Downtown Montreal Is Turning Into A Winter Wonderland & Here Are All The Things You Can Do
Montréal centre-ville © Thierry Du Bois

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.

Impulsion as part of Luminothérapie © Ulysse Lemerise, OSA

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.

Those sort of unsettling giant inflatable nutcrackers are back, too — meaning so is their quiet, vacant gaze on rue Sainte-Catherine.

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.

For the full list of events and installations, check out Quartier des Spectacle's and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE's official websites.

In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.