High society lives in a slightly different fashion than us, regular human beings. Exclusive club memberships is part of their every day existence. Sad part? These clubs look like a lot of fun and we're not invited. Most Montrealers don't even know such clubs exist...
People of influence like politicians, businessmen, A-list celebrities and power attorneys need to unwind, relax, gamble and socialize away from the public eye. Montreal offers a variety of exclusive establishments reserved for the "in" crowd.
Saint James Club
1145 Avenue Union
Club Saint James used to be a real social club back in the '50s where important men would gather under one roof to smoke cigars while playing pool and where women weren't allowed in. Nowadays, this club has more of a "business purpose", says Andrée Vincent, director of the establishment. Among 670 members of the club, approximately 1/5 are women (we've come a long way!). Today, members of the club take advantage of their memberships by renting the facility's rooms for business brunches, meetings and conferences, rather than for socializing and smoking cigars like in the good ol' days.
The most prestigious private club in Montreal. How do you become a member? You don't. It's by invitation only. This is where you'll find Prince of Monaco when he visits Montreal. Guy Laliberté is also said to be a member of the facility. Over $50 million have been invested into renovation of this historic building. Yearly memberships fees are rumoured to be at $3,600. The amount sounds quite cheap affordable given the crowd that frequents Club 357c. You obviously can't access their website, because you're not part of the club...
This west island's private social club has been around since 1884. Its members enjoy great service, delicious food, traditional setting, private wine cellar and invitations to exclusive events. Not to mention the location of the club... simply breathtaking.
Technically it's not in Montreal, it's in St-Bruno, but it totally belongs on this list. Mount Bruno Country Club is a very exclusive private golf club. Multiple corporate CEOs and our former Prime Minister are said to be among its members. You can't even access their website, or find any photos of the interior for that matter, unless you're a member of course, it's that private.
The Mount Royal Club has been around since 1899. It's one of the oldest social clubs in Montreal. Membership at this establishment is by invitation only and needs to be supported and approved by one or more existing members of the club. Mount Royal Club is very secretive about its members and what takes place within its walls... which makes us, regular human beings, even more fascinated with it.
University Club has been around for over 100 years. This is where comedian/economist Stephen Leacock and his friend, John McCrae doctor/poet would gather their McGill colleagues a hundred years ago. Today, you don't have to be part of a University to join the club. At 750 members, University Club Of Montreal is claimed to be the most active social club in the city. Its members like to gather and discuss political, economical and social issues in a pleasant environment.
Daniel Séguin, Senior Vice President of National Operations Exhibition & LBE at Cineplex, gave me a tour of the newly renovated VIP theatres, which are equipped with some of the comfiest reclining shares I've ever sat in. You even have the option to heat your seat.
Seguin let me know that this is the first of its kind in downtown Montreal, another Cineplex VIP can be found in Brossard. There are five theatres in the Forum VIP section, with a range of 46 to 99 seats per theatre. So, it's a very intimate experience.
Montreal is currently one of five COVID-19 red zones in Quebec — and while terrasse dining was previously prohibited in red zones, the province has changed its rules, with some conditions.
Restaurants and bars
Indoor dining is currently prohibited in Montreal, with delivery, takeout and drive-thru orders permitted.
Terrasses are open with a maximum of two people from different addresses at the same table. They can be accompanied by their children under 18 years old.
Residents of the same household can sit together at the same table outdoors.
Alcohol consumption on terrasses is not currently permitted without buying food.
Bar terrasses are scheduled to open as of June 11.
Indoor gatherings are currently prohibited in Montreal for residents of different addresses, except for an informal caregiver, a support person, planned work, or in the case of a person living alone, who can receive one visitor or their children.
A person who lives alone with their children can join one other household, so long as both groups don't see anyone else.
Private outdoor gatherings (in a yard or on a balcony) are permitted with up to eight people from different addresses — but visitors have to practice social distancing.
People from different addresses aren't allowed to sit together. Theatres are supposed to ensure that people who don't live together are seated two metres apart, the government says.
People in the cinemas have to remain seated and no food or drinks are allowed.
There's also a maximum of 250 people per theatre.
Sports (until June 10)
Outdoor, contact-free sports are permitted in public places with members of up to two different households or in groups of up to eightpeople from different households, according to the government.
There can be an instructor, so long as they wear protective equipment and stay two metres apart from participants.
Indoor, contact-free sports are permitted but "limited to pools, skating rinks and facilities for playing tennis and badminton."
Gyms are currently closed.
Organized matches, tournaments and competitions are not permitted.
Wearing a mask is mandatory at all times for Montrealers aged 10 years old and over, except when swimming, social distancing or between members of the same household.
