Address: Parc Lahaie, 4921, boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC; Parc des Compagnons-de-Saint-Laurent, 4375, rue Cartier, Montreal, QC; Online
Why You Need To Go: From the team that brings the city one of the coolest festivals of the holiday season, you can head to one of the parks to pick up a tree or order online and have the "elves" deliver it to your door.
An external report on the conduct of STM officers during a violent intervention at Jean-Talon metro has concluded that the officers in question were "justified" using force. The incident occurred on April 17, 2021, when two STM officers detained a commuter who allegedly didn't pay a fare.
This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.
The incident, which was captured on video, caused a public outcry about the STM officers' conduct and called into question the tactics used by metro officers to apprehend people.
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The video depicts two STM officers in a struggle with, reportedly, a Black woman who didn't pay her fare.
The officers wrestle the woman to the ground. One officer, in an attempt to subdue the woman, appears to strike the woman in the head and face.
Bystanders attempt to pull the officers off the woman and one can be heard asking the officers to stop.
In April, the STM issued a statement that said, "As is often the case with this type of video, we do not see the entire event and the elements that led to the intervention [...] the force applied must be proportional to the degree of resistance and aggressiveness of the person. In this case, the person was aggressive, actively resisted and bit our employee, in particular refusing to release the bite."
What did the investigator have to say?
The STM commissioned the external investigation, conducted by police ethics lawyer Marco Gaggino, following its own inquest into the matter. In the end, Gaggino reached the same conclusions as the STM.
"In using force with respect to the person involved, and that this force was reasonable, necessary and in compliance with the Modèle national d'emploi de la force," explained Gaggino.
The video prompted some members of the public to suggest that racial profiling was at play. But the investigator wrote that "the facts of the case do not allow me to conclude that ulterior motives, such as racial profiling, were the cause of the inspectors' intervention, nor that such motives could have guided their decisions or their way of intervening."
Gaggino outlined three recommendations that he hopes the STM will implement:
"Review the coverage of its internal cameras in the metro to ensure that there are no blind spots in places where inspectors are likely to intervene and that it consider providing inspectors with body cameras with audio capabilities;"
"Review, in concert with external security resources, the way in which it processes and transfers requests for external reinforcement;"
"Provide inspectors with training on the theory and practice of on-foot pursuit, adapted to the reality of the STM for underground interventions."
For its part, the STM explained that it "aims at improving accountability given that special constables are subject to the regulation on police ethics." It said it would not comment further because of ongoing legal matters.
Calling all musicians who missed out on metro busking during the pandemic — your time has finally arrived. The STM has announced that it will finally allow the gradual return of musicians to serenade you on your commute on the Montreal metro.
While there will be "special measures adapted to the public health situation," according to the STM, metro musicians can look forward to a gradual return to form.
Musicians who are planning to perform must fill out an online form on the STM website. The form officially opens on November 22. Artists must create an account and agree to all health regulations if they wish to perform.
Sadly for those musicians who want to belt out 'Wonderwall' over the din of an approaching metro, singing performances won't be allowed for the time being.
All musicians will need to be masked, except if they're playing a wind instrument.
As always, performers will be allowed to set up under the blue lyres. Considering the regulations, the STM has only opened up five spaces: three at Berri-UQAM, one at Guy-Concordia and one at Jean-Talon.
If all goes off without a hitch, the STM will "gradually make more lyres available over the coming weeks."
Metro musicians will return on November 29.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Women will lead five of Quebec's eight largest cities following the 2021 municipal elections.
The biggest headline of the night may have been Valérie Plante's triumph over old foe Denis Coderre in Montreal, but across the province, the faces of municipal politics have become more gender-balanced.
According to the latest counts and projections, France Bélisle (Gatineau), Catherine Fournier (Longueuil), Évelyne Beaudin (Sherbrooke) and Julie Dufour (Saguenay) are all also on their way to their respective (and figurative) city hall corner offices.
In Quebec City, it seemed for a while like Marie-Josée Savard would join them. Multiple outlets had even called the election for her until the vote count for her opponent surged into the evening. Bruno Marchand ultimately claimed victory.
Mayor Plante commented on the historic nature of her second mandate in her victory speech Sunday night.
"Four years ago, Montrealers elected the first woman mayor in the history of the City of Montreal," she said.
"Tonight, they told us again, 'yes, this mayor, we're going to continue to work with her, we trust her!'"
This year, for the first time, Montrealers will have two women leading the city, as Projet Montréal's Dominique Ollivier is set to take over as president of the Executive Committee.
Staycations are where it's at 2021, and Quebec — with its rolling hills, beautiful lakes and endless drives — is a wonderful place to go exploring near to home. As Canada's largest province, it's chock-full of memories just waiting to be made.
Quebec offers an abundance of both history and nature, from its townships brimming with European charm to its vast provincial parks. You can fly, train or bus to many of Quebec's must-see destinations, but the best way to explore this far-reaching province is by car.
If you're craving the open road, take a cue from 95.9 Virgin Radio host Vinny, who knows a thing or two about road trips. As one of the hosts of Montreal's favourite radio station (and a born-and-bred Montrealer), he reaches road trippers and commuters every weekday morning.
Vinny knows that when it comes to exploring Quebec, you don't have to travel far to uncover lush scenery, wildlife and get some R&R. In fact, his favourite spots are all less than three hour's drive from Montreal.
