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Photos From Montreal's Christmas Past Show The City's Everlasting Holiday Spirit
  • As the holiday season rolls around for another year, MTL Blog decided to look through old photos of Montreal to see what this time of year has looked like for our city over the decades.
  • Read below to see pictures of Montreal during the holidays from the last 80 years!

Montreal is a city that is filled with charm and throughout the holidays, that charm seems to get amplified. With all the lights, decorations, and snow that surround us, Montreal can easily be mistaken as the set of a Christmas movie. And this isn't anything new, throughout the years, it has always managed to be a festive place throughout the holidays. So, I looked through old photos of Montreal, going all the way back to the 1940s to show our readers what the holidays were like during the decades before us. 

Christmas has always been my favourite day of the year. There are few things I love more than giving gifts, drinking hot chocolate, spending time with my family, and sleeping in. And, Christmas has all of those things. 

From tobogganing and skiing to Christmas parades and Santa Claus, our city has spent a lot of time getting its locals into the holiday spirit. 

Christmas is not only about spending time with family and opening presents but it is also about taking the time to reflect on Christmas past. Christmas is about traditions, both old and new ones. So and when reflecting on the holiday season that Montreal has experienced, we can connect to those who came before us. 

One of the best ways of connecting to the past is through photos and these holiday pictures show just how festive Montreal has always been!

1945

Archives de la ville de montreal

This adorable picture of Camillien Houde skating in Montreal with a young woman was taken in January 1945, right around the holiday season.

As you can tell by the outfits in this photo, times in the city have changed - and it seems like the weather has gotten a whole lot colder. However, we do still go skating during the holidays, so that hasn’t changed!

1950

Archives de la ville de montreal

Taken during the winter of 1960, this photo shows that Montreal locals loved sliding down Mount Royal in the same way we do almost 60 years later.

The tradition of spending winter days on Mount Royal continues!

1955

Archives de la ville de montreal

Tobogganing has always been part of our culture as Canadians. And, in 1955, around Christmas time, we can see by this photo that our city was a go-to place to slide down a slope at full speed!

This Christmas season, why not recreate this iconic Montreal photo? But please dress a little warmer!

1964

Archives de la ville de montreal

Taken on Dorchester, which is now known as René- Lévesque in 1964 - this picture is just seeping with holiday spirit.

I really hope one day I can witness Santa Claus cruising down René-Lévesque in a red convertible, but for now, this photo will suffice!

1965

Archives de la ville de montreal

The iconic Ogilvy Christmas window display has always been a fan favourite around our city and this photo is proof of such.

Taken in 1965, this picture shows a group of people waiting in front of the Christmas window for their chance to get a dose of Ogilvy holiday cheer.

1965

Archives de la ville de montreal

The Santa Claus parade has always been a big deal in Montreal. And, this photo shows some parade participants in festive costumes in front of the well-known Eaton Centre.

These ladies looked amazing and like they're having a great time. So much so that I am contemplating whether or not I should recreate their outfits for this holiday season!

1967

Archives de la ville de montreal

This picture displays the entrance of the Jardins des Merveilles in 1967. The winter festival was loaded with Christmas decorations and lights.

If Instagram was around in 1967, this place would have been all over your feed! Maybe it's the older version of Illumi Cavalia.

1972

Archives de la ville de montreal

Hockey is part of the culture in Montreal, and it has been since most of us can remember.

As you can see from this photo taken in 1972, children always enjoyed playing outside and shooting a puck around.

This particular picture was taken on Rue Saint-Phillipe and, it also shows that Montreal has never been a stranger to snow.

1984

Archives de la ville de montreal

Good news everyone, Santa knows where Montreal is on the map!

In 1984, he came to a Montreal library to give gifts to children. We're hoping we'll be able to spot him again this Christmas!

1986

Archives de la ville de montreal

Although people still cross-country ski on Mount Royal, it is not as common as it was in 1986.

Here you see someone gliding through the city on what looks like a mission to nosh on some Christmas cookies!

1998

Archives de la ville de montreal

In 1998, Montreal was hit with a horrendous ice storm. The worst part was that it was right after the holidays.

In this photo, you can still see Christmas decorations strung in a community centre that was housing residents who had no heating or power.

Now, let's hope 2020 doesn’t start the same way 1998 did.

2005

Archives de la ville de montreal

No matter what time of year, Montreal is an ultra romantic spot but there is something during Christmas time that makes our city more glamorous than ever.

As you can see from this picture taken in 2005, the holiday season suits the charm of our city!

2007

Archives de la ville de montreal

Place Montreal Trust knows how to get shoppers in the holiday spirit. This tree was on display in 2007 and was home to giant ornaments that impressed even the biggest Grinch!

Even in 2019, this tree is still considered Christmas perfection to me!

2014

Archives de la ville de montreal

Taken in Old Montreal in 2014, this gorgeous picture embodies Christmas in Montreal.

The reef in eyes view, the Cabane à Sucre stand, and the couple kissing off to the side are all elements that make this photo amazing!

2015

Archives de la ville de montreal

This photo of Town Hall was taken in 2015, around Christmas and it is one of my favourite pictures on this list.

The gorgeous lights, combined with the charm of the city and the beautiful building displays how special our city is, especially during the holidays.

2016

Archives de la ville de montreal

I love this Christmas picture from 2016. Not only does the city look like it should be the set of a Christmas movie, but you can feel the joy just by looking at the photo.

Montreal is a special city, especially during the holidays and this photo is proof of that.

2018

Archives de la ville de montreal

The iconic Ogilvy Christmas display officially moved to the McCord museum and it is just as special as it was when we were kids.

The window is still on display now, so make sure to check it out before Christmas time comes to an end!

Let's hope the holidays in Montreal just continue to get better and better!

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