The Bulletin: Forest fires rage on, housing crises continue, and more [Issue #31]

The Bulletin is a collection of what's happened, what’s happening, and what’s to come in and around Montreal.

The Main

The Main

June 29, 2023- Read time: 9 min
The Bulletin: Forest fires rage on, housing crises continue, and more [Issue #31]Boris, the Montreal Gazette's cartoonist, drew his view of the city's skyline earlier this week. (Image courtesy of the Montreal Gazette)

Seems like the weeks are just flying by, doesn't it?

We're just days away from July and somehow it feels like June didn't even happen. We don't know about you but with all the smoggy, hazy days lately, there's a feeling in the air (besides the smoke) that we're all somewhat due to slow down a little, take a well-deserved vacation, enjoy what will undoubtedly be another summer gone by, and appreciate the late nights and early mornings where the sun (we think?) shines all day long.

We heard about these breathing techniques that are supposed to calm your nerves, especially with all that scary news out there. Want to try?

Okay, deep breath. Ready? One, two, three. Inhale, and exhale. Repeat. Didn't that feel good?

Now, back to business. Earlier this week, thousands protested in the streets against Bill 31, two days before Montreal was awarded the ungracious title as the city with the worst air quality in the world due to wildfires raging across the country. There's also been a lot of anxiety-inducing news surrounding housing lately—everything from banning lease transfers to the increasingly alarming situation of affordable housing, particularly as we approach annual moving day—but there's some good news, too. All of that is covered below.

As for events—even if you're still reeling from your Saint-Jean hangover, we're giving you fair notice: Get ready for a weekend chock-full of collaborative pop-ups, festivals, dance parties, live music, and so much more. Expect that to continue well into July, too.

So, as usual, sroll down, click on stuff, go see things, eat everything, and all that. And tell us all about it when you're done.


Here's our curated list of happenings around town. Not seeing something you think we should know about? Hit us up by Instagram to let us know.


  • We were going to suggest the first show of the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec, but it's been cancelled due to poor air quality. Better luck next week.
  • Mtl en Arts, an art festival taking place in the heart of the Village, kicked off yesterday and will run until Sunday with a little help from the QC government.
  • If it's jazz you're after, look no further than this guide for everything you need to know ahead of the 43rd edition of the Festival de Jazz de Montréal, starting today. (And here's another guide to 10 free shows.)
  • For the third time this summer, the Jean-Talon Market will pop off with a 5 à 9 featuring two DJs and plenty of street food.


  • Get a head start on the Canada Day long weekend as sunny skies return to the forecast, and with the beach at Parc Jean-Drapeau now open, it makes for a pretty good reason to head out there—even if they just allowed the return of those pesky trottinettes.
  • Café Bravo will host NDG's Entre-Deux for a fun little lobster and cocktail pop-up, with the festivities starting at 7pm until late.
  • Martha Wainwright's art and event space Ursa is throwing its own 3-day music festival. Tickets available for individual shows or for the weekend.


  • There's a few seats left for Sugar Sammy's bilingual show entitled You're Gonna Rire 2. Get 'em while you can.
  • Cinéma Moderne is showing the premiere of Memento Mori, with free admissions and—eep!—free booze.
  • Playground 2023, a free micro-festival featuring 16 artists, 3 DJs, an after-party, and a huge mix of summer sounds
  • Looking for some more ideas on Canada Day? Here's a list of what's open—and what's not—on the country's 156th birthday.


  • Saint-Henri's Elena is hosting a bagel pop-up with NYC's Apollo Bagels, which they've claimed (boldly, we may add) are the world's best. 9am until sold out.
  • Menu Extra, local legends of the pop-up, is collaborating with Laurent Dagenais for a lobster roll block party that will donate 100% of the profits to La Tablée des Chefs. Expect this one to get out of hand quick.
  • And as if that wasn't enough pop-up for ya, Elena's sister restaurant Gia will host Ha's Dac Biet for an evening of Vietnamese dishes, plus natural wines and funky cocktails.

Izabelle Duguay's giant fresco celebrating nature covers a portion of the street facing Mont-Royal metro station. (Photo: Avenue du Mont-Royal)


This section dishes out the scoop on restaurant openings, new menus, old classics—you name it. If you know something you think we should know too, drop us a line on Instagram.

  • Pizzeria Magpie has gone where no pie has gone before with this Montreal bagel pizza. Why didn't we think of that?
  • Legendary steakhouse Moishes has been reborn in Old Montreal, and included some of its original decor in the new spot.
  • Bar Loïc dropped a whole new list of cocktails that has us running down to Saint-Henri.
  • Maybe a little premature to add to the list, but (shhh, don't tell anyone) we've got our eyes on Nanana, the newest project from the team behind dessert and wine bar Ratafia. Seems like they'll be opening any day now.
  • Need more inspo? Check out our list of the city's best terrasses or our friend @cravingcurator's list of his favourite dishes.


ICYMI: A weekly round-up of the latest local news, from food and entertainment to current affairs and more.

