Between extended lockdowns, social distancing and stay-at-home orders, 2021 has brought limited opportunities to have fun with friends or connect with the community. Smaller towns, ones that might not get as much action as their big-city neighbours, have especially felt this to be true.
One such community is Belleville. Just over a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Montreal with a population of less than 51,000, Belleville's a small town, but it's not one that's easily overlooked — at least, not for Mentos. Yes, Mentos, as in the "stay fresh" chewy mint you might have tucked in your purse or pocket right now.
Wanting to lend a helping hand to a small town that's been hit hard by COVID-19, Mentos decided to give Belleville's skatepark a serious upgrade. A space for community and fun, the skatepark — now called the BaSkateBowl — features basketball nets and mimics a basketball course layout. Belleville's young adults needed a breath of fresh air and Mentos provided.
The BaSkateBowl's grand opening took place on September 29, and it's already becoming a cherished community venue where Belleville's youth can practice their kickflips, free throws and ollies — all at the same time.
If you're looking for a fun road trip this fall, you should definitely check this spot out (and bring your board, if you have one). Everyone could use a little fun and, with health and safety measures in place, the BaSkateBowl is bringing together the basketball and skateboard communities of Belleville for a good time.
When: This is a permanent installation.
Where: 373 Moira St. E., Belleville, ON
Why You Need To Go: Mentos renovated Belleville's skatepark to include basketball nets — it's a guaranteed good time for the whole community.
The tourism industry is once again open for business, and IGA has teamed up with the Montreal Canadiens to give you the chance to
win an unforgettable trip to Florida by entering one of the coolest contests out there for Habs fans.
Now that you can finally travel outside Quebec (with restrictions and safety precautions, of course), a change of scenery might just be what you're looking for after countless months of lockdowns and public health restrictions.
Aim for the Food contest, you could win a trip for you and your family to Walt Disney World® in Orlando, Florida, this holiday season. After all, there's nothing like a sunny vacay to help you shake off those winter blues.
There are three VIP trips to Florida up for grabs, where you'll get to cheer on the Canadiens and have the time of your life at the most magical theme park in Orlando.
Each IGA store is also giving away one official Montreal Canadiens jersey. So, even if you're not among the lucky few to win the grand prize trip to Florida, you can still get your hands on some merch from your fave team.
No matter how you watch — whether you're cheering on the Canadiens in the stands at the Bell Centre or just watching from the comfort of your living room — wearing a new jersey with the unmistakable colours of the Habs will have you feeling like a super fan.
For your chance to win, all you've got to do is buy eligible products at IGA, the official grocery store of the
Montreal Canadiens, and use your AIR MILES® Card at checkout to be automatically entered in the contest.
Until November 3, keep your eyes peeled for targeted products in the
Aim for the Food contest to increase your chances of winning.
Already picturing yourself cheering on your favourite team with your family and celebrating in style at the extraordinary Walt Disney World® theme park in Florida? If you're lucky, this once-in-a-lifetime dream experience could become a reality for you this December.
Price: Free to enter with the purchase of eligible IGA products
When: Until November 3, 2021
Details: Get your chance to win a trip to Florida to watch the Montreal Canadiens and visit Walt Disney World® when you buy select products from IGA supermarkets in store or online and use your AIR MILES® card.
To learn more about the Aim for the Food contest, check out IGA's website or follow them on Instagram.
In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.
This article was originally published in French on Narcity Quebec.
This Canadian Shopping Website Just Relaunched & They Have Discounts On Almost Everything
Rarely does a "one-stop shop" truly have everything you need. If you're searching for a new WFH chair, pet accessories and party essentials all at the same time, you'd probably assume that an errand run is in order. Fret not: you'll likely find it all (and way more) at Shopper+, a newly redesigned Canadian website that stocks an impressive variety of carefully curated goods.
Headquartered in Montreal, the site recently underwent a total revamp, and Shopper+ is now having its digital grand opening all month long with massive deals and discounts you won't want to miss.
Catch one of the flash sales that happen 6 times per day (at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m., and 10 p.m.) to snag some products on the cheap. Plus, on September 22 and 23, you can get free shipping on your entire purchase.
With the increasing popularity of remote work, you may be considering sprucing up the home office. Now is the time to grab an ergonomic sit/stand desk, and Shopper+ has a stylish electric model (on sale until September 24), complete with a drawer and glass top.
With programmable height settings, you only have to set your perfect sit or stand heights once and — at the push of a button — you can add a little variety to your WFH posture. Plus, the table has two USB ports to charge your devices (that means no extension cords ruining your office aesthetics).
