The Bulletin: What's Montreal got that other Canadian cities don't? [Issue #84]

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

July 4, 2024- Read time: 9 min
The Bulletin: What's Montreal got that other Canadian cities don't? [Issue #84]Not everyone can boast that their city's a source of photos of Pierre Elliott Trudeau enjoying a waterpark (La Ronde's Aqua Parc, which lasted from 1985 to 1994). | Photograph: Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec 

Scroll down this week's edition of the Bulletin, and you'll find some answers to a question that's been on our minds: What are the things that make Montreal special, and that other Canadian cities can learn from?

Highlighted in an opinion piece by Marcus Gee in the Globe and Mail, the author argues that it's the "little things that impress a visitor the most": Our seasonally pedestrianized streets, the vibrant everyday lives lived out in ruelles vertes, an increasingly expansive cycling network, stages set for arts and culture for the public eye—the list goes on.

Maybe you'll think it's nothing but an oversimplification, or that our failings outweigh our perks, but it's hard to argue with Montreal on a good day—and there are a lot of them at this time of year.

See for yourself with everything we've tracked down for this weekend.

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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.





  • Time's running out to see the Pop Art collection on view at the @mbamtl, bringing together works by Canadian artists associated with the movement alongside contemporaries including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann and Eduardo Paolozzi.
  • @petiteitaliemtl is hosting Ital Autofest, an Italian car show to admire classic and modern models that are the pride of the home country.
  • @riversidemtl is hosting a daytime brunch fete, CARNIVAL ON THE CANAL, with Trinidad’s soca master Benjai performing live, backed by undisputed DJs.
  • 2024 marks 25 Years of digital art with ELEKTRA at @arsenalcontemporary, the largest exhibition dedicated to digital art in North America. Check it out.

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@stevemarcone, one of the minds behind @laspadamtl, a new restaurant featured this month. | Photograph: Scott Usheroff / @cravingcurator


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

What's on the menu this month?

Much like the explosion of ingredients that hits kitchens at this time of year, the summer season has brought us all kinds of new names on the scene, from established chefs with new projects to young guns out to prove themselves. (The Main)

The Best New Restaurants in Montreal [July 2024]
These 27 names are holding the keys to the best new restaurants in Montreal right now, from the city’s freshest spring season openings to the beginning of a big summer wave.

Where to eat, according to chef Hiroshi Kitano

Hailing originally from Japan, chef (and DJ!) Hiroshi Kitano's journey to becoming a celebrated figure in Montreal is as rich and layered as his work in the kitchen. Here's where he likes to eat in the city these days. (The Main)

Hiroshi Kitano’s Favourite Restaurants in Montreal
Hailing originally from Japan, chef (and DJ!) Hiroshi Kitano’s journey to becoming a celebrated figure in Montreal is as rich and layered as his work in the kitchen.

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Right now, you can subscribe to our coffee program collaboration with Dreamy Café that's fueled by freshly-roasted Montreal brands, and shipped straight to your door every month. And if you're subscribed to The Main? You get 10% off!

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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 new nighttime hospitality

Remember those dark spots where we would storm the dance floor until the early hours of the morning before digging into poutine from a 24-hour deli? Now, nightclubs have gradually been supplanted by new, more diverse and flamboyant formulas. (Le Devoir)

Quand bien manger rime avec nuit endiablée
Bars festifs, supper clubs, terrasses branchées ; les lieux qui font vibrer Montréal durant la nuit ont bien évolué.

Glory be to the 514

Why, in one columnist's opinion, has Montreal succeeded where other cities have failed in terms of regreening, pedestrianization, arts and culture, and swathes of bike paths—despite its obvious flaws? (The Globe and Mail)

What we can learn from Montreal’s many glories
Good design and attention to detail make a huge difference

Welcome to Jurrasic (water)Park

It was in May 1985 — the same year that the majestic Le Monstre ride opened — that Aqua Parc officially opened its doors. At the time, it was the largest complex of its kind in the world. Occupying approximately ten acres of land, it's something we probably could've used during that last heatwave. (24 Heures)

Photograph: Facebook / La Ronde Vintage 

Our construction sites are too confusing for new tech

So, WIRED tested out Meta’s Ray-Ban Smart Glasses in French-speaking Canada to trial its AI's translation feature meant to give wearers a quick, hands-free way to understand text written in foreign languages. Here's why it was too rudimentary and buggy to be anything more than a novelty. (WIRED)

I Wore Meta Ray-Bans in Montreal to Test Their AI Translation Skills. It Did Not Go Well
WIRED took Meta’s Ray-Ban Smart Glasses to French-speaking Canada to trial its AI smarts. Quelle catastrophe!

The Julep, then and now

For the Wall Street Journal's Time Capsule series, they regularly spotlight a cherished restaurant, hotel, or landmark that’s changed remarkably little over the years. This week, they paid a visit Gibeau Orange Julep alongside some other local recommendations. (Wall Street Journal)

Visitors line up at Gibeau Orange Julep for its namesake refreshment and a variety of fast-food eats.

Not too shabby

Take a look inside the the new train station pavilion designed by Sid Lee Architecture, a new iteration part of a transformation project that upgrades exo’s entire transit network with a hub designed as a community landmark. (ArchDaily)

Montreal West Station’s Pavilion / Sid Lee Architecture
Completed in 2024 in Montreal, Canada. Images by David Boyer. Combining architectural finesse with the neighborhood’s heritage building typology, the new train station pavilion, designed by Sid Lee Architecture,…

Wait a minute, this sounds like rock and/or roll

A church in Ville-Émard was saved by the organization Théâtre and Groupe Paradoxe which converted it into an eco-responsible performance hall. Read up on its transformation, as well as comparable projects found across the city. (Journal de Montréal)

Photograph: Groupe Paradoxe

How's that task force coming along?

Last Friday, activists occupied a building in Hochelaga to denounce the fact that it has been transformed into an "illegal" Airbnb, circumventing the rules for temporary tourist accommodation. (TVA Nouvelles)

Photograph: TVA Nouvelles / Zoé Arcand

Them's the rules.

Regulations came into effect last week, and will be enforced in June 2025: The Quebec government will require all signs on commercial businesses, aside from the company name, to be predominately in French. The Retail Council of Canada's Quebec chapter president says it could cost as much as $25 million. (CBC Montreal)

french sign
Photograph: Jean-François Roberge/X, Government of Quebec

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.