If you're obsessed with cheese then you're in luck, because it's officially raclette season in Montreal. For its 2021 edition, Montreal's Christmas Village is hosting a "raclette party" at Atwater Market and it'll cost you less than $20 to fill your belly with cheesy deliciousness.
The Montréal Raclette Party is set to take place on November 26 between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., and you'll be able to choose between a plate of cheese from Fritz Kaiser Fromagerie for $13 and a full charcuterie for $17.
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.
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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.
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Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner, plenty of shops are offering up deals and discounts right now.
From fashion and beauty to electronics and home decor, you can save a good chunk of money — especially if you're planning on taking advantage of these sales during your holiday shopping.
Best Buy is one of the most popular stores that Canadians shop at during Black Friday and you can already find great deals on electronics. What's great about their early deals is that they'll refund you the difference if the items you buy go lower in price later on.
The massive furniture and home goods store is having a month-long event that's all about sustainability including a sell-back program, donations, workshops and an additional 25% off as-is products from November 26 to 29 for members.
Pre-Black Friday deals are on now until November 24 and you can save up to 70% on bedding, home decor and more. The discount is already applied and no promo code is required. You can browse their 2021 holiday gift guide if you need some inspiration.
You can already find some awesome deals at Old Navy including cozy matching family PJs and loads of winter wear. You can try your hand at these Old Navy shopping hacks to save even more this time of year.
Montreal's favourite Christmas-themed bar is returning to the city this holiday season. MTL Blog got an exclusive sneak peek ahead of the opening — and, as you probably guessed, it's outrageously festive to the point of feeling like a holiday fever dream in the best possible way.
This is Miracle Pop-Up Bar's first edition since 2019, as it was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19.
"Miracle Christmas Bar [..] is a bar that is completely over-the-top Christmas. Every little thing you can think of is covered in Christmas and we bring the holiday spirit as much as possible in a space," Demers said. "If you have an over-the-top aunt at Christmas that squeezes your cheeks and just loves to see you and you haven't seen her and you always dread that moment, that's literally what it is in a bar format," said Demers