By the time you read this, we'll be neck-deep in open tabs on our browsers, trying to keep track of every goddamn Christmas market, shopping pop-up, and EOY festivity there is on the mean streets of Montreal during the holidays.
There's no doubt going to be more announcements as we edge closer to the moment we'll be comatose on couches, buried in a sea of shredded wrapping paper, but for now we've decided to savour the moment as best we can and make a point out of shopping as locally as possible this season.
As you'll find below, just about every day of the weekend's going to have something happening where you can buy something from local artisans (check out our story on SOUK), which should make this season interesting and keep your friends and family guessing.
Mind you, it ain't all about shopping, but there sure is a lot of it!
Activities, parties, points of interest, art exhibitions, you name it: These are the weekend events you don't want to miss.
- Le Garden Room's turning its greenhouse-like space into a winter garden for one night that'll feature DJs FORREST and Duza.
- Café SAT will host 10 artistic pop-up shops selling Christmas gifts, all sourced from local and ethical businesses.
- The Village de Noël de Montréal is firing up the holiday vibes with its inaugural night at Atwater Market.
- It’s the final weekend of the Festival Bach Montréal, North America’s premiere destination for the timeless musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach.
- SOUK is back for its 19th edition from Nov 29th to Dec 3rd, and with it comes a remarkable new generation of contemporary Montreal designers.
- HECINÉMA returns for its second edition of the Festival du Cinéma with captivating short films that reflect Montreal's diversity.
- Montreal's Istituto Italiano di Cultura is hosting an experiential show by Daniele Bartolini divided into three parts over the course of 24 hours.
- Montréal’s contemporary Danse Danse company presents Assembly Hall, a highly anticipated new work by acclaimed choreographer Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young.
- Expozine's annual small press, zine and comics fair—North America’s largest, in fact—returns to Église Saint-Arsène with 270+ vendors.
- Head out of town to the Bedford Lofts Christmas Market, a unique event that highlights the best artisans in the region.
- Quebec musicians, entrepreneurs and music lovers are gathering at the Salon de la Musique Indépendante du Québec at Les Foufounes Électriques.
- North Star Machines à Piastres is celebrating two years in the biz with an 80s and 90s dance party.
- Ange Loft’s installation project, Visibly Iroquoian, is on view in various locations throughout the CCA building.
- Marché Central's Marché de Noël begins with gift ideas from local artisans, treats 'n' drinks, and a bunch more.
- The Collectif Créatif Montréal is leading the charge on the third edition of the Marché des Fêtes at Technopôle Angus.
- From sweetgrass baskets to beading, quillwork and bone carving jewelry, the Indigenous Winter Market is selling it at Le Littoral Service Center in Tsi Kahnetà:ke/Oka National Park.
WHAT TO EAT & DRINK IN AND AROUND MONTREAL
Scope the latest restaurant openings, recommendations on where to eat, plus new menus, old classics, and everything in between.
- Miracle Montréal is spreading Christmas cheer with a thematic pop-up bar serving libations to celebrate the season at 132 Bar Vintage on Fleury Street.
- West Coast chef Mark Singson is still in town, and he'll be at Île-Flottante to serve up some of his specialties for a pop-up.
- Lou’s Restaurant, a new project from the minds behind Saint-Henri's Loic, has opened in Pointe-Claire.
- The team from Le P'tit Tri have opened up a new, Instagram-friendly spot at the corner of Saint-Antoine and Atwater in Saint-Henri: Regashi.
- Sad news this week as the Village's pastry shop Sachère Desserts has announced that it will close in spring—dig in while you can.
- Had trouble getting a reservation? For three beautiful weeks in December, Mon Lapin will be opening up for lunch services from Thursday to Saturday.
- Missing MTL à Table? Le Flamant's got a new $50-for-five plates deal on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Poincaré Chinatown is hosting a lager showdown that'll run throughout the month of December, and it's starting this weekend.
- Sundays are made for Sugo! Join Bossa at Time Out Market on December 3rd for a family-style brunch.
- On November 30, join Gentile Pizza Parlour as they raise a slice (and maybe a glass or two) for their 3rd anniversary with free food from 5pm to 8pm.
- So long as the strike continues, Buvette Beaubien's doing lunchtime meal deals for parents and kids; kind of clever, honestly.
How does the Michelin Guide affect a city's restaurants?
Overnight success following pandemic damage, enjoying the aura of a Michelin star-neighbour, understanding the pressure that it puts on restaurants—one year into the Michelin Guide's arrival in Toronto, we caught up with local chefs to see how its allure is impacting kitchens. (The Main)
Here, you'll find a weekly round-up of the latest local news, from entertainment to current affairs and more.
"Creatives dictate this city"
Montreal is a city by and for designers: There are, however, only so many events, fairs, collections, curations, platforms, and festivals that are capable of harnessing the currents that flow from its wellspring of creativity—and then there’s SOUK. (The Main)
Wait. We've heard this one before.
Now where have we seen this previously...? The National Assembly on Wednesday adopted a motion to defend Christmas after the Canadian Human Rights Commission cited celebration of the holiday as proof of Canada’s “colonialist” religious intolerance. (Montreal Gazette)
Where's my status report, damn it?!
According to CDPQ Infra, the organization behind the REM, 85% of the network is completed. If you want to go to the airport by REM, however, you will still have to wait until 2027. So what's next for Montreal's Controversial Express? (La Presse)
Connections to land, cycles of nature, flows of energy
Kahnawake's got an initiative to reforest, revitalize, and reclaim land by planting a food forest. Involving the community to create a sustainable and self-sufficient ecosystem, the forest aims to provide fresh, local produce while fostering environmental resilience. (The Rover)
Our longest running joke
The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal found that 22% of construction cones in the city center have been abandoned or are “useless”, a drop from 27% in the fall of 2022. (Le Devoir)
First whales, now seals
It ain't another whale, but... Their presence in freshwater is not unusual, but infrequent. Harbour seals like the one spotted in Montreal adapt fairly well to freshwater, but as they find themselves in a different environment to which they are accustomed. (CTV News)
Keep calm and curry on 🍛
Hiring asylum seekers make up as many as 10 cooks for low-cost meals, the Parc-Ex Curry Collective is applying their homecooking to a brand new kitchen and dreams of expanding their efforts. (CBC Montreal)
Designing for penguins
Interesting dive here into the evolution of Montreal's Biodome, detailing the facility's history, renovations, and the challenges faced, detailing the transformation of the space to enhance the visitor experience and improve animal habitats. (Maclean's)
But how am I going to visit grandma?
As Montreal contemplates banning vehicles from the mountain, that's sparking discussions on balancing accessibility and environmental concerns. The city and cemetery officials are weighing the benefits of a vehicle-free zone against potential logistical challenges, like visiting grandma. (Global News)
The man behind the mascara
Known by his stage name La Monroe (for his affinity for Marilyn), Monroe made waves in the city's gay scene starting in the late 50s, creating what has been called the city's original drag club and showcasing content created by and for the gay community — all when homosexuality was still criminalized. (CBC Montreal)
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, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Instagram.