If the thought of cordless charging excites you, Shopper+ has a wide selection of fast-charging stations, like this wireless one. With your phone charged and your space camera-ready, you'll be set to flex your desk setup on TikTok.
For the photographers out there, you know that food photography is all about having vibrant backdrops, rich textures and, of course, the right tools. The next time you want to show off a culinary creation, check out these 'gram-worthy white and gold stainless steel utensils from Shopper+.
The online store also stocks everything from the hottest kitchen gadgets, like the air fryer (hello, guilt-free fries), to pet essentials, like a 68-inch cat tree. This play place has hanging toys built right in for your furry friend's enjoyment — or, you know, to keep your cat's inner evil tendencies at bay.
Suffice to say, you can find the best goods to make life easier (and better) on the relaunched Shopper+ online store — and you know it'll all be cute. Canadians can browse now for sweet limited-time deals with free and fast shipping.
Shopper+ "Grand Opening" Sale
When: Grand opening sales are on until 9.59 a.m. on September 24
Details: Shopper+ just launched a newly redesigned site, and they're celebrating by offering deals all September.
To learn more about the new Shopper+ online experience, visit their website and check them out on Facebook or Instagram.
Staycations are where it's at 2021, and Quebec — with its rolling hills, beautiful lakes and endless drives — is a wonderful place to go exploring near to home. As Canada's largest province, it's chock-full of memories just waiting to be made.
Quebec offers an abundance of both history and nature, from its townships brimming with European charm to its vast provincial parks. You can fly, train or bus to many of Quebec's must-see destinations, but the best way to explore this far-reaching province is by car.
If you're craving the open road, take a cue from 95.9 Virgin Radio host Vinny, who knows a thing or two about road trips. As one of the hosts of Montreal's favourite radio station (and a born-and-bred Montrealer), he reaches road trippers and commuters every weekday morning.
Vinny knows that when it comes to exploring Quebec, you don't have to travel far to uncover lush scenery, wildlife and get some R&R. In fact, his favourite spots are all less than three hour's drive from Montreal.
Just imagine hitting the open road with the windows down and the radio pumping, cruising your way around picturesque villages, quaint architecture, lazy rivers and towering fjords.
Once you've checked out your favourite stops from Vinny's list of must-sees, all you need is a car, snacks for the road and 95.9 Virgin Radio on full blast.
Time From Montreal: 2 hours
Why You Need To Go: With so much to do and see, Mont-Tremblant is one of Quebec's most popular destinations no matter the season or the reason. From a panoramic gondola ride with a bird's eye view of the Laurentians to bike riding through one of the mountain's many trails, this spot is ideal for explorers and adventurers alike.
After a day spent wandering through nature in all its glory, you can wind down with a shopping spree in Mont-Tremblant's famed pedestrian village. Follow it up with an Instagram-worthy dining experience at one of the dozens of restaurants for a vacay done right.
Why You Need To Go: Less than two hour's drive from Montreal (during which you can jam out to tunes on 95.9 Virgin Radio), Saint-Sauveur is another popular Quebec destination that makes for a great day trip. With a massive outdoor pool and water park, restaurants like Gibby's and spas like Vinny's fave, the Polar Bear's Club Spa, Saint-Sauveur is a must-visit for Montrealers.
Spend the day soaking and steaming in the spa's thermal waters, view the Laurentians from horseback or shop to your heart's content. No matter how you choose to spend your time, there's no shortage of fun to be had at Saint-Sauveur.
Why You Need To Go: According to Vinny, Estérel Resort is "an oasis." With a four-season spa that boasts lake and mountainside views, it's easy to see why. Estérel Resort is all about escaping the daily grind, so what better way could there be to make use of a vacation day? Estérel's all-inclusive packages make it a one-stop-shop for all things R&R.
If you're in the mood for a solid sweat sesh, you can venture through the Laurentians via paddleboard, canoe, kayak, pontoon boat or bike. Foodies will especially love the range of fine dining, including the renowned Bistro à Champlain restaurant.
Why You Need To Go: With more than 225 species that call it home, Zoo de Granby is the largest zoo in the province and offers a great day out for the whole family. Due to continued health and safety guidelines, reservations are required for the summer 2021 season, so be sure to save your spot to get in on all the action.
Slender-tailed meerkats, white rhinos, Japanese macaques and snow leopards are just some of the many animals you'll get to spy here. Learn all there is to know about Granby's conservation efforts while you're at it, too.
