Autumn in Montreal is bliss. The weather is chillier, the leaves are vibrant, and the city is in its loveliest state. But as we trek towards the long weekend, it's easy to be reminded that this year feels a little different.
Though we can't visit loved ones or gather with friends quite yet, that doesn't mean we can't have a good time. Montrealers' favourite fall activities like apple-picking, Mount-Royal hiking, experimenting in the kitchen, and coffee-shop exploring aren't off the table.
From biking to baking plant-based goodies, there are plenty of ways you can still make the best of fall in Montreal — even if you can't see your friends right now. Here are 11 fun things you can do in and around the city to enjoy the rest of autumn.
Take a hike
Considering everything we've gone through in 2020, it might be time to step out of the city life and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you're looking for an adrenaline-pumping trek, a hike through leafy forest paths, or something a little less challenging, there's a trail in Montreal's backyard waiting for you. Pack up the car, get your most comfortable hiking gear on, bring some snacks, and immerse yourself in Quebec's nature. If you're not sure where to go, Bois-de-Liesse Nature Park and Pointe-aux-Prairies Nature Park are great places to start.
Indulge in Thanksgiving-themed fall treatsPresident's Choice
We may be dining virtually or skipping the holiday altogether, but one thing we don't have to miss out on is good food this Thanksgiving, and President's Choice® Plant-Based Apple Crumble Pie is the perfect addition to your untraditional Thanksgiving dinner. This ready-made plant-based twist on a holiday classic has fresh apples that are tossed with sugar and cinnamon before being topped with an oat crumble, and the egg and butter-free pie crust which make it plant-based is just as rich and tender as the pie crusts you know and love. All you need to do is simply heat and serve warm to enjoy. Pro tip: try it à la mode with a scoop of PC® Plant-Based Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert for a seriously decadent touch.
Check out thrift shops & decorate your home for fall
Exploring great secondhand shops and vintage stores is one of the essential, inexpensive (and totally thrilling) things to do in Montreal to have a good time. Plus, they're some of the top places to get the best deals. Find that perfect piece to pull your new autumn wardrobe together or nab yourself a few fall-themed gems to decorate your space with. From the Plateau and Mile End to St-Henri and Westmount, you'll have no trouble finding independently owned secondhand shops with vintage treasures in your area.
Take part in (socially distanced) apple and pumpkin picking
Did fall even happen if you didn't go apple picking? Head to one of Laval's many U-Pick farms, like Verger Gibouleau or Verger La Pommeraie Laval to handpick apples, sweet corn, pumpkins, and squash before the shortest season of the year is over. Just be sure to check regulations and book online beforehand; many farms require a reservation to get in.
Go for a leisurely bike ride
Did you know that Montreal has over 350 km of bike paths? Whether you're looking for a mountain trek, cycling near the water, or something low-impact in the downtown area that you can complete on a BIXI, Montreal has a path for every type of biker. Get out there and explore the city!
Try a plant-based treat as an alternative to your favourite dessertPresident's Choice
By now, you've probably tried all of 2020's trendiest stay-at-home bakes, so why not switch it up with a recipe that requires no baking at all? President's Choice® Vegan Cheesecake with Coconut and Pineapple is super easy to make and will definitely impress your friends (whether in person, or via Zoom). This plant-based ‘cheesecake’ is actually cheese-free!
While most vegan cheesecake recipes out there call for soaking cashews overnight and blending them in a food processor, you can skip that step (and get several hours of your life back) with ingredients like PC® Plant-Based Plain Coconut Cream Cheese-Style Spread, which boasts the perfect texture for this luscious tropical-topped treat. All you have to do is mix the ingredients and refrigerate. The whole recipe is ready to enjoy in less than two hours.
Admire the fall colours — before they're gone
Montreal is a scenic destination year-round, but the bright colours that take over the city in October make it especially appealing. If you haven't marvelled at the city's fiery red oak trees and orange-hued sumacs yet, there are plenty of fall foliage destinations nearby — like Beaver Lake — which are particularly picturesque this time of year.
Get creative with fall DIY
Spend some time indoors and put your DIY skills to the test with fall-themed projects. Give your home a warm and cozy vibe by hanging pressed autumn leaves, making a pine cone wreath, or getting creative with homemade pumpkin-scented soap. DIY projects are a great way to keep yourself occupied while away from friends, and — bonus — they make great gifts, too.
Catch a sunset
No matter what's going on in the world right now, sunsets in Montreal are still as beautiful as ever. Why not take some of that leftover PC® Apple Crumble, grab yourself a fall-themed drink at a local coffee shop, and hit up one of the many great Montreal vantage points to take in the sights and snap some gorgeous shots? Head to Westmount Summit, Old Montreal, or René Lévesque Park for some of the best spots in the city.
Check out some of Montreal's iconic landmarks
We may not be able to take part in Montreal's usual fall festivities this year, but that doesn't mean we can't take advantage of the city. Typically tourist-soaked landmarks like Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, the Olympic Stadium, and La Grande Roue are just waiting to be explored. It's the perfect time to grab your camera and reconnect with the iconic buildings, landmarks, and sites that make Montreal what it is.
Cozy up with a good book
There's nothing like curling up on the couch, tossing on your warmest socks, and getting lost in a good novel. If your bookshelf is looking a little bare, Montreal has a great selection of used bookstores so you won't have to venture far (and you can support local businesses). Check out The Word Bookstore on Milton or Argo Bookshop on St-Catherine West to find your new favourite read.
As we find ourselves away from family friends more than we might like again, now is the perfect time to experiment with solo activities — like hiking, crafting, and baking — to keep ourselves occupied as the weather gets cooler.
President's Choice growing line-up of plant-based foods makes enjoying alternatives to protein and dairy accessible and delicious for everyone.
After you've made your PC® Vegan Cheesecake and tried the PC® Plant-Based Apple Crumble, check out other products from the lineup like the PC®️ Plant Based Coconut Cream Cheese-Style Spread or the PC® Plant-Based Mayo-Style Spread. The eggs in this mayo are replaced with pea protein, which looks and spreads the same way you’d expect from traditional mayo. It’s a smooth and creamy addition to a vegan holiday gravy, a pre-dinner veggie or chip dip, or the perfect spread for your post-Thanksgiving sandwich.