There's magic in the air and the jingle bells are ringing — wait a minute. It's not Christmas, so what's going on? You're not hallucinating, you're just in Blainville on Montreal's North Shore, taking in the town's Christmas in July celebrations.
During your visit, you'll cross into an illuminated tunnel that'll transport you to a Christmas playground complete with elves, lit-up trees, and other giant decorations including a 25-foot-tall Christmas tree.
There is also a traditional Christmas market, so you can buy your gifts early. VERY early.
Blainville residents have even decorated their homes with Christmas lights to really immerse visitors in the Christmas spirit.
The site is open by reservation only during three time slots: 8:30 p.m., 9:15 p.m. or 10 p.m. You will have 45 minutes to stroll the area and take in all the wonderful sights.
In Montreal, summer means more than just fun in the sun. It's a season that brings people together — something many Montrealers have been missing over the past year.
There's no doubt summer 2021 is particularly special. With restrictions easing for the first time in months, the spirit of celebration is in the air, and people are ready to make this season one for the history books.
Is there any better way to kick off summer in this city than with Saint-Jean-Baptiste? As a celebration of Quebec's heritage and history, it’s one of the province's favourite holidays and with good reason. From bonfires and barbecues to fireworks and fêtes, St-Jean is when Montreal truly comes alive.
This summer, Pepsi® may even help you to seriously upgrade your plans. The Drink Pepsi Get Summer Stuff contest is giving Canadians the chance to win thousands of prizes like bicycles, paddleboards, barbecue grills, merch and more, including a weekly chance to win $10,000.
Whenever you grab a Pepsi cola this summer, submit the unique codes found on specially marked Pepsi products at www.pepsistuff.ca for your chance to win! Make this June 24 one to remember with one of these seven outdoor ideas.
Why You Need To Do It: No St-Jean would be complete without a feast to match the fête, so fire up the grill and get cooking.
With COVID-19 gathering restrictions shifting in Montreal, you might be able to even kick it up a notch and have a backyard potluck — while following all pertinent COVID-19 safety guidelines, of course. Include some fave Quebec cuisine, like the famed poutine, to really go all-in on the holiday.
Watch Fireworks From A Rooftop
Why You Need To Do It: You're never too old for fireworks, and there's nothing quite like watching this spectacular display each St-Jean.
This holiday, call up your crew and find your way to a viewpoint, like a rooftop terrasse, to catch a glimpse of the show for yourself.
Have A Picnic In A Park
Why You Need To Do It: Whip out your picnic basket and fill it up with your fave food and drinks for an idyllic — and free — way to celebrate the holiday. You could even pack a Pepsi for each of your friends and submit those unique codes for a chance to win some sweet summer stuff.
Montrealers are spoiled for choice when it comes to parks. From Mont-Royal to La Fontaine, Jarry, Angrignon and more, the only hard part is deciding where to meet up.
Why You Need To Do It: Band together with your roomies or friends to host a pandemic-friendly celebration in your backyard. Organize food, drinks, games, a playlist, and don't forget to decorate with all things white and blue to commemorate St-Jean.
The best part about this one is that you'll never have to go looking for a bathroom.
Grab A Drink At A Terrasse
Why You Need To Do It: With Montreal terrasses open, soaking up the sun while sipping margs, mimosas or an alcoholic-free beverage is a splendid option for a summer afternoon. And on St-Jean, there's no better way to catch up with friends and celebrate all at once.
Why You Need To Do It: Since St-Jean honours Quebec's heritage, it's also a chance to embrace some local history too.
Place Vauquelin Fountain and Dorchester Square are a few of Montreal's fascinating historical sites that you can check out. Plus, with few visitors in the city right now, it's a great time to play tourist in your own town.
Go Swimming At An Outdoor Pool
Why You Need To Do It: During peak summer, especially on a day like St-Jean, escaping to an oasis in the heart of the city can be exactly what's called for. Thankfully, Montreal is home to many outdoor pools, some of which are free and others that require a small fee.
With the Drink Pepsi Get Summer Stuff contest you can make the day one you'll never forget. With a chance to win a weekly Grand Prize of $10,000 and thousands of instant prizes like barbecue grills, bicycles, paddleboards, shirts and more epic summer gear, there may be no better time to sip a Pepsi.
Be on the lookout for specially marked products with on-pack codes. All you have to do to enter is redeem your code on www.pepsistuff.ca for a chance to win.
The holiday will take place on September 30, a date already known as Orange Shirt Day, "an annual day to recognize and raise awareness about the residential school system in Canada, join together in the spirit of reconciliation, and honour the experiences of Indigenous Peoples," according to UBC.
The announcement of the new holiday comes after the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.
The Trudeau government is also facing criticism for actions towards residential school survivors.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has said Trudeau "refused to commit" to end his government's appeal of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling "that ordered billions of dollars to be paid to Indigenous children and families who were separated by the child welfare system," according to Narcity.
Travellers must book a three-night reservation before they depart from the country they were visiting, but it's possible their hotel stay will be shorter depending on when they get their test results back.
According to Canada's Minister of Health Patty Hajdu, upon receiving a negative COVID-19 molecular test, travellers can take a connecting flight to their final destination or head home.
Travellers must pay for the cost of the hotel stay themselves — which includes the room, food, security and transportation, as well as infection prevention and control.
The designated hotels are centred around the only four Canadian airports still receiving international flights, which are located in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
In Calgary, travellers can stay at the Acclaim Hotel or the Marriot Calgary Airport.
In Vancouver, the only option announced so far is the Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport
In Toronto, there's the Alt Hotel Pearson Airport, Four Points by Sheraton and Element Toronto Airport, Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport or Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport.
The Montreal hotels are the Aloft Montreal Airport, Crowne Plaza Montreal Airport, Holiday Inn Express and Suites Montreal Airport or the Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal.
According to the federal government's website, "the list of hotels is incomplete and will be finalized in the coming days."
To book, travellers need to call American Express Global Business Travel at 1-800-294-8253.