The holidays are coming, and beyond the immediate hurdle of final exams or work deadlines or whatever you need to finish before everyone fucks off for their (religiously neutral) winter holidays, you need to host a first time visitor to Montreal. Maybe's it's your family, here to visit you at university. Maybe it's your long-distance partner, here to spend some precious time with you in the winter. Maybe it's old friends whom you really want to impress, because you feel guilty you never talk much anymore.
There's a specific set of criteria that winter Montreal trips require: it needs to be local, it needs to be impressive, and unless it specifically takes place outside, it requires minimal amounts of outdoor exposure.
a) They have a ton of locations (I recommend the one on St-Denis, next to the Berri-UQAM metro. If your visitor is allergic to the cold. It's less than a five minute walk from the metro station, you'll be right next to dozens of other restaurants, and there's Théâtre St-Denis if you want to watch French movies. )
b) If your parents are coming, artisan chocolate shops are the best things ever to moms.
Because Bell Centre is the best arena in the NHL, and the Habs are pretty good this season
(the definition of "good" for serious fans is, of course, up for debate. But the Bell Centre is still pretty amazing)
Ogilvy's Christmas display (and the rest of St-Catherine for shopping)
Because it's the most adorable thing ever. And if you're too weak to stay outside on St-Catherine for too long, browse in Centre Eaton instead)
The patisseries in Chinatown
Because it's only a five minute walk from Place d'Armes station, and if you're sick of cheap and delicious pastries, you can check out the bubble tea lounges, or the tea shops, or the souvenir stores, or the stall selling sticky dragon beard candy.
Because improv shows are always different, every time. Tickets at Montreal Improv are under $10 (cheaper than movie tickets!) and they are a fun, unusual way to spend an evening. Check out their Friday Smackdowns, or any of their other shows that run in the evenings from Wednesday to Sunday. Make it a night and have dinner on the Main too.
Because it is the best upscale sugar shack for people who want house-made ketchup, local tomato tarts, and luxurious foie gras on their poutine. Pricey, but after you spent so long shepherding your guests around the city, maybe they'll offer to foot the bill?
If you're also a weirdo about Montreal culture and humour, find Sijia on Twitter (@hey_sijia) or on her tumblr.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi is back in Montreal for the first time since his dramatic summer exodus to Carolina to face the Montreal Canadiens and this kind of feels like seeing the ex you're still in love with.
And while there probably won't be any bad blood between the players, the fans could definitely have a thing or two to say.
According to reports, Kotkaniemi is happy in his new city and new team. Joining another three Finnish compatriots in North Carolina, KK is apparently feeling right at home away from the bright lights of Montreal.
There's no doubt that living in Raleigh is definitely a change from living in hockey-mad Montreal. In a state where NCAA basketball is (apparently) bigger than the NHL, it must be nice for a professional hockey player to be able to live in relative anonymity and focus on just playing the game.
The Habs will host the Hurricanes at the Bell Centre on Thursday night at 7 p.m. EST.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Remember 2019? When you could be surrounded by people in venues and not have a worry in the world. Well, on Saturday, October 16, the Bell Centre was finally able to be at full capacity for a Montreal Canadiens home game again and it was giving off major 2019 vibes.
For the first time in 585 days, the Habs were able to play in front of a full crowd and the team said it was "worth the wait." In case you couldn't make it in person, here are some visuals of what the night looked like.
Naturally, the arena was filled with fans wearing red jerseys in support of their favourite team.
First Opening Night intro to a full Bell Centre crowd 🥺🙌 @tytoff16 https://t.co/8XcrYnR9Nk
Our beloved Montreal Canadiens may have lost their first game 2-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but they have tons of time to regain their momentum. Their first full-capacity home game is happening on Saturday, October 16 against the New York Rangers.
In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.
We compiled a list of well-known artists you can see in this iconic venue during the upcoming year to help you start planning your 2022 concert schedule — since we know Montrealers have missed live music so dearly.
And, don't forget to consider adding Tyler The Creator's concert to your go-to list, as he's set to play at Place Bell in Laval on March 9, 2022.