With all the wonderfully warm days we've been having in October, I really started to think it was going to last forever. But unfortunately these last few days have been a wake-up call and whether you like or not, the cold is on its way. Which means it's also time for the return of yours truly: The Pissed Off Weatherman.
The bad news is that it's getting here a lot sooner than expected.
This Sunday we will probably be seeing the first few snowflakes of the season. Yup, that's right, I said snow. That thing you loved so much as kid and have grown to hate ever since. There won't be a lot, but just a few flakes is more than enough to piss-off the average Montrealer.
So put these amazing fall destinations in your back pocket. And, one fall day, you can simply get in your car and drive off on an adventure.
Distance from Montreal: 2 hours and 10 minutes
Why You Need To Go: Just across the river from Ottawa, you'll find Gatineau. It's home to Gatineau Park which — with its beautiful trees, hiking trails and famous Pink Lake — cannot be missed, especially as the leaves change colour. If you've had enough nature, you'll find plenty of other things to do from visiting The Canadian Museum of Civilization to eating at amazing local restaurants.
Why You Need To Go: This city in the Eastern Townships is a favourite for visitors because it has a little bit of everything: Lake Memphremagog, a mountainous backdrop, and a lively downtown. Parc national du Mont-Orford is just an 11-minute drive from town and it offers stunning trails where you can appreciate the fall foliage.
Why You Need To Go: Hear Ontario, and most people think of Toronto or Ottawa. But Kingston is a quaint yet lively waterfront city that deserves your consideration. From the majestic architecture (check out City Hall) to the historic Fort Henry site and Queen's University, there's a lot to explore. Martello Alley, an art-themed alleyway representing numerous local artists, should also be on your to-do list.
Why You Need To Go: The Vignoble Riviere du Chene is one of the province's most popular wineries for a reason. Not only do they have incredible wine, but the vineyard itself looks like a work of art in itself. Nestled in the charming Quebec countryside, this place will take your breath away.
While the weather is expected to be manageable while you're doing your holiday shopping, the Farmers' Almanac predicts that things will take a turn for the worse around December 16, with conditions becoming more "unsettled."
"Frigidly cold weather" is expected to make its way from the Arctic to Quebec just in time for Christmas and Boxing Day, which will be mixed with scattered snow showers and flurries. So you may have a good excuse to skip a few parties to stay warm.
Either way, you'll likely find some relief as we welcome the new year. From December 28 to 31, the weather is expected to be "fair and cold initially, then becoming milder as we ring in 2022."
Overall, the Farmers' Almanac is predicting a "typical winter chill" in Quebec throughout winter, with a stormy January that'll taper off into a relatively easy, but still cold, February.
The forecast says Valentine's Day will see light snow and fair skies, which sounds ideal for a winter walk or cuddling up by a fire.
There will be almost 60% fewer days of precipitation in February compared to January, according to the report.
While it's tricky to predict the weather so far in advance, admitted the report, followers of the Farmers' Almanac have observed its accuracy "runs in the neighbourhood of 75% to 80%."
"Overall, the City of Montreal saw 990 $1 million–plus residential real estate transactions," including condos, attached and single-family homes, "in the first half of 2021, an increase of 112% from the same period in 2020," the report states.
Though sales in $2 to $4 million homes in Montreal rose by 138%, sales in $1 to $2 million homes made up the largest share of sales overall, with 807 Montreal properties sold in the first half of 2021, Sotheby's says.
Sales in properties over $4 million more than doubled between 2020 and 2021 — just six were sold in the first half of 2020, compared to the 14 properties sold in the same period in 2021.
The report said that according to the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers, on average, selling a residential property in Montreal during the first quarter of 2021 took approximately 44 days, compared to the 68 it took to sell a home less than a year prior.
MTLàTABLE is back with set menus at your favourite eateries!
MTLàTABLE is back this year, and around 100 Montreal restaurants are participating in the city-wide food festival between June and October. You can get three-course meals at some of the city's best eateries starting at $20.
MTLàTABLE has revamped its format for 2021 complete with table d'hôte menus, fresh local produce and prizes you can win for simply dining out.
You can filter your preferences by neighbourhood, price, cuisine and more.
Contests & weekly draws
Each meal you buy at the festival's participating restaurants makes you eligible to win one of five weekly draw prizes like a $50 SAQ gift card and a $75 pre-paid VISA card to spend at the participating restaurants.
There are also eight 'Food & Fun Packages' to be won throughout the event, which include two nights in a Montreal hotel.
All you have to do is scan a restaurant's QR code every time you visit to earn a 'fork' and participate in the weekly draw.
Quebec-grown produce & food products
This year's edition of the festival will also focus on fresh seasonal harvests in Quebec, with recipes tailored to in-season produce.
In June and July, restaurants will serve dishes with beets from the Montérégie region, strawberries from Île d’Orléans and raspberries from the Eastern Townships, as well as broccoli from the Capitale-Nationale region, zucchini from the Laurentians and other green vegetables from Quebec.
In August, field tomatoes, leeks, blueberries, and green beans from across the province — from Bas-Saint-Laurent to Lanaudière — will adorn restaurant plates across Montreal.
In September and October, the fall harvest begins, and restaurants will serve soups and stews that include Quebec carrots, morels, oyster mushrooms, eggplants and acorn squash.
Autumn brings the return of apples to Quebec orchards, and restaurants will make use of locally-grown apples on their dishes toward the end of the festival.