Who else remembers being a kid and begging your mom or dad to take you to see the annual Christmas window display at Ogilvy's in Montreal? 

There's something about a good window display that makes even the biggest skeptics believe in the magic of Christmas.

Even though 2020 is putting a damper on the holiday spirit, there are several Christmas windows scattered across the city that will put an automatic smile on your face. 

These six windows will remind you that, despite a pandemic, Christmas is here and joy is possible. Best of all, venturing out to see these displays is a COVID-safe activity that's totally free! 

Joe Beef

Address: 2491, rue Notre-Dame O.

Why You Need To Go: The Joe Beef Christmas window will make you stop in your tracks — and, yes, that is a train track pun because it features a moving train. Perfect for feeling like a kid again... specifically, a kid on Christmas morning.

Ogilvy's at the McCord Museum

Address: 690, rue Sherbrooke O.

Why You Need To Go: The ultimate, most iconic Montreal window display — like Macy's is to New York or Galeries Lafayette is to Paris. While there are no longer window displays at the actual Ogilvy's, which has since merged with Holt Renfrew, the mechanical masterpiece lives on in the form of a museum installation.

The Mill in the Forest dislpay can be seen to passers-by on Sherbrooke Street. The Enchanted Village is closed this year due to COVID-19. 

Boutique Noël Éternel

Address: 60A, rue Notre-Dame O.

Why You Need To Go: As an all-year-round Christmas store, these guys know their stuff when it comes to creating the perfect window display for the (bonjour-)ho-lidays. 

 

La Maison Théâtre

Address: 245, rue Ontario E.

Why You Need To Go: This innovative local children's theatre put together an incredible animated window display this year. Les Fenêtres Fantastiques is described on Facebook "like cabinets of curiosities where strange creatures [and] artifacts [...] seem to live in a mysterious attic." You can even use your smart phone to connect to an accompanying audio track. 

Check Facebook for the schedule because the installation is not active everyday, and you can only see it until January 17.

Pasta Casareccia

Address: 5849, rue Sherbrooke O.

Why You Need To Go: You'll find a more traditional take on a Christmas window at this housemade Italian pasta spot. This one's for the purists who want an elaborate portrayal of the Christmas story, including the classic nativity scene. 

Hotel Birks Montreal

Address: 1240, Phillips Square

Why You Need To Go: Maybe we're cheating with this one because the decorations are around the windows, rather than inside them. But they're still windows, and they're still decorated for Christmas and they're far too magical to go without seeing. 

Libraries Racines

Address: 6524, rue Saint-Hubert

Why You Need To Go: This painted window at Librairie Racines, a bookstore specializing in the stories, culture and living conditions of racialized people, has us wondering why every other depiction of Santa seems to be a fat, white dude. We love this portrait by local artist MALICIOUZ.  

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