The Bulletin: Local ingenuities and systemic failures [Issue #39]

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

August 24, 2023- Read time: 10 min
The Bulletin: Local ingenuities and systemic failures [Issue #39]Image: John Joseph / @eightyaday / Instagram

Look, we're gonna level with you: No matter how bad things can look in Montreal, we'll always end up on the side of loving things here. Nothing's perfect—nothing ever is—and as much as we'll embrace every good thing that happens, we can't turn a blind eye to cracks and corrosion.

That's how it is: As much as there are stark reports on housing shortages with developers spouting meme acid, stalwart business closures, local media going under, and overcrowded student housing, there are simpler pleasures of sports competitions, wine to guzzle, murals to paint, students solving problems that corporations couldn't, and films of Montreal in the 1940s to watch.

It can no doubt be bad some days. Other days, it's good. The wheel turns. We do the best we can, and we take care of one another when we can. It's hard some days, we know.

Take it easy, but take it.

The list below features all kinds of non-food related activities. If it's grub you're after, keep scrolling...


  • MUTEK is back with forward-thinking international acts, the return of Canadian icons, and artists from the exciting Montreal scene from August 22 to 27.
  • Further to the above, if you want to get your drugs checked while you're at MUTEK, you can do so here. Be safe out there!
  • Festival M.A.D.'s annual event of artistic and cultural activities ranging from live music to dance, visual arts, fashion and more returns for this weekend only.
  • More than 350 businesses spread over 2.5 kilometers will be opening up shop on Mont-Royal Avenue for a huge shopping extravaganza.
  • If you want to rock out, DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 is going to be playing Bar Le Ritz PDB for three nights in a row. Damn.
  • Montreal photographer Terry Hughes’s first solo photography exhibition, SONDER, will be showcased at Galerie du Viaduc from August 22 to 27.
  • Author, columnist, and comedian Steve Hofstetter is often called the hardest working man in show-business, and he's performing at Théâtre Fairmount.


  • JACKALOPE is the biggest action sports festival in Canada, and it's taking place on the Olympic Park's Esplanade all weekend.
  • From August 25 to 27, Promenade Wellington will come alive for the 12th edition of the Festival Marionnettes Plein la rue, with puppetry of all sizes.
  • Beginning August 25, go see Felipe Arriagada (aka Chien Champion, the artist behind the Bagel Dunks) create two murals on Cinéma Beaubien.
  • Festival de la poutine, an annual event celebrating the greatness of poutine with music and merriment, returns to Drummondville this weekend.
  • Fête de Pointe-Saint-Charles's first edition is going down with booths from local businesses, a musical lineup, and free activities open to all.
  • Get outta town and see the Knowlton Film Festival before it ends on August 26. It's the perfect time to fill up on film culture from QC and abroad.


  • Check the ZAMALFUNK ANNVERSARY at Osmo x Marusan, 14 hours of music with 14 DJ sets by almost all the event's previous guests. Expect surprises.
  • Over at Théâtre Paradoxe, the K Fiesta is hosting a big dance competition with prizes, a merchandise alley, a huge show, and more for K-Pop fans.
  • Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and a dance number of the same name is being performed at Théâtre de Verdure for free and for one night only.
  • All we're gonna say is that there's a bunch of cool DJ goings-on over at the listening bar/club Sans Soleil that we think you'll really dig.
  • It's a MUTEK bonus round: The SAT's Satosphere invites the public to explore new conceptual and sensory territories, with immersive audiovisual creations stemming from its research-creation residency program.


  • THE YARD is returning to Riverside: Two major DJs spinning, BBQ food for grabs, and vibes for days.
  • Rev your engines for an afternoon at Lamborghini Montreal's Cars and Coffee event from 1pm to 3pm with unique builds and high-performance supercars.
  • Hoch'Gala Canin returns: Come and watch a parade and a dog skills competition hosted by Samuel Flynn.
  • Ruelles Ferragosto is taking place in the alley between Dante, Casgrain, Saint-Zotique Est and Saint-Dominique in Little Italy. Pizzeria Gema will be offering a culinary menu alongside local DJs.

Photograph: @nightmarketmtl / Instagram


This section dishes out the scoop on restaurant openings, new menus, old classics—you name it.

  • The Marché de Nuit Asiatique returns to Chinatown from August 24 to 27, so drop in for performances and a LOT of street food.
  • We can confirm it: The Time Out Market spot for the Spanish tavern Ibéricos is good, and most definitely worth a try.
  • Sad news about sweet things: Mont-Royal Avenue's Crémy Pâtisserie officially closes on August 26, so take a bite while you still can.
  • Pasta Pooks is heading out to Pizzeria Gema on August 27th "where (they'll) be serving up Zio Efisio's favorite ravs all day long."
  • Edmond Café Cantine celebrates its 5th birthday on Friday, August 25 at 4pm with special 3-glass tastings for $20 and all-you-can-eat pizza and corn.
  • From 10pm 'til late on August 25, the 2nd edition of the Bars of Montreal event will take place at Loïc: "Come make questionable decisions," they say.
  • Knowlton's wine-heavy Café Bolt is bowing out after three years, so they're inviting one and all to celebrate together on August 26. Expect lots of cocktails, wine, and beer.
  • Verdun Beach (the bar, not the beach) is hosting tastings of vintages from the @primavin_vinvivant portfolio on Sunday, August 27, from 4pm to 8pm.
  • Le Vinologue turns 5 on Saturday, August 26 and their locavore specialty grocery store with beers, wines, ciders and terroirs from QC is throwing a little bash.
  • Lecavalier Petrone will be part of the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood party with paletas, brownies, cookies and cake pops (Friday only).
  • This Sunday, August 27, chef Carlos Melgar is taking over the kitchen at Bistro La Franquette in anticipation of his new upcoming restaurant.
  • The vegan diner Jones Café in Hochelaga is up for sale, which means there's only so much time left to try their menu if you haven't already.
  • Menu Extra is hosting four gastronomic evenings in the heart of the Jean-Talon Market from August 24 to 27.

