The Bulletin: Inside the city’s casse-croûte kingdom, ‘accidentally’ working for Montreal’s Mafia, what Toronto can learn from our nightlife scene, and more [Issue #9]

Maybe we’re just hungry for more Montreal, but this edition of The Main’s Montreal Bulletin—a collection of what has happened, what’s happening, and what’s to come in and around Montreal—starts out on an edible note in more ways than one.

The Main

The Main

January 26, 2023- Read time: 8 min
The Bulletin: Inside the city’s casse-croûte kingdom, ‘accidentally’ working for Montreal’s Mafia, what Toronto can learn from our nightlife scene, and more [Issue #9]Another week, another AI-generated image. This week features a classic Montreal diner scene on a sunny, winter day.

This week we’ve got six-course dinners served in punk houses, DJ sets in a Japanese restaurant speakeasy, and places to trip out on edible with (no, not Igloofest), while our news round-up features the city’s diner culture, cannolis being code for assassination targets, and all kinds of other tasty curios.

Eat it and weep.

Weekend events you don’t want to miss

Friends or family visiting from out of town? Or just looking for a good time? We've got you covered.


  • Start the weekend off strong with a trip to the WICKED tour, an event organizer exploring different mythical rave establishments of Montreal, and their second stop in TIMIS.
  • Workers for a wealthy Westmount woman have fun imagining her murder in an adaptation of Jean Genet’s play running all weekend starting on Friday at the Centaur Theatre.
  • Never mind the 9 to 5 and bring the boogie as you get down for a night of disco ice skating over at Parc Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
  • Tune out the everyday noise and lose yourself in the last weekend of Phi’s Habitat Sonore, an immersive listening room playing a wide variety of poetic, meditative, and performative content.
  • Grab all your edibles and go check out the new show transformé at Oasis Immersion, an “immersive experience… developed from works originally designed for virtual reality headsets.”


  • 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.
  • Skate through a torchlit track to msuic from the 1970’s and 1980’s with the Soirée boréale event over at the off-shore urban camping grounds of RécréoParc.
  • Take a musical journey at Ausgang Plaza with Laylit's combo of shaabi, dabke, mahraganat, hip-hop, Arabic pop and electronic, inspired by the underground scenes of NYC and Montreal.
  • If you love Hedwig and the Angry Inch, you’ll want to check out the franco live show adaptation that’s scheduled all weekend long at Le Studio TD before it leaves for the rest of Quebec.
  • Catch a show called Energy! at Montreal’s foremost Burlesque and Variety destination, The Wiggle Room, where five sexy performers will be taking to the stage.


  • Montreal North filmmaker Will Prosper’s chronicles of the highs and lows of Quebec's rap pioneers of the 2000s, The Lost Tapes du Hip-Hop au Québec, is screening at Cinéma du Musée.
  • A “mega” pop-up for vintage and self-care goods from over 50 boutiques hosting tables is coming to Église catholique Saint-Jean-Berchmans around Rosemont and Beaubien stations.
  • Put on a tartan and join Montreal’s Scottish community of St. Andrew’s Society on the ice as they celebrate Scottish culture and heritage in true Canadian fashion: The Great Canadian Kilt Skate.
  • Molotov Cuisine is cooking up a six-course tasting menu with performances of live music and Burlesque dance at—of all places—Turbo Haüs. Rock out with your tongue out.
  • End the week on a smooth note with the vinyl work of DJs The Mole and Cristobal Urbina over at Sans Soleil, the speakeasy running underneath Fleurs & Cadeaux in Chinatown.

All of Montreal: What you need to know

A weekly round-up of the latest local news, from food and entertainment to current affairs.

What can Toronto’s nightlife scene do to match Montreal’s?

Sure, our bars stay open an hour later and we’re far more liberal with our last call, but Toronto has more to learn than that from the Montreal scene. In this piece, we see what makes up our city’s diverse and experimental nightlife from the other side of the coke-crusted looking glass. (blogTO)

What Toronto can learn from Montreal’s nightlife scene
Over the past two years, we’ve seen Toronto’s nightlife scene blossom once again as a new generation of organizers, clubs and collectives come to l...

Montreal mafia targets called cannolis, and assassinating them is ‘eating’ them

In a new story from Adam Leith Gollner comes this “Fargo-esque” wild ride of a story about of a couple guys who stumbled into the world of Montreal’s Calabrian mafia—find out what took them from their everyday lives to being arrested for incinerating corpses in their yard in a bonfire. (Vanity Fair)

The Montreal Mafia Murders: Blood, Gore, Cannolis, and Hockey Bags
A ‘Fargo’-esque tale of hapless hit men, Mob moles, and two naive pawns who were lured into their web.

