The Bulletin: Saint-Lawrence seals, food forests, and holiday markets [Issue #53]

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

November 30, 2023- Read time: 9 min

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!

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Activities, parties, points of interest, art exhibitions, you name it: These are the weekend events you don't want to miss.





Photograph: © Alison Slattery - Two Food Photographers - Tourisme Montréal


Scope the latest restaurant openings, recommendations on where to eat, plus new menus, old classics, and everything in between.

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)

How has the Michelin Guide changed the game for Toronto?
One year into the Michelin Guide’s arrival in Toronto, we caught up with local chefs to see how its allure is impacting kitchens.

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Here, you'll find a weekly round-up of the latest local news, from entertainment to current affairs and more.

The rage rages on!

"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)

“Creatives dictate this city”: Inside 20 years of the Montreal designer fair SOUK
The roaming showcase of Montreal designers’ work—both recognized and not—and the exceptional modern lifestyle objects they create for the everyday.

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)

Quebec National Assembly unanimously votes to defend Christmas
“We will not apologize for celebrating Christmas in Quebec,” said Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette.

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)

Photograph: Martin Chamberland / 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)

Reforest, Revitalize, Reclaim: Kahnawà:ke Plants a Food Forest – The Rover
Community members in Kahnawà:ke join forces to bring new life to Tekakwitha Island by planting a food forest.

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)

22% des cônes orange à Montréal sont «inutiles»
La Chambre de commerce de Montréal avertit que l’omniprésence des cônes peut désensibiliser les conducteurs.

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)

Seal spotted swimming in southern St. Lawrence near spa
On Sunday morning, those near the water or at the Bota Bota spa in Montreal may have noticed an unusual visitor, as a seal was spotted.

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)

These Parc Ex asylum seekers cook for other low-income families
The chefs at Parc-Ex Curry Collective used to have to cook in their own homes. Now, they have a brand new kitchen and dreams of expanding their efforts.

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)

Behind the evolution of Montreal’s Biodôme -
The animals that inhabit Montreal’s beloved Biodôme are at the centre of its recent overhaul

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)

Montreal cemetery considers legal action over city’s plan to ban vehicles from road - Montreal |
In September, the City of Montreal announced plans to close Camillien-Houde to traffic in 2027.

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)

Montreal drag, nightlife scene legend Armand Larrivée Monroe remembered as trailblazer | CBC News
Armand Larrivée Monroe, a veteran Montreal drag queen, has died at the age of 88. Members of the city’s LGBTQ+ community say Monroe revolutionized gay nightlife in the city starting in the late 50s, allowing gay men to dance together for the first time in his club.

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.