ICYMI: Breaking the cycle and redefining hospitality

Across Montreal, several restaurants are redefining what it means to work in hospitality, striving to encourage staff wellbeing, nourish creativity, and strengthen resilience in the face of constant change. Here's how. (The Main)

Montreal’s Hospitality Industry is Changing
We spoke with several DINR partners to discuss how Montreal restaurants are breaking the cycle and redefining hospitality.

This section features a weekly round-up of the latest local news, from entertainment to current affairs and more.

*insert pointing Spider-Man meme here*

Two years after Valérie Plante's administration said a new housing by-law would lead to the construction of 600 new social housing units per year, the city hasn't seen a single one, and every level of government is blaming one another for the situation. It's catastrophic. (CBC Montreal)

Every developer has opted to pay Montreal instead of building affordable housing, under new bylaw | CBC News
Two years after Valérie Plante’s administration said a new housing bylaw would lead to the construction of 600 new social housing units per year, the city hasn’t seen a single one. Meanwhile, the housing affordability crisis continues to grow.

Canadian journalism takes another on the chin

Last week Métro Média announced it was folding its 17 newspapers, resulting in 70 jobs lost, but it’s the newspaper chain’s readers who will suffer the most: Big outlets only write about spikes in gang-related violence, while this local paper told stories they wouldn't. (The Rover)

Métro Média Folds – The Rover
Over 70 people lose their job in another blow to Canadian journalism.

And another one

Further to the above story, Bell Media announced it will cease operating VRAK, a French-language television channel based in Montreal, as of Oct. 1. The channel has been offering programming geared toward Quebec's youth for the past 23 years. (CBC Montreal)

Bell Media axes VRAK, the French-language youth TV channel based in Montreal | CBC News
In a news release, Bell Media said “significant challenges” within the Canadian media industry are partially to blame for the closure.

Whether creating buzz for a new restaurant or cultural exchanges between chefs, pop-ups are a vibrant part of Montreal's dining culture—here's a look and who's doing what and why. (Montreal Gazette)

Pop-ups bring excitement and variety to Montreal’s restaurant scene
Whether creating buzz for a new restaurant or cultural exchanges between chefs, pop-ups are a vibrant part of our dining culture.

The "Eye of Quebec"

You might have never noticed it when looking at a satellite image of the province, near the border with Labrador: The Manicouagan Reservoir, believed to be caused by a crater formed a full 214 million years ago when an asteroid hit the Earth in the Late Triassic period. (CBC Montreal)

Look at a map of Quebec. How did that giant circle get there? | CBC News
How a six-kilometre-long space rock formed the crater that’s known as the Eye of Quebec.

Seven hours of work and fifty dollars

That's all a 21-year-old student needed to create signage between the Bonaventure metro and the REM at Central Station after noticing the confusion of many users at the lack of official directions, all on a multimillion dollar project. (La Presse)

Signalisation vers le REM déficiente | Un étudiant prend les choses en main
Sept heures de travail et une cinquantaine de dollars. C’est ce dont a eu besoin un étudiant de 21 ans pour créer une signalisation entre le métro Bonaventure et le REM à la gare Centrale, après avoir constaté la confusion de nombreux usagers devant le manque d’indications officielles.

Overcrowding and abandonment

Crowding together in a one-bedroom apartment, working more, moving away, staying with their parents or dropping out of school; these are some of the solutions available to student tenants who cannot cope with the rapid rise in rents, or simply cannot find housing. (Radio-Canada)

Les étudiants font les frais de la crise du logement
À Montréal, les étudiants locataires ont subi une hausse de loyer de 20 % en deux ans, selon une enquête menée par l’organisme UTILE.

As if a housing shortage wasn't enough

Several blind spots persist in cities' fight against bed bugs, a pest that disproportionately affects vulnerable tenant households. One exterminator says that after opening up shop, three years ago, they've doubled their bedbug exterminations every year. (Le Devoir)

La guerre des villes contre les punaises de lit
Des angles morts persistent dans les mesures prises pour s’attaquer à cet insecte nuisible.

How is this not a thing yet

Transit users have been asking for it for years. In the end, it was a student from McGill University who managed to program software that allowed him to recharge the OPUS card online directly with his cell phone. (La Presse)

Recharge de la carte OPUS | Un étudiant dame le pion à l’ARTM
Les utilisateurs des transports en commun le réclament depuis des années. C’est finalement un étudiant de l’Université McGill qui a réussi à programmer un logiciel permettant de recharger la carte OPUS en ligne directement avec son téléphone cellulaire.

An unreal trip to the 1940s

This short film showcases the city of Montreal on a summer's night in 1947. With its warehouses, offices, homes, clubs and amusement parks, the city serves as a bright backdrop for a happy couple out on the town. (NFB)

"Montreal by Night" by Jean Palardy & Arthur Burrows, courtesy of the NFB.

And that wraps yet another weekly bulletin. 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.