Montreal has a much spookier past than people think, or at least like to remember. The city has quite a sordid history, with many pretty tragic deaths, mysteries, and crimes having occurred in Montreal's hundreds of years of existence. Standing longer than almost every other area of the city, Old Montreal has witnessed a majority of these dark moments of history, and there is no better time than Halloween to learn about the spirits that haunt the area than on Halloween with the Montreal Ghosts tour.
Montreal Ghosts invites all citizens to explore the haunted history of Montreal's oldest neighborhood, which will definitely change your perception of the area. Old Montreal's cobblestone streets, which normally just seem classic and classy, have been home to witches, criminals, and victims of horrifying atrocities, some of whom still haunt the area to this day. Appearances can be deceiving.
For the special Halloween edition of the Old Montreal ghost tour, you can partake in two ways. Become a specter hunter and track down the phantoms of Old Montreal, or simply take a guided walk. Either way, you'll learn get a firsthand retelling of the grim tales that make up the most mysterious parts of Montreal's history, from the spirits themselves. Okay, so it'll be actors playing ghosts, but its more fun to play along.
Old Montreal's Halloween ghost walk/hunt will be held on October 30th, 31st and November 1st. Each tour lasts about 90 minutes and will take place at 8:30pm. with a an extra tour added at 6:30 on Halloween eve. Register your spot by heading to the Montreal Ghosts official website here.
Boucherie Slovenia, a boulevard Saint-Laurent institution for 50 years, will soon serve its last spicy sausage.
The iconic home of enormous Eastern European-style sandwiches — Slovenian sausage and towering cold-cuts were staples — will close its doors forever on January 29, said the owners, Lourdes Rodrigues and Jean Teixeira, in a Facebook post.
"Thank you to all our loyal customers, for the wonderful years," they said.
With a menu overflowing with huge, yet affordable, meat and mustard sandwiches — sauerkraut, pickles and Cherry Cokes were also standard — Boucherie Slovenia is the latest of the Main's iconic old-school institutions to close.
The beloved Moishes steakhouse announced its closure under the strain of the pandemic in the summer of 2020.
The Boucherie Slovenia Facebook post asks readers to share their memories of the restaurant and butcher shop, with many offering childhood stories of visiting for a pepperette sandwich or their "underrated" smoked meat, which is "the best in the city," according to one commenter.
Many apparent long-time customers said they wouldn't know where to go to find dishes comparable to Boucherie Slovenia's treasured menu items.
Others remarked on how yet another classic Montreal restaurant is closing its doors. "Nothing replaces these fantastic old shops," said one person. "It's a loss. The rich character of the boulevard is disappearing."
Montreal is certainly no stranger to a traffic jam, which makes taking public transit a more viable option to not only get around faster but do more good for the environment.
As Canadian cities take the initiative to improve their transit systems and reduce their carbon footprints, Montreal has become one of the country's greenest metropolitan areas when it comes to transport, according to one ranking.
A December report from Kijiji Autos analyzed green transport options in Canada's most populated cities, evaluating their use of electric cars, bikes, scooters, and the number of electric charging stations.
With its metro and bus systems, BIXI rentals, bike lanes, and availability of electric cars, Montreal found itself in third place among Canadian cities that offer the greenest transport with a score of 5.5/10.
Although Vancouver and Ottawa/Gatineau snagged the top two spots, Montreal takes the lead as the most bicycle-friendly city in all of North America, with a total of 2,163 bicycle paths, says the Copenhagenize Index.
Montreal's third-place ranking is encouraging news, said McGill University Assistant Professor of Geography, Grant McKenzie, who specifically boasted about Montreal's metro system, "especially compared to other Canadian cities," as well as its "substantial investment towards electric buses."
While McKenzie said "we can always do better" and bemoaned the city's ban on e-scooters, he called the popularity of the BIXI and the inclusion of electric bikes in its fleet an "excellent move in the right direction."
As for electric cars, Kijiji Autos looked at new registrations of electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2021, as well as total charging stations. Montreal landed second to Toronto with a total of 3,633 new registered electric cars, and 1,258 electric charging stations throughout the city.
Kijiji Autos also looked at the number of hybrids and electric vehicles for sale on their platform. Montreal led the way with 1,063 hybrid vehicles and 375 electric vehicles, states the report.
With the province of Quebec offering residents a rebate for the purchase or lease of electric cars, Quebec estimates that there will be 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
With restaurants in Quebec being closed and no reopening date announced yet, we're all missing indoor dining right about now. Luckily, six Montreal restaurants have teamed up with hotels in the city and found a way to continue providing this experience starting January 14.
A press explained that four hotels in Old Montreal "are opening up their rooms to offer you an intimate culinary experience."
Here are the possible restaurant/hotel combinations:
All of these restaurants offer private in-room at some of the prettiest hotels in Montreal. You can look at each restaurant's menus to see what's available for your fancy three or four-course meal, which are all available for two or four people, and see which dinner options excite you the most. Packages vary in pricing.
After your much-awaited indoor dining experience, you can dress warm and go enjoy all the winter festivities happening around the city. You'll already be in Old Montreal, which is the perfect spot to go on a snowy walk.
Or, you can stay the night at one of the hotels.
Some of the packages are the "staycation" type, so you can enjoy your tasty meal and spend the night at the hotel. A win-win, right? Since there isn't much else to do in Montreal right now — especially if you don't like the cold weather — then this seems like the perfect way to treat yourself (and finally get out of your apartment).
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.