And although the holiday season in Montreal means we'll soon be starting to experience the snowy, cold part of the year, it's all good. Montrealers know how to transform even the bleakest of days into something awesome.
Which is exactly what the Quartier Des Spectacles' Luminotherapie does.
Luminotherapie is an art installation taking place every year at Montreal's Place Des Festivals. It's different each year (last year's featured seasaws that lit up), and this year, it's coming back with possibly the coolest concept yet.
This year's installation is called Loop, and features 13 huge zeotropes. According to the Quartier Des Spectacles website, these are immersive zeotropes that will be activated by visitors in order to make fairy tale images come to life.
The city has been trying hard to get people to come into downtown Montreal for their holiday shopping. So, in an effort to get people into shops, Montreal's Ville-Marie borough announced that it will make street parking totally free on evenings and weekends throughout the holiday season.
"We hope that many Montrealers will come to support our downtown merchants for their holiday shopping. Our merchants give the city its special colours and flavours. After another year marked by the pandemic, they need our support more than ever," Mayor Valérie Plante said in a press release.
Even those giant, unsettling inflatable nutcrackers are back on rue Sainte-Catherine to stare at you with their vacant gaze.
"Downtown merchants are delighted that on-street parking is free on evenings and weekends for holiday shopping," said Glenn Castanheira, general manager of SDC Montréal Centre-Ville.
"The downtown area has been hit hard by the pandemic and this measure is in addition to a series of initiatives aimed at promoting economic recovery, including festive programming in collaboration with the City of Montreal and our partners."
Street parking will be free in downtown Montreal on weeknights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m and on weekends, from December 3, 2021, to January 2, 2022.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Last night, three men were stabbed in downtown Montreal following an altercation that escalated between several individuals shortly before bars' closing time.
"Around 2:15 this morning, a call was made to 911 to advise us that a person had been stabbed at the corner of Bourassa and Maisonneuve in the Ville-Marie borough," said Julien Lévesque, spokesperson for the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal.
When SPVM arrived on the scene, they located three individuals with stab wounds. The victims, three men, were quickly rushed to a hospital upon police arrival.
"They are 27, 25 and 29 years old. The first two are out of danger, the third, 29 years old, is still in critical condition — we are waiting for a health assessment from the medical authorities," Lévesque explained.
"It was an altercation between several individuals that got out of hand. We do not know where the victims came from or where they went [in the evening], and that's what will be determined by the investigators to solve the investigation," he continued.
The scene has been secured to allow investigators to analyze it. Police will also interview witnesses and check cameras that may have captured the event.
At the time of writing this article, no suspects had been located and no arrests had been made.
Police ask that if you have any information about this altercation, call Info-Crime Montreal at 514-393-1133, where you can submit an anonymous tip.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Photographer J-F Savaria, who snapped and posted photos of the nutcrackers, joked that the nutcrackers were back with social distancing this year because, unlike last year, they are spaced apart diagonally instead of being side-by-side.
The comment section ranges from people calling the nutcrackers beautiful to flat-out scary.
Regardless of whether you find them unsettling, it's hard to deny their holiday spirit. And the nutcrackers, which light up at night, are not the only installations turning downtown Montreal into a winter wonderland between now and March.
"Starting next week, many giant installations will be taking over St. Catherine West. So stay tuned!" says an Instagram post from XP_MTL, the organization behind the nutcrackers, which is dedicated to "event and festive programming" in downtown Montreal.
According to an announcement from the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Montréal centre-ville, Le Grand Marché de Noël, XP_MTL, the Noël dans le Parc Festival and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, downtown is transforming into "an inviting, festive and magical winter destination."
"In a safe setting, Montrealers will be able to explore a series of luminous and interactive installations, see unscheduled performances, meet local artisans, visit inviting spaces and enjoy some great surprises!" the statement reads.
This includes over 500 luminous decorations installed on more than 8 kilometres of downtown streets.
There are also plans for a "luminous open-air gallery," illuminated artwork by St. James United Church, a Christmas market, a visit from Santa Claus, Luminothérapie's interactive installations, live musical performances, and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, including Nuit Blanche.
It's totally within your right to complain about the weather this winter. But instead of being grumpy all the time, why not take advantage of the winter events that Montreal has to offer? Downtown Montreal has unveiled its plan to transform into "an inviting, festive and magical winter destination" between now and March.
The winter festivities are the result of a collaboration between the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Montréal centre-ville, Le Grand Marché de Noël, XP_MTL, the Noël dans le Parc Festival and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, which are transforming the city into a magical winter wonderland.
In a statement shared with MTL Blog, organizers said that "in a safe setting, Montrealers will be able to explore a series of luminous and interactive installations, see unscheduled performances, meet local artisans, visit inviting spaces and enjoy some great surprises!"
So, what exactly can you expect?
One of the first things you'll notice when you head downtown is that twinkly Christmas lights are everywhere.
Over 500 decorations stretching over 8 kilometres of downtown streets will illuminate the city and bring some much-needed Christmas cheer to the place.
No doubt one of the more popular attractions, Le Grand Marché de Noël, is finally back after a long hiatus. The market officially opens this weekend, on November 20.
From December 3 to the 23, the Noël dans le Parc Festival will present an eclectic mix of live music, from hip-hop to country to traditional Christmas music.
Finally, the 23rd edition of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival will bring back its classic program of light therapy and art projections starting on February 17 and the famous Nuit Blanche is set for its triumphant return!
What's great is that many of these installations have already been set up around the city for you to enjoy. Even though they may look much better under a soft blanket of snow, there's nothing stopping you from going out to enjoy the winter installations as much as possible.