We knew it was bad, but we didn’t know it was THAT bad

In a new report, it turns out that construction forced 94%—no typo—of streets in the downtown core of Montreal to close, in addition to other damning findings like 27% of the 604 construction signs on one day served no purpose whatsoever. They were just… there. So what’s the deal? (Montreal Gazette)

Construction forced 94% of downtown Montreal streets to close, report says
“This makes no sense,” says the head of the Chamber of Commerce, who believes construction chaos is hurting Montreal’s brand.

One of the last great diner cities: Inside Montreal’s casse-croûte kingdom

Originally published in 2016, but still a goodie: Our city is famously said to have the largest number of restaurants per capita of any North American city (citation needed these days), but its long and fond history of diners lives on with only a handful closing during the pandemic. Here’s why this culture endures. (Saveur)

Inside Montreal’s Unbeatable Diner Culture
At a time when North American cities are seeing more classic diners close every day, Montreal’s casse-croûtes are thriving.

Begone, infamous Mile End landlords!

No one’s shedding a tear for what many hope is the start of Shiller Lavy Realties’ departure from the Mile End: After a controversial decade of astronomical rent hikes that forced the departure of several beloved local businesses, they’ve put five of their buildings along St-Viateur St. up for sale. (Montreal Gazette)

Real-estate investors Shiller Lavy selling five buildings in Mile End
“They’re not people who loved the neighbourhood for what it was,” says Mile End councillor Marie Sterlin.

Is $6.3 million as good as $10 million?

A recent investigative exposé making the cover of the Journal de Montréal is under fire for accusing the former Habs star PK Subban of intentionally misleading the public about the $10 million donation he announced in September 2015, as he fell $3.7 million short of the goal. Is it merited? (Cult MTL)

Journal de Montréal is shaming P.K. Subban for raising only $6.3M for the Children’s Hospital
P.K. Subban is being shamed by the Journal de Montréal for falling short of his $10-million pledge to the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

The REM could completely change L'Île-des-Sœurs as we know it

Highly residential and confined, L'Île-des-Sœurs is a part of Montreal no one really talks about—for now. With a new REM de l'Ouest station incoming this spring, the island is set to get a massive influx of housing and even a hotel. Here’s what that’s going to look like, for better or for worse. (La Presse)

Urbanisme | Quelle densification pour L’Île-des-Sœurs ?
Avec l’entrée en service du REM de l’Ouest, au printemps, les environs des gares sont appelés à se densifier. C’est ce qui est prévu à côté de la gare de L’Île-des-Sœurs : un nouveau quartier comptera plus de 1360 logements d’ici cinq ans, en plus d’un hôtel de 16 étages. Mais des citoyens craignent…

Simply put – the STM's Blue Line is moving into the 21st century

A massive injection into the aging Blue Line will yield a new communications-based train control system that promises to help improve the reliability of trains, among other things. And Mayor Valérie Plante wants everyone to know that the $565-million investment is, well, exactly that. (Montreal Gazette)

Montreal métro Blue Line to get a new brain
The $565-million train control system will allow better communications between trains and with the STM’s control centre.

The lives of temporary workers without permanent residency

It’s a major blindspot in policy in Quebec, as ‘temp’ foreign workers who spend most of their working lives here can’t get permanent residency as they watch families get older abroad, but so much of our society and economy depends on the work that they do, from healthcare to agriculture. (Le Devoir)

Le grand virage de l’immigration
Les temporaires sont trois fois plus nombreux que les immigrants permanents.

A major fallout to labour shortages: Literacy rates are dropping

Language matters in Quebec—well, *to* Quebec. As for those who live here, they’re responding to labour shortages by leaving school earlier, and that’s causing a widening literacy gap across the province. It ain’t good for education, child development, or a university town like ours. (Montreal Gazette)

Literacy gap widens between Montreal area, Quebec’s regions, study concludes
The study found that the labour shortage has led to young people leaving school earlier to enter the workforce.

You gotta keep it overrated

According to an independent market analyst form the United Kingdom, Montreal is the second-most overrated city in the world. Folks say it doesn’t live up to expectations, and its most disappointing attraction is the Biodôme… But hey! At least we’re not Toronto, which ranked first. (City News)

A person jogs next to a backdrop of the Montreal skyline as ice fog rises off the St. Lawerence River in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

And there you have it, folks. We’ll be back with more curiosities, local stories, and events to discover next week. Stay tuned!

If ever you catch something we should know, reach out to us on Instagram.

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