Downtown Montreal's Christmas market, the Grand Marché de Noël, is making its long-awaited return — and it's bringing part of Alsace with it.
This holiday season, the market in the Quartier des spectacles will include a makeshift neighbourhood inspired by the French region known for its German roots and charming medieval architecture.
The centrepiece of the market will, of course, be a giant illuminated Christmas tree.
The Grand Marché de Noël will be just one of three large Christmas events in the city this year. The Atwater and Jean-Talon markets are also set to host a collection of local vendors in holiday-themed huts.
In total, according to organizing company La Lutinerie, over 100 artisans and producers will be selling their goods.
La Lutinerie promises mulled wine and churros to keep you warm and filled with holiday cheer.
Why You Need To Go: This installation in Quartier des Spectacles is a great way to lift your winter spirits and is certainly a great way to bring back some much-needed colour and light to the seasonal winter darkness.
Why You Need To Go: We all get a little lazier on these colder days and are looking for some serious comfort food, so supporting local restaurants and ordering takeout is the clear solution. Bon appétit!
Address: Bois de l'Équerre, 49, rang de l'Équerre, Laval, Quebec
Why You Need To Go: This park in Laval actually feels like you've walked into a fairytale. With 13-kilometre trails, snowshoe rentals, and free parking, there are so many reasons to enjoy this stunning spot.
Why You Need To Go: Adding a little pizzazz to the weekend, Illumi is the perfect place to escape the city and the everydayness of the winter. Whether you're going solo, with the family, or taking that special someone, this will definitely add some spark to your life.
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.
On Sunday morning, 105 firefighters responded to a four-alarm Montreal fire. Seven apartments and one business were affected, with only one mild injury incurred.
"At 9:45 a.m. we received a call for a fire at 309 Ontario Est," said Service de Sécurité Incendie de Montréal spokesperson William Murray. A total of 31 fire trucks were sent to the scene.
The apartment complex on rue Ontario Est is three stories tall, with a commercial building on the ground floor and apartment units on the second and third floors. The entire building was damaged in the fire.
"The fire started outside in the back on the balconies on the second and third floor and the fire spread to the roof," Murray explained. "Once it hit the roof," he added, "it spread into the apartments."
According to Murray, seven families lived in the apartments. Thankfully none of the residents were hurt, but they've all lost their homes and are now in the care of the Red Cross.
Murray claimed that fires like this are not as uncommon as we'd like to believe. "It's not really unusual for things like that to happen," he said. "The colder it is outside, people tend to be creative in the way they keep themselves warm."
No one was killed in the fire, and only one injury was sustained. One firefighter was sent to the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal. Murray said it was only a "minor injury," and that "he should be okay."
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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!