Just as I finished looking into what will and won't be open this holiday weekend in Quebec, this story came up and has thrown a big wrench into my weekend plans. This is concerning.
As you know, SAQ will operate on holiday hours this weekend, with all stores closed on Monday, June 25th following St. Jean Baptiste celebrations province-wide over Saturday and Sunday - St. Jean Baptiste Day is Sunday, June 24th.
5500 SAQ employees, including office workers, are set to vote on a 6-day strike mandate that will see employees walk-off the job starting this Saturday, June 23rd.
This is monumental. If the strike moves forward, SAQ will be forced to close the majority of their stores across Quebec on their biggest sales day of the year - the Saturday before St. Jean Baptiste Day.
St. Jean Baptiste Day is SAQ's Christmas.
In fact, the day is so huge for SAQ that if their employees do vote to walk off the job, senior management will be left to pick up the pieces and run the stores themselves.
This means that about 50 SAQ locations out of 404 will be open across Quebec.
The SAQ’s 5500 employees have been without a collective agreement since March 2017. The biggest issues on the bargaining table include weekend schedules and the precarious situation of part-time employees.
This is not the first time something like this has happened, either. During the 2004 strike in the middle of the holiday season, customers had to turn to convenience stores and grocery stores.
As we wait to find out whether this will move forward or not (and it looks like it will), you may want to think ahead and stop by SAQ today or tomorrow (Friday, June 22) and make sure you're fully stocked!
Once we have official word on the strike I will update this... as well as tell you which 50 locations will be open in Quebec this weekend, and going into next week as the 6-day strike begins.
Yes, it's a long weekend! Three uninterrupted days to relax, have fun, and not think for two seconds about things like school or work, or other responsibilities until Tuesday morning. Not to be too depressing but it will be six weeks before we get another official long weekend.
But let's focus on the positive! This is usually one of the summer weekends that people are trying to pack in their last days of camping or chalet time. But if you're planning to stay in the city it's good to know what's open and what's closed so you can plan out your Labour Day weekend.
Labour Day falls on Monday, September 2 this year. The good news is the city doesn't stop being its fun self. There are still a ton of things to do. Most of Montreal's museums are all open if you're looking for a little culture. As are the beaches, La Ronde and the casino.
And phew, the majority of SAQ express locations are also open so you don't have to stock up on alcohol today.
If you're planning to get around the city by public transit, double-check the schedule as the STM operates on holiday schedules and it might impact your normal route. Check out their website here.
If you're planning to hit any stores or eat at a restaurant, it's best to call first to check hours. So let's take a look at what's open.
SAQ Express stores will have normal hours. But all but three SAQ classic stores will be closed.
311, the city of Montreal’s information hotline
Hospitals and emergency services
Dépanneurs and pharmacies
Most bars and clubs
Some restaurants (this can really be hit and miss as a lot of restaurants aren't open Mondays anyway so make sure to call) and pubs
Hotels & resorts
Small grocery stores (less than 4,037-sq-ft in size)
Swimming pools and sports centres remain open with reduced hours
Montreal Casino (the business that never sleeps)
Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal’s museum of history and archeology
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
What's open continued...
Montreal Botanical Gardens and the Gardens of Light
Montreal Science Centre and IMAX Theatre
Public and farmers’ markets (like Atwater and Jean-Talon)
Parking meters (yep you will still have to pay)
Garbage and recycling pickups stay on schedule (there are isolated exceptions)
What we love about potholes here at MTL Blog is that they provide us with an endless number of stories to share. Readers are constantly sending us photos of their favourite holes in the road. Not only that but we've become friends with many potholes around the city.
We see them every day doing their very best to make us late to work and to destroy our wheels so it's about time we give them some love!
If you think you've seen a more beautiful pothole than these, send them into @MTLBlog on Instagram with the hashtag: #montrealsprettiestpothole!
TL;DR We voted and MTLBlog has finally found some candidates for the city's prettiest pothole. Welcome to Montreal's very first Pothole Beauty Pageant 2019! #montrealsprettiestpothole
What's not to love about potholes? Whenever you encounter one in Montreal (they're everywhere!) they also make our days better by exploding our tires or flipping us over our bike's handlebars. Sometimes, they even twist our ankles, sso not even pedestrians can escape they're impact!