Lessons in private homes are allowed with members of the same household, and the instructor has to be two metres apart from the students.
Offices and work
Offices are currently closed in Montreal, and non-essential workers should be working from home, "except for employees whose presence is essential."
The government has not yet set a date for when offices could reopen.
In red and orange zones, twoadults from different addresses can sit at a table together with their minor-age children.
There are no limits for people who live at the same address.
Are cinemas reopening?
Cinemas and other theatres and cultural centres have been open since February 26 in Quebec red zones like Montreal.
As of May 21, outdoor performing arts presentations with pre-assigned seating, including drive-in cinemas, were permitted to reopen with caps on the number of audience members and cars.
As of May 28, big auditoriums, amphitheatres, indoor stadiums and outdoor stadiums with pre-assigned seats will be authorized to operate with an audience of 2,500 people.
As of June 25, outdoor performances and festivals without assigned seating will be allowed for a maximum of 2,500 people on site.
When can we dine in restaurants?
The government hopes that by May 31, the majority of Quebec regions will be designated orange zones.
This would mean that two adults from different households (with minor-age children) or members of the same household could dine together in restaurants.
Are gyms reopening?
It's unclear whether Montreal will be part of the majority of Quebec regions designated orange zones by the end of May.
However, if Montreal is included in those regions, gyms in the city will be permitted to reopen with mandatory masks in training rooms, occupancy limits and social distancing.
When are schools reopening?
Elementary schools and high schools are open across Quebec.
In red zones, there is currently alternating attendance for students in secondary three, four and five. The government's goal is that all high school students can return to in-person education by May 31.
For CEGEPs and universities in orange zones, the government is planning to permit some face-to-face groups of six students by May 31.
By the end of August (or earlier in yellow and green zones), if Quebec reaches its goal of vaccinating 75% of the population over 12 with two doses, CEGEPs and universities will reopen in person.
What about wedding venues?
The government hasn't yet clarified if it will create new rules around weddings. However, in orange zones, weddings and funerals have an occupancy limit of 25 people.
In yellow and green zones, weddings and funerals are limited to 50 people — so it's safe to say there won't be any large weddings taking place in Montreal this summer.
Will we have to wear masks after receiving a vaccine dose?
Starting June 25, the government will ease mask-wearing and social distancing requirements for private gatherings with people who are fully vaccinated, meaning two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, masks are going to continue to be required in public spaces.
Earlier this week, Premier Legault said that if 75% of the population over 12 years old is vaccinated with two doses by end of August, it will no longer be mandatory to wear masks.
When will the Canada/United States border open?
It's unclear when the borders Canada shares with its neighbouring country will reopen, after months of being closed.
On May 20, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would extend border closures with the U.S. for non-essential travellers until at least June 21.
Can I hang out at someone's house?
As of May 28, outdoor gatherings will be allowed on private property. So you can hang out in someone's yard.
In red zones, a maximum of eightpeople from separate addresses, or the occupants of tworesidences, will be able to gather outside. In orange zones, as of May 31, the max will be twelve people.
In red zones and orange zones, you're still expected to wear a mask and keep your distance.
Private indoor gatherings are not permitted for red zones or orange zones at this time.
On May 11, the Quebec Superior Court approved a settlement in a class-action lawsuit involving Apple and consumers who bought a 15 or 17-inch 2011 MacBook Pro and experienced a graphics issue. PCMag was the first to report the settlement approval.
Under the terms of the settlement, eligible individuals are entitled to compensation.
Lawyers from the Lex Group represented the plaintiff.
On its website, the group defines the class as consisting of individuals who "live in Quebec and purchased, own, or owned a 15” or 17” 2011 MacBook Pro Laptop" or individuals who "live elsewhere but purchased such a Device in Quebec."
The settlement further divides the class into two groups.
The first group, Lex Group attorney David Assor told MTL Blog, consists of consumers who received service from Apple for the graphics issue, as well as consumers who contacted Apple about the problem but never received such service.
The second group includes people who experienced the graphics problem that was the subject of the lawsuit but who never contacted Apple about it.
What's the compensation?
Members in the first group will automatically receive $175 per device, Assor said.
Members in the second group will have to make a claim on the settlement website. They will also be eligible to receive $175 per device.
Finally, members of both groups will be able to make a claim for repair expenses for which they have not already received a reimbursement.
For this claim, eligible consumers must have a receipt for their purchase of the 15 or 17-inch 2011 MacBook Pro dated before December 31, 2017, Assor explained.
When will members of the class be able to make a claim?
The court ordered the claim form to become available within 10 days of the "effective date," which Assor said has not yet been determined.
He estimated that the effective date could occur in four to six weeks.