Just imagine hitting the open road with the windows down and the radio pumping, cruising your way around picturesque villages, quaint architecture, lazy rivers and towering fjords.
Once you've checked out your favourite stops from Vinny's list of must-sees, all you need is a car, snacks for the road and 95.9 Virgin Radio on full blast.
Why You Need To Go: With so much to do and see, Mont-Tremblant is one of Quebec's most popular destinations no matter the season or the reason. From a panoramic gondola ride with a bird's eye view of the Laurentians to bike riding through one of the mountain's many trails, this spot is ideal for explorers and adventurers alike.
After a day spent wandering through nature in all its glory, you can wind down with a shopping spree in Mont-Tremblant's famed pedestrian village. Follow it up with an Instagram-worthy dining experience at one of the dozens of restaurants for a vacay done right.
Why You Need To Go: Less than two hour's drive from Montreal (during which you can jam out to tunes on 95.9 Virgin Radio), Saint-Sauveur is another popular Quebec destination that makes for a great day trip. With a massive outdoor pool and water park, restaurants like Gibby's and spas like Vinny's fave, the Polar Bear's Club Spa, Saint-Sauveur is a must-visit for Montrealers.
Spend the day soaking and steaming in the spa's thermal waters, view the Laurentians from horseback or shop to your heart's content. No matter how you choose to spend your time, there's no shortage of fun to be had at Saint-Sauveur.
Why You Need To Go: According to Vinny, Estérel Resort is "an oasis." With a four-season spa that boasts lake and mountainside views, it's easy to see why. Estérel Resort is all about escaping the daily grind, so what better way could there be to make use of a vacation day? Estérel's all-inclusive packages make it a one-stop-shop for all things R&R.
If you're in the mood for a solid sweat sesh, you can venture through the Laurentians via paddleboard, canoe, kayak, pontoon boat or bike. Foodies will especially love the range of fine dining, including the renowned Bistro à Champlain restaurant.
Why You Need To Go: With more than 225 species that call it home, Zoo de Granby is the largest zoo in the province and offers a great day out for the whole family. Due to continued health and safety guidelines, reservations are required for the summer 2021 season, so be sure to save your spot to get in on all the action.
Slender-tailed meerkats, white rhinos, Japanese macaques and snow leopards are just some of the many animals you'll get to spy here. Learn all there is to know about Granby's conservation efforts while you're at it, too.
Why You Need To Go: Just off the island, La Ferme Quinn is a go-to destination for farm-fresh fruits and veggies, including apples, cucumbers, kale and almost every type of berry you can think of. With fall just around the corner, now's the time to plan your apple-picking adventure to stock up for all those pies you're sure to make.
If baking isn't quite your thing, don't stress. According to Vinny, La Ferme Quinn has the "best apple pie ever." You can also load up on muffins and a ton of other baked goodies that may or may not make it through the car ride home.
Why You Need To Go: Combining rustic charm with jaw-dropping architecture, Le Château Montebello might just take your breath away in the best way as it's situated within nature itself. Fun fact: Le Château Montebello is the world's largest log cabin, and it was rated one of the top 10 resort hotels in Canada by Travel & Leisure.
To make your staycay complete, there's an outdoor pool and cabanas, a sports chalet boasting everything from tennis to mini-golf, a nautical pavilion for those who like to kayak, canoe or paddleboard, hiking trails and even 90-minute guided ATV rides.
Why You Need To Go: You don't need to travel far to uncover the beauty of Quebec. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Centre de la Nature is a massive urban park that spans 50 hectares.
Whether you're in search of a chill picnic, wanting to uncover nature via the Centre's five kilometres of pedestrian paths, or looking to entertain the family at Piscine Saint-Vincent or the on-site petting zoo, Centre de la Nature has it all. There's even a tropical greenhouse that boasts a stunning array of plants and animals, so be sure to have your camera at the ready.
Why You Need To Go: Charm and character combine with history to make Quebec City a must-see (and see again) spot. Walkable and sure to satiate your wanderlust, Quebec City is a great spot to spend your vacation days. Crank up the radio while you're en route and listen to 95.9 Virgin Radio hosts talk all things pop culture and more before you pull up in one of the province's most iconic destinations.
Once you're there, soak up a bit of history at Château Frontenac then traverse the Plains of Abraham, the site of the famous Battle of Quebec. You can also peep a stellar view of the St. Lawrence River from Dufferin Terrace, zipline above Montmorency Falls, shop and eat to your heart's content — however you choose to spend your time, Quebec City has plenty to offer.
Why You Need To Go: Touted as a "super cool experience" by Vinny himself, Parc Omega is a safari park with a 12-kilometre route that winds throughout. You're likely to see wolves, deer, bears, bison, birds and more at this year-round attraction.
For the brave-of-heart, you can also spend a night or two in a cabin, chalet, lodge or pod that's surrounded by a pack of wolves. Each accommodation has a glass facade to allow uninterrupted views of nature and wolves alike.
Why You Need To Go: Since it's always five o'clock somewhere, what better way to spend a day than at a winery? Located just minutes from Montreal, La Bullerie is the first Quebec vineyard that specializes in sparkling wines. With the likes of white, red and, of course, rosé, you can sip and santé while you take in the picturesque views of wine country.
If you fancy a picnic while you're there, La Bullerie offers one of their very own that includes choice cheese, fruit and a local dessert. It's the ultimate daytime date location.