You never know what's in your backyard

In a thrilling development, a series of archeological discoveries dating back to the 18th century were made behind Hydro-Québec's HQ in downtown Montreal. You won't believe what they found. (La Presse)

Montréal | Des découvertes archéologiques derrière le siège social d’Hydro
Des objets du XVIIIe et du XIXe siècle ont été découverts en plein cœur du centre-ville de Montréal, derrière le siège social d’Hydro-Québec. Ces rares objets ont été trouvés dans le cadre de fouilles archéologiques organisées par la société d’État.

How do you solve a housing crisis?

With more and more people threatened by the rising cost of living—and in particular, housing—this explainer video provides the low-down on how it came to be, and what we can do to cool the flames. (CBC)

What’s behind Montreal’s housing problem, and what could ease it
With rents continuing to rise, and the price of buying a home doing the same, we break down what’s driving the housing crisis in Montreal.

"We've got your back"

The mayors of 14 cities across the province have united to ensure the Quebec government receives the message loud and clear: Our cities are becoming unaffordable, and more is needed to ensure renters are protected from unjustified rent increases. (CBC)

14 Quebec mayors call on Quebec to do more to curb unwarranted rent increases | CBC News
Municipal leaders are upset with the CAQ government’s approach to the housing crisis, denouncing a bill that would end lease transfers and calling on the government to enforce the requirement that landlords tell new tenants the rent the previous tenant paid.

Sustainable travel is back on track

In exciting travel news, the train line from Montreal to Gaspé suspended indefinitely in 2013 is set to return in another three years, thanks to a whopping $870M investment on behalf of the provincial government. If we could buy tickets right now, we would. (Journal Métro)

Le train de Montréal à Gaspé reviendra en 2026
Bonne nouvelle pour les Montréalais qui souhaiteront visiter la Gaspésie sans devoir conduire. Le train devrait relier la métropole et la péninsule dès 2026.

Remember when they said Rome wasn't built in a day?

The orange cone that has infamously become the unofficial icon, logo, slogan, persistent joke, and perpetual laughing stock is finally getting the heave-ho... well, sorta. Construction sites are now only permitted to place cones 24 hours in advance of the job, and remove them within 24 hours after completion—but critics worry it'll be hard to monitor. (Radio-Canada)

Chantiers : nouveau délai de 24 heures pour la signalisation
L’industrie de la construction doit désormais respecter un délai de 24 heures pour installer et retirer la signalisation avant et après les travaux à Montréal.

New residences a welcome respite

As availability of rooming houses have been declining year after year, local organization Chez Doris will welcome 11 women into their new residence this weekend, which also offers psychosocial support. Meanwhile, in other news, developers have shared their plan for a new downtown student dorm. (CBC)

Chez Doris opens new social rooming house for vulnerable women in Montreal | CBC News
The first 11 residents of a new, permanent home in Montreal’s Ville-Marie borough for women who have been experiencing homelessness will move in on July 2.

Victim of your own success

The city's bike sharing service, BIXI, has become so popular that–while it's breaking records–it's also leaving some people stranded. A significant number of bikes are also needing repairs, which doesn't help the situation. (La Presse)

Vélos en libre-service | Le service de BIXI victime de sa popularité
BIXI n’a jamais été aussi populaire à Montréal. L’été est à peine commencé et l’organisme enregistre des hausses d’achalandage de 40 % par rapport à l’an dernier, en plus de deux journées record de 67 000 déplacements. Mais il y a un bémol : l’engouement est tel que le service est, dans certains sec…

He said, she said... uhh, then what?

Local non-profit Héritage Montréal is sounding the alarm over important remnants of Expo 67 that exist within the walls of La Ronde, and is asking Montreal to protect the site under heritage status. The city, however, is putting the onus on Six Flags. Around and around we go... (Journal Métro)

Patrimoine de La Ronde: Montréal rappelle à Six Flags ses «obligations»
Héritage Montréal appelle la Ville à «désigner La Ronde comme un ensemble patrimonial au même titre que l’île Sainte-Hélène».

Ah yes, the famous King's Daughters

In this short documentary, a researcher takes it upon herself to set the record straight about Les Filles du Roi, who were sent over to Quebec by the King of France in the 1600s to help populate the colony. The issue isn't so much whether or not they were sent, but what were they actually wearing? (CBC)

How did the Filles du Roy actually dress? | CBC News
In an effort to debunk a misconception, artist and amateur historian Lydia Robb uses historical records, genre art and the history of fashion to paint a picture of what the hundreds of young women sent from France to Canada in the late 1600s might have really worn.

Adopt me, adopt me!

As the cost of living continues to increase—and more people are discovering no-pet clauses in their lease agreements—it's often pets that are getting left behind, and this time, it's in record numbers. Take it as a sign that now's your chance to welcome a new furry friend into your home. (CTV News)

Rising cost of living caused record number of abandoned pets this year: Montreal SPCA
The Montreal SPCA says it’s dealing with an unprecedented number of abandoned animals this year due to the rising cost of living. The shelter reportedly received 20 per cent more animals in the first six months of 2023 compared to the same period the year before.

And that wraps yet another weekly bulletin. (Don't know about you, but, we're pretty stoked about 31 issues!) We’ll be back with more curiosities, local stories, and events to discover next week.

If ever you catch something we should know, reach out to us on Instagram.

Thanks for reading.

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