Why You Need To Go: Just off the island, La Ferme Quinn is a go-to destination for farm-fresh fruits and veggies, including apples, cucumbers, kale and almost every type of berry you can think of. With fall just around the corner, now's the time to plan your apple-picking adventure to stock up for all those pies you're sure to make.
If baking isn't quite your thing, don't stress. According to Vinny, La Ferme Quinn has the "best apple pie ever." You can also load up on muffins and a ton of other baked goodies that may or may not make it through the car ride home.
Why You Need To Go: Combining rustic charm with jaw-dropping architecture, Le Château Montebello might just take your breath away in the best way as it's situated within nature itself. Fun fact: Le Château Montebello is the world's largest log cabin, and it was rated one of the top 10 resort hotels in Canada by Travel & Leisure.
To make your staycay complete, there's an outdoor pool and cabanas, a sports chalet boasting everything from tennis to mini-golf, a nautical pavilion for those who like to kayak, canoe or paddleboard, hiking trails and even 90-minute guided ATV rides.
Why You Need To Go: You don't need to travel far to uncover the beauty of Quebec. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Centre de la Nature is a massive urban park that spans 50 hectares.
Whether you're in search of a chill picnic, wanting to uncover nature via the Centre's five kilometres of pedestrian paths, or looking to entertain the family at Piscine Saint-Vincent or the on-site petting zoo, Centre de la Nature has it all. There's even a tropical greenhouse that boasts a stunning array of plants and animals, so be sure to have your camera at the ready.
Why You Need To Go: Charm and character combine with history to make Quebec City a must-see (and see again) spot. Walkable and sure to satiate your wanderlust, Quebec City is a great spot to spend your vacation days. Crank up the radio while you're en route and listen to 95.9 Virgin Radio hosts talk all things pop culture and more before you pull up in one of the province's most iconic destinations.
Once you're there, soak up a bit of history at Château Frontenac then traverse the Plains of Abraham, the site of the famous Battle of Quebec. You can also peep a stellar view of the St. Lawrence River from Dufferin Terrace, zipline above Montmorency Falls, shop and eat to your heart's content — however you choose to spend your time, Quebec City has plenty to offer.
Why You Need To Go: Touted as a "super cool experience" by Vinny himself, Parc Omega is a safari park with a 12-kilometre route that winds throughout. You're likely to see wolves, deer, bears, bison, birds and more at this year-round attraction.
For the brave-of-heart, you can also spend a night or two in a cabin, chalet, lodge or pod that's surrounded by a pack of wolves. Each accommodation has a glass facade to allow uninterrupted views of nature and wolves alike.
Why You Need To Go: Since it's always five o'clock somewhere, what better way to spend a day than at a winery? Located just minutes from Montreal, La Bullerie is the first Quebec vineyard that specializes in sparkling wines. With the likes of white, red and, of course, rosé, you can sip and santé while you take in the picturesque views of wine country.
If you fancy a picnic while you're there, La Bullerie offers one of their very own that includes choice cheese, fruit and a local dessert. It's the ultimate daytime date location.
This Montreal Vet Adopts All Of Her Pets & Here's Why She Says You Should Too
Anyone who has pets will know that they're more than just a four-legged roommate — they're loyal companions.
Furry friends are there to comfort you, help you cope with life's ups and downs, make you laugh and ensure you're never without company. Dr. Rebecca De Arburn Parent knows this to be true. Her two adopted pets, Barbie and Fugueuse, help make her house a home.
As a veterinarian and specialized animal surgeon, Dr. De Arburn Parent often sees animals left behind by owners who can't afford to take care of them. She also sees the impact that's made when those animals are finally adopted into a loving home, and how the animal can add joy and love to their new forever homes.
With over 100,000 cats and dogs taken into Canada's animal shelters each year, the credo "adopt, don't shop" isn't just fitting, but necessary.
Knowing that so many pets are in need, Royale (the household paper brand with beloved fluffy white kittens on its packaging) has brought back the Royale Home for Every Pet Project for a second year to help animals find a forever home.
Since launching in 2020, the Royale Home for Every Pet Project has invested over $225,000 in partner animal shelters. This year, they released a collection of five adoption stories, including Barbie and Fugueuse's, to help shine a light on the benefits of pet adoption.
If you'd like to support the cause, you can start on your next grocery run! From now until October 13, Royale will provide you with a $5 coupon and make a $5 donation to its 100+ partner animal shelters across Canada on all purchases of $20 of Royale products. Plus, for a limited time, you can spot Barbie and Fugueuse on Royale packaging in place of their iconic white kittens.