Here are the nominees for Montreal's prettiest pothole!
Fashion can transcend time and space. No one knows this better than vintage clothing aficionados. Vintage lovers rejoice because Flohmarkt Vintage Pop-Ups is hosting the biggest vintage pop-up shop Montreal has ever seen!
With Flohmarkt Vintage Pop-Ups, you never have to worry about finding the perfect piece because they have everything! Since March 2018, this independently operated pop-up boutique is one of the best vintage clothing markets in the city. You simply can't miss this Flohmarkt event happening at the former Urban Outfitters on St-Denis!
TL;DR On April 13 + 14 and April 27 + 28, fans of vintage clothing won't have to scour the city for that perfect piece. Flohmarkt Vintage Pop-Ups, Montreal's finest vintage pop-up boutique, is hosting their largest-ever pop-up event in the former St-Denis Urban Outfitters location.
Since March 2018, Alex Mondry and her team have worked tirelessly to bring you the best vintage pop-up events. If you've ever been to Flohmarkt, you know that you can expect expert vintage curators. What's awesome about Flohmarkt is that each vendor operates independently, meaning that your money supports local small businesses.
Flohmarkt is the perfect place for you to find that jacket, dress, shirt, and even accessory that matches your unique personality. Vintage shopping is often intimidating and shoppers can get easily discouraged if they don't find the right piece. At Flohmarkt, you'll never have to worry about that!
From clothing and outerwear and to accessories and shoes, Flohmarkt has got you covered. Have you been trying to find the perfect hat to complete that hipster dad look? That's a guarantee.
Keep in mind that some vendors might not have changing rooms, so be sure to return all items to their booths if you don't buy! Make sure to come as early as possible to get first dibs on the best stuff! This is a can't-miss event!
Flohmarkt Vintage Pop-Ups hosts the largest vintage pop-up event in Montreal on April 13 + 14 and April 27 + 28. For full details, click here!
Have you always dreamed of becoming a photographer? I don’t blame you, it’s a super cool creative outlet that can make for a uniquely rewarding career. Capture special moments, magnificent architecture, the taste and flavour of food, fashion's flair, industrial installations and more. You can create timeless souvenirs that will be forever treasured, and images that are both striking and commercially viable. And that, y’all, is priceless.
Dawson College offers a program made to ensure you get to live out your dream and capture every priceless moment life has to offer. Best of all? It’s TUITION FREE for all Quebec residents! Known as a leading resource in photography training, Dawson's AEC Program in Commercial Photography has been a staple for picture-taking Quebecers since the '80s.
Through the expertise of its skilled teachers, who are talented professional photographers themselves, this full-time, tuition-free, two-year program equips its students with valuable knowledge in countless areas of photography. Bonus: As these are evening courses, you can still maintain your job while pursuing your studies.
Dawson's Commercial Photography Program allows you to discover your own area of expertise by exploring a variety of aspects such as advertising and editorial illustration, portraiture, catalogue photography, architectural photography, fashion photography, and industrial photography. Post-production techniques will help you bring your images to a truly professional level.
Through theory and practice, students will learn the technical intricacies of digital image capture, how to use light sources in all forms including constant light and electronic flash in studio and on location. Even the most challenging of assignments will be made doable!
If you're looking for a creative environment with a cool and inspiring spirit, Dawson's Commercial Photography Program is the place for you. You'll forge great friendships with other passionate dream-chasers who are honing their personal creative visions of the world. You can take full advantage of targeted content, cutting-edge technology, top-notch facilities, and industry experience. Bring your dedication and love of imagery to the table, and you can go a long way with this fascinating program.
To get a feel for the gifted teachers you can learn from in Dawson's Commercial Photography Program, here are a few sample images of their work:
The application deadline is April 28, 2019, and the program is scheduled to begin August 22, 2019. If you're looking to pursue your dream of becoming a full-fledged photographer and create portfolios that'll stun everyone, don't miss Dawson's Commercial Photography Information Session: - April 16, 2019 at 6:00 PM, room 4E.1
For more information on this incredible tuition-free program, check out Dawson's website and Facebook.