There's a little bit of holiday magic in every nook and cranny of Montreal. Verdun's "Enchanted Alley" is back again this year off rue Wellington with a whole new setup.
While last year the alley took the form of a forest walk up to the charming façade of a log cabin, organizers opted for a cozy interior scene for the 2021 season. Visitors will now find a large (faux) fireplace complete with a Christmas tree and a big red chair.
Promenade Wellington has once again enlisted the talents of photographer Caroline Perron to host weekend photoshoot sessions. The sessions are by reservation only and take place between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The next block of reservations, for shoots on December 18 and 19, opens on December 14. Montrealers can sign up online.
But you can still visit the alley if you're unable to book a professional photoshoot.
A Promenade Wellington spokesperson confirmed to MTL Blog that the alley is open to the public outside of the photoshoot session hours.
There's more to see on Wellington this year too.
The centrepiece of local festivities is a 35-foot fir tree, but Promenade Wellington promises decorative shop windows up and down the commercial street.
There are also surprise chorus performances, the last of which is on December 19.
Of course, Verdun isn't the only place to spot festive backdrops. The Christmas markets at the Atwater and Jean-Talon markets and in the Quartier des Spectacles are approaching their final days.
Get all the details on Wellington's Enchanted Alley below.
Grab your winter jacket and snow pants and enjoy a ski or snowshoe session at Montreal's Parc Frédéric-Back, all for free! With temperatures plummeting and snow piles rising, now is the time to get out and experience some of the city's best winter activities.
Cultural institution TOHU is offering free equipment rentals at the park from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday until March 6 (weather depending). Visitors can pick up skis, snowshoes and even winter kites on a first-come-first-served basis and explore 9 kilometres of trails.
Lounge chairs and those mysterious spheres dotting the park's vast snowy fields offer opportunities for rest and some great photo-ops.
The ski and snowshoe rental counter is located on rue Paul-Boutet. Renters can take out equipment for a maximum of two hours. TOHU requests that visitors wait outside the rental station until an employee comes out to help.
Guests are also invited to bring their own winter equipment, as wait times can vary and availability is limited.
Although rentals are free, fees may apply for any damages to the equipment or if the return time exceeds the two-hour limit, TOHU warns.
Who needs a trip to Italy when you've got a taste of it in Montreal's very own Verdun? In the age of COVID-19, with dining rooms currently closed, we've got you covered on a must-try spot that is bound to fulfill all of your takeaway needs. BOSSA is an Italian restaurant and grocery store that prides itself on being family-run, and their signature sandwiches certainly set them apart.
Located on rue Wellington, BOSSA offers over 20 varieties of hot and cold sandwiches. From their sausage and peppers mix ($11.95) and prosciutto mortadella ($12.95) to their roasted chicken sandwich fixed with pesto, dried tomatoes, and a balsamic reduction ($12.95), you'll be salivating just thinking about it — we certainly are!
BOSSA owner, Daniel Lo Manto had been working in the restaurant business for over six years and figured it was time the neighbourhood got a much-needed "Italian centred" lunch spot. In addition to the restaurant's fully packed sandwiches, their menu also includes an array of authentic Italian pasta dishes and pastries made with fresh ingredients — items the BOSSA owner said stem from the recipes and techniques of his grandparents.
"There's a lot of heritage in this place, and a lot of love!" Lo Manto told MTL Blog.
When asked about the recipe he's most proud of, Daniel boasted about the porchetta sandwich ($11.95). However, in terms of popularity, it comes in second to their must-try chicken parm ($12.95), made with basil oil, mozzarella, chicken cutlet, parmesan and hot peppers.
Montreal, you've almost made it through another doozy of a week. But don't fret because another week means another weekend. The weekend is an opportunity to do fun things that can cheer you up and make you feel better about the world, but in order to find them, you actually need to leave your apartment.
So get your butt off the couch. Might we recommend showering? And then try one of these activities! Whatever you're up to this weekend, here's hoping it brings some light back into your life.
Take Advantage Of The Last Free Weekend To Visit The McCord
Address: McCord Museum, 690, rue Sherbrooke O., Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: To celebrate its 100th birthday, one of Montreal's favourite museums gifted us 100 days of free admission, which comes to an end this week. Take advantage of free art, culture and Montreal history while you still can!
Why You Need To Go: Parc Jean Drapeau offers some of the coolest winter activities, like cross-country skiing, sledding, a skating trail and more, proving to the world that no one does winter quite like Montreal!
Why You Need To Go: Restaurants also need a pick-me-up right now. If you order takeout or delivery, not only do you support local eateries during a tough time, but you get to enjoy delicious food while you do it!
Address: Montreal Botanical Garden, 4101, rue Sherbrooke E., Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: Plants and flowers have been known to brighten even the gloomiest of days. Although Espace pour la vie had to close its museums due to government restrictions, the Botanical Garden's outdoor areas remain open. Can't handle the cold? Lufa Farms offers free virtual tours of its Ahuntsic rooftop greenhouse each week.