First launched in 2015, La Grande Terrasse Rouge is basically a huge, awesome red terrasse, and the very best way to celebrate Saint-Denis Street. Not only does it beautify the whole street- and offer a respite from all the Saint-Denis construction - but there'll be tons of events, shows, games, music, and much more.
Bonjour-Ho-Ho-Ho! The city finally feels like it's coming alive with Christmas decorations and holiday spirit at every turn. And you know what that means? This weekend in Montreal is going to be unreal.
If you want to feel all those festive holiday feels then the first thing you have to do is get your butt off the couch. Here are a bunch of things you can do and places you can go as you get excited about this special time of year.
Montreal Christmas Village at Atwater Market: November 25 to December 19, 2021 Jean-Talon Christmas Market: November 27 to December 23, 2021 Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal on Sainte-Catherine: November 20, 2021 to January 2, 2022
Address: Atwater Market, Jean-Talon Market, and Place des Arts, Montreal
Why You Need To Go: You know the holidays are in full swing when the markets start popping up here, there and everywhere.
Sure, the weather's cooling down. And yes you're probably working from home so putting on pants is an added hassle. But it's only getting colder and we've been cooped for too long... so that's all the more reason to get your butt off the couch and have fun! Make the most of the weekend with these exciting things to do.
Why You Need To Go: The world-famous Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal isn't just a church. It's currently home to an immersive light experience which the website calls "a stunning universe presented upon one of the most sublime canvases imaginable."
Why You Need To Go: The only thing better than Sunday brunch is going somewhere before it becomes "the cool spot." Try somewhere new, that's not the usual "scene," so you can roll out of bed and avoid seeing 1,000 people, you know.
Montreal's Villeray neighbourhood is currently having a moment. Time Out named it the 18th coolest neighbourhood in the world in 2021 and, according to locals, it's for damn good reason.
Bordered by Highway 40 in the north, avenue Casgrain in the west, boulevard Jean-Talon in the south and rue Garnier in the east, Villeray is packed full of shops, restaurants, cafés, bike paths, charming architecture, green spaces and community gardens. Parc Jarry and Jean-Talon Market are also mere blocks outside the neighbourhood's technical border lines.
Keen on exploring one of the coolest parts of the city, but not sure where to go? We asked two experts for help: Villeray residents Émilie Bouchard and Stéphanie Guéritaud, both of whom have called the neighbourhood home for at least 15 years.
Why You Need To Go: Guéritaud calls this place "the one and only bakery." But you don't need to take her word for it. Its baguette won the title of second-best baguette in the world at France's prestigious Mondial Du Pain competition in 2011.
"A must for its variety but also for a coffee and croissant on its little terrasse!" said Bouchard.
Why You Need To Go: Guéritaud said this café is the neighbourhood's "newest little Instagram gem." It serves sandwiches, ice creams, gelatos, pastries and coffees, and — thanks to the colourful, floral decor — it makes every day feel like Valentine's Day.
Pro Tip: If you're there, you can also head across the street to the new Cantine Emilia, which Guéritaud described as a "really cute and relatively new place with affordable Portuguese specialties."
Why You Need To Go: This was one of Celine Dion's late husband's favourite restaurants, Guéritaud told us. And, according to reports, she's correct. René Angélil clearly had good taste when it came to spotting talent so we'll take his word when it comes to food, too.
Why You Need To Go: From Miss Villeray to Brasserie EtOH, Guéritaud said Villeray is "a great to have a drink" but one of her favourite spots is Huis Clos, an organic wine bar and restaurant with a huge drink menu including fun cocktails.
Why You Need To Go: This coffee shop is known for its delicious Italian coffee, massive sandwiches, and seasonal terrasse. A Yellow Page article described the owner's vision for the decor as something that could "blend in seamlessly with any stunning Wes Anderson movie" — and the Wes Anderson vibe is exactly what Bouchard said she likes best about it.
Why You Need To Go: "There are several grocery stores/fruit stores in the neighbourhood that are adorable. The people are really welcoming and we keep in touch as time goes by. The Tsikinis fruit shop with its employees who have been there forever," Bouchard said.
According to Bouchard, the service alone makes this the perfect spot to pick up fruit on the way to a Parc Jarry picnic during the warmer months.
Why You Need To Go: Bouchard said Knuckles, a new-ish casual Italian eatery on the rue Jarry strip, is really nice with large tables, making it COVID-19 friendly. Not to mention, the food will make you drool.
Why You Need To Go: While Bouchard is vegetarian, she said "carnivores agree that Pascal le Boucher is a must." And while she doesn't go there for the meat, she does go to Pascal to pick up Clos Saragnat cider so you can really get it all there.
November is always an odd month... Halloween has just ended and we're now all patiently waiting for the holiday season to begin, but that doesn't mean there aren't all kinds of things to do in Montreal this November.
Our city never disappoints when it comes to finding ways to keep us occupied.
Why You Need To Go: This exhibition by Montreal artists Luna Mehriban Nashar and Jessie Emile is "a constructed room devoted to women's intimacy presented as an installation composed of photographs, textiles, ready-to-wear and paintings."
Why You Need To Go: Get yourself in the festive spirit at one of the most festive shops in town. Noël Eternel is open year-round, but now's the time to start planning your Christmas gifts and there's no better place to window shop than here.
Where: Atwater Market, Jean-Talon Market, and Place des Arts, Montreal
When: Montreal Christmas Village at Atwater Market: November 25 to December 19, 2021 Jean-Talon Christmas Market: November 27 to December 23, 2021 Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal on Sainte-Catherine: November 20, 2021 to January 2, 2022
Why You Need To Go: To get yourself excited for the upcoming holiday season.
Why You Need To Go: The McCord Museum is part of Montreal culture and if you haven't been yet, now's your chance. The museum is celebrating its centenary by letting visitors enjoy free admission for 100 days.
When: November 7, 2021 (first Sunday of every month)
Why You Need To Go: There's no better way to spend a Sunday than wandering through a local museum. Just make sure to book your ticket online before heading out!
Get A Free Halloween Drink For A Friend
Where: Presotea McGill — 600, ave. du Président-Kennedy, Montreal, QC
When: 2 for 1 until November 4, 2021
Why You Need To Go: Halloween lives on! This may not be totally free, but if you buy yourself a Limited Edition Halloween drink from Prestotea McGill during the first four days of the month, you can get a free one to bring to a friend.