In this interview with Narcity, Dr. De Arburn Parent talks about her own experience with animal adoption, the importance of animal shelters and why it's crucial to raise awareness of animal adoption in Montreal.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
"I'm Dr. Rebecca De Arburn Parent. I'm a veterinarian but I'm also a specialized surgeon, more specifically. I also do volunteer work for several organizations, including Humane Society International and the Aristopattes."
Tell us a bit about Fugueuse and Barbie.
"I'll start with Fugueuse. I don't know exactly how old she is. I found her on the street about three years ago during the winter. She was already an adult at the time, so it's still difficult to estimate her exact age. She's likely between 3 and 4 years old but could be as old as 10 years old.
"She's a domestic cat, but she has something special: she has a very small tail. Usually, cats that have short tails like that are a breed called Manx. I don't know if she has any genes from that breed.
"Barbie is a 2-year-old dog. We got her when she was a baby. My boyfriend and I, [he] is also a veterinarian, adopted her at work. Barbie was abandoned because she had a broken paw and her owners couldn't afford to operate on her paw or take care of her. When my partner saw her, he fell in love with her."
Did you have any pets before you brought Fugueuse and Barbie into the house?
"Yes. I had three dogs at the time. My old Labrador, Chrome, passed away a few weeks ago. So now I have two dogs and three cats. Everyone gets along well. We are really lucky as that's not always the case with so many pets.
"For example, for Fugueuse, she's a female and all of our cats are also female. Oftentimes, having three female cats together doesn't work very well, just character-wise. But our three cats are quite independent and they manage to all hang out in the house together. They get along really, really well.
"The two dogs — Barbie and a 13-year-old pug named Dorothe — are inseparable. They are really great friends and always do the same things. With Barbie, it was super easy to train her because we had two old dogs at home who set an example. We didn't need to show her much, she just followed the others.
"Our cats and dogs interact more than the cats do with each other. Barbie and Croquette (another one of my adopted cats) have a lot of play interactions. It's really fun."
How has your life changed since you adopted them?
"Having smaller dogs has positively changed our activity level as a family. When we had Chrome, the old Labrador, he was about 16 years old. You couldn't take him for long walks but now that we just have Barbie and Dorothe, we started hiking again with them, and that's fun. For Dorothe, who is old but is still very fit, having one active dog around is very stimulating for her."
There can sometimes be a negative connotation surrounding pet adoption. Is there anything you would like to clarify regarding animal adoption?
"I think the answer to that question is really to debunk the myth that adopting a shelter animal is adopting a problem animal, that's not true. If you want to adopt a healthy animal, you only need to specify it to the shelter you're dealing with and they'll match you with an animal that fits with your lifestyle.
"Pet adoption brings such joy and happiness to a home, so I would encourage everyone to visit your local SPCA to find an animal that's a match for you and your family."
What impact can Montrealers have in the community if they consider adopting pets instead of buying them?
"It's a major impact, for sure. Animal adoption is said to save two lives: the life of the animal being adopted, and the life of the animal that will take its place in the shelter. Shelters are generally overwhelmed; they have maximum capacities, they are voluntary activities, and we can't save all the animals in them.
"[...] It's a big impact. I also think that by limiting adoption on, for example, animal shopping sites, we also have a direct impact on this industry."
How can everyday Montrealers help pets who need a home if they are unable to adopt?
"There are several ways. If they can't adopt because they don't want the long-term commitment but are able to have a pet in the house intermittently, they can become a foster family...The vast majority of shelters provide everything you need. It's a great way to get involved and also to test to see if you're ready to have a pet in the house.
"Following the shelters on social media and sharing their mission helps a lot. And obviously, donating and supporting the cause monetarily; that's what helps the most.
"But there are other ways to get involved too. There are always plenty of shelters looking for people to either take care of their social networks or help out with claw-cutting campaigns, things like that. You can volunteer in a shelter without necessarily having an animal at home. It can be a nice way to help out."
If you're in the market to adopt a pet, visit your local animal shelter or SPCA. If you're unable to adopt a pet, you can still help by volunteering, donating or simply spreading the word.
You can also support the cause by purchasing $20 of Royale products. Until October 13, Royale will provide you with a $5 coupon and make a $5 donation to its partner animal shelters across Canada.
Want to learn more about pet adoption? The Royale Home for Every Pet Project has featured the stories of five adopted pets, including Barbie and Fugueuse, that you can watch online. Remember to keep an eye out for Barbie, Fugueuse and other adopted animals on Royale packaging in place of the brand's iconic white kittens for a limited time.
To learn more about Royale and the Home For Every Pet Project, visit their website or follow Royale on Instagram and Facebook.