal Raclette Party" on November 26, "Noël en Alsace" on December 3, "Noël au soleil" on December 10 and "Noël à la cabane" on December 17.
Jean-Talon Market will host a market covering an area twice the size of its inaugural edition in 2020. It opens on November 27.
The Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal is also making its grand return to the Quartier des Spectacles after a yearslong absence. Open since November 20, it features an Alsatian village and, of course, a huge Christmas tree at its centre.
It's a Christmas miracle! The STM, Montreal's transit authority, has finally released its much-wanted ugly Christmas sweater after huge demand for it last year.
According to a press release, "After a show-stopping debut last year, the STM sweater is back, now available for the first time in the STM online store."
[Brrrace yourself!] For some, the sight of the first snow is exciting, for others it makes you want to hibernate until spring. Either way, the cold season brings its share of unforeseen events on the road. If you have to go out, be careful and plan your trips.pic.twitter.com/K8pXpT1mid
Last year, the sweater took the town by storm after the STM presented it as a prize for a contest. With only a limited quantity available, folks looked on in envy at the contest winners and their snazzy new ugly Christmas sweaters.
Along with the sweater, the STM also remade the metro map with hilarious Franglais holiday names like Aca-Dinde (Acadie) and Côte-Ver-Tuque (Côte-Vertu). This holiday-themed map adorns the front of the sweater.
The STM describes the garment as a "long-sleeve, crew-neck fleece sweater" with "a map of the Montréal métro decked with fun and festive versions of each station name, making it the perfect attire for any holiday party, virtual or in person."
But don't wait until the holidays, because this sweater is sure to sell out fast! The STM has only released a limited quantity.
For each sweater purchased, the STM has promised to "donate $10 to the STM generosity campaign," which partners with Centraide of Greater Montreal, the Canadian Red Cross, Réchaud-Bus and HealthPartners-Quebec.
The sweater is available only at the official online STM store and is priced at $39.99 plus tax.
Quebec-born actress Caroline Dhavernas will become the personality of the REM. According to a news release, she's perhaps best known for her work on TV series Les beaux malaises and Mary Kills People and movies De père en flic 2 and Hochelaga, terre des âmes.
Dhavernas is also the daughter of Michèle Deslauriers, the actress who voices STM metro announcements.
Dhavernas' voice was chosen for the REM following a public vote. Out of three then-anonymous options, her voice won out with 14,200 votes.
"Without knowing it, the public voted for a voice that echoed that of the Métro de Montréal," the REM said in the release.
In a promotional video, Dhavernas said she thought "it'd be really funny" if Montrealers ended up choosing her voice.
"Now that it worked out, I can't believe it," she continued. "Because when I take the metro with my daughter, I tell her that she's hearing her grandma's voice and that when we'll take the REM, we'll hear my voice."
She said that when she went into the audition to be the voice of the REM, she was still recovering from a sinus infection and tried to vocalize from her stomach instead of her nose to compensate.
"I have to admit that even I could barely recognize myself when I was listening to it on the website during the vote since my voice was slightly different because of the sinus infection."
The first branch of the REM is set to start rolling in 2022.
A viral video shows someone collapsing on the Montreal metro after getting caught between closing train doors at Lionel-Groulx station. Metro passengers rush to the person's aid, eventually moving them to a seat as one person calls on someone to pull the train's emergency lever.
But the act was a stunt.
"Vroom Vroom," the person in the video, @vroom_vroom514 on Instagram, told MTL Blog that they staged the incident to see how metro riders would react to such an emergency.
The video managed to rack up over 57K views in the 24 hours after it first appeared on the @vroom_vroom514 account.
"I did it because since COVID like everybody is by himself and I want to see if people will help me," they told MTL Blog.
About a dozen passengers seem to offer help in the video.
While the Instagrammer feigned unconsciousness on the ground, one commuter rushed to help them, asking if they were alright while trying to shake them awake. They even seem to check the prankster's pulse.
"Vroom Vroom" was curious to see "if people would care about a random person."
The viral video has recieved a lot of negative social commentary on social media platforms.
As for the STM's view on the matter, they told MTL Blog "this video already received much more exposure than it deserved and we do not wish to bring any more attention to it. There is nothing positive about faking an health emergency, needlessly worrying métro clients and damaging our rolling stock."
This isn't the first stunt on the Instagram page, which has a following of 22,000 people.