The Bulletin: How thirsty can a city get for a Taylor Swift tour stop? 💅 [Issue #64]

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

February 15, 2024- Read time: 8 min
The Bulletin: How thirsty can a city get for a Taylor Swift tour stop? 💅 [Issue #64]The construction of the Olympic Stadium, aka the 'Big O', back in 1976. | Photograph: Archives de Montréal

The idea of adding a permanent roof to the Big O's captured a lot of imaginations and frustrations since the news went out. There's still time to see whether or not this plan will actually translate into action, but for now, we're left wondering where this all came from.

One of our big theories? We want Taylor Swift in town bad. We want a piece of that sweet Swiftonomics pie, even if it could come at the expense of a localized earthquake. But don't go taking our word for it: The minister of tourism Caroline Proulx couldn't stop talking about it last year, and our selected headlines this week feature a local economist suggesting the same thing.

One of the things we love at The Main is how our streets are a reliquary for Montreal's biggest and brightest moments in history, all the way from the surrender of New France and Prohibition-era nightclubs to the Expo and Olympics. Not to say that's anything new (every city's like that), but it's our story the streets are telling.

So, will the stadium tell the tale of another near-$1 billion expenditure caught in the hype of attracting a singer-songwriter from the little town of West Reading, Pennsylvania and the NFL? Or could it become something else entirely?

Guess we'll need to wait and see if this'll be a nice dream or a nightmare.

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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.



  • From fat biking to axe throwing and live music, the Montréal Boréal festival is bringing Québec folklore and cold-weather culture to the the neighbourhoods along the Lachine Canal.
  • Last year, Quebec artist and dancer Françoise Sullivan turned 100 years old and the MMFA has an exhibition devoted to her until Sunday, February 18.


  • The Kohlenstoff collective heads to the Phi Centre to perform an evening of musicians and videographers paired to offer striking, unique and adventurous digital technology performances.
  • Enjoy the vinyl treasures of Canicule Tropicale, an event from DJs Philippe Noël and Clément Jehan exploring vintage Afro, Latin, and Caribbean sounds, over at La Sala Rossa.


  • The Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History Pointe-à-Callière's got a temp exhibit entitled The Heart and Soul of Saint-Henri that shows the neighbourhood's transformation over time.
  • Outremont is turned into one big impromptu art gallery as the creations of Montreal puppeteer, scenographer and director Patrick Martel and his students are hung in windows across Van Horne, Bernard and Parc Avenue.

The New Jersey-inspired eats of Marci are now on offer over on Plaza Saint-Hubert. | Photograph: @marcisurlaplaza / Instagram


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

The best new restaurants in Montreal

From new names to established chefs, fine dining options to casual buvettes and hidden gems, the dining scene here is always in flux. That's why we always keep this list fresh, with no opening more than six months old.

This is the list you can use to track where you should be eating at right now, taking stock of what’s worth eating and drinking in the city, and who’s bringing something new to Montreal’s collective table. (The Main)

The Best New Restaurants in Montreal [Feb 2024]
Under the radar or over the top, these are the best new restaurants in Montreal that you should get a taste of right now.
  • Natural wine lists meet New Jersey-inspired eats at the new Plaza Saint-Hubert spot, Marci.
  • Karelle Voyer and chef Robin Filteau Boucher (Chez Victoire, Laurea) have come together to open Parapluie, a new French-inspired neighborhood bistro.
  • La Cave de Mamie is celebrating two years of events, winemakers, tapas, crazy evenings and over 1,500 different vintages tasted with a party on Feb 17.
  • Pointe-Saint-Charles' runaway success stop June Buvette has opened a western cowboy-ish, no-reservation, casual spot next door under the name June Saloon.
  • La Poutine Week is over, but Montreal's riding high: Le Gras Dur and Billy K’s Burgers placed 1st and 4th respectively for the public vote's best poutines nationwide.
  • Griffintown's got itself a new made-to-order pasta bar in the form of Lulu's—you know, when you need a cup of alfredo malfadine on the go.
  • Every Wednesday at 5 p.m. from February 21 to April 10, 8 different spots will be hosting Aperitivo evenings in Little Italy—see who's serving what and when on the SDC's Facebook page.
  • Snowbird Tiki Bar is marking the imminent theatrical release of Dune: Part Two with a DUNE NIGHT with entries to win tickets with every purchase of a cocktail they're calling the Spice.
  • Go celebrate a post-Valentine's Day with Nouveau Palais and their famous tradition of an oyster party on February 15 at 5:30pm.
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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 Big Owe

The mayor says the Olympic Stadium should be protected as a symbol of the city that’s important to Montrealers and home to the Biodôme and other attractions. Others say it's a money pit that should be demolished for social housing. (Montreal Gazette)

The Big O fix: Protecting a monument or a colossal waste of money?
“You can only get Taylor Swift in so many times to justify a billion dollars,” said Moshe Lander, a senior lecturer in economics at Concordia.

"A modern underground marvel"

Amazing to think that our city's Underground City was a marvel at one time because of its ability to send customers underground where they could get their hair cut, get their shoes shined, and bank—and what they had planned for it. (YouTube)

They ain't doing it for the Monet

Montreal has long been known as an artist haven with a vibrant cultural scene and rock-bottom rents. But as rents rise and former industrial neighbourhoods are redeveloped, some artists are being priced out or evicted as the community searches for creative solutions. (Montreal Gazette)

After decades of cheap rent, some Montreal artists being priced out of their studios
“That’s unfortunately the problem with artist workshops: artists are attracted by low prices, and real estate investors are attracted by artists.”

We love a good art heist story, but...

An investigation is underway at a Montreal high school after parents have alleged their kids' art teacher has taken drawings made in class and listed them for sale on several websites without their knowledge. (CTV News)

Parents fuming after Montreal-area teacher allegedly lists students’ art for sale online
An investigation is underway at a Montreal-area high school after multiple parents have alleged their kids’ art teacher has been taking drawings that they made in class and listing them for sale on several websites without their knowledge.

Snipped, cut, slashed

A decision motivated by budgetary reasons: Three years after its launch, Radio-Canada's gourmet platform,, will see 11 positions eliminated. Four other employees will be shuffled over to their television division. (La Presse)

Photo: Radio-Canada

A gold medal in faceplanting

The Montréal 1976 Summer Olympics remains the largest sporting event in Canadian history. It is remembered for many things: it was outrageously expensive, costing over $1.5 billion. It was also a huge diaster. (The Conversation)

How security at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games set a precedent for future Olympics
The 1976 Olympics marked a turning point in Olympic history: it was the first highly visible security operation, which has since become the norm for Olympic Games.

What was once greatness

"Everything I love about Montreal depends on the existence of efficient public transit, and when that system does not grow, the city itself that I love so much can’t grow around it," writes prominent YouTuber Reece Martin. Here's why he's feeling a hate-love relationship for the city's iconic system. (RMTransit)

Quebec Can’t Build Mass Transit
I love Montreal, and I think the city has one of the best transit networks in North America. The beautiful stations and trains of the metro are only matched by its ability to whisk you from neighbo…

And some potentially good news about AI

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) and researchers from the Center for Suicide Intervention (CRISE) are developing an artificial intelligence system as part of the public transit authority's suicide prevention strategy. (CBC Montreal)

Pilot project uses AI to prevent suicide in Montreal Metro | CBC News
Once indicators of distress are detected, trains can be signaled to slow down and someone could go up to the person in need and offer help, according to the Société de transport de Montréal.

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.