If it wasn’t for the big ol’ dumptruck’s worth of snow that fell on the city this week, we might be thinking the first day of spring is here... or at least close enough. Sadly, and yet unsurprisingly, the weather here sucks Youpi’s furry orange nuts most months of the year.
That said, we’re not without hope. And though we may still be nursing hangovers from Nuit Blanche’s pilot project of nearly two dozen bars staying open until 6 a.m., we’ve still got the energy to enjoy anything and everything there is to see and do this weekend. With everything from 1980s goth parties, Ukraine fundraisers full of blini, the Pink Floyd exhibition that’s actually pretty impressive, sugar shack events—there’s a lot to do in Montreal this weekend, so take your pick.
Feel like staying home? Try the SQDC’s new beef jerky. More on that below.
Weekend events you don’t want to miss
Read below to become the 'local guide' your friends always dreamed of.
- Happening Gourmand is back for its milestone 15th edition, where 11 Old Montreal restaurants will offer table d’hôte brunch and dinner menus at a reduced cost.
- It’s the last weekend to check out the Pink Floyd exhibition at Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal, showing the band's journey from 1967 to the 2000s with 350+ artifacts.
- Chefs John Horne and Ron McKinlay of the Toronto institution Canoe will be cooking up a 7-course tasting menu alongside Jérémie Bastien at Monarque.
- It’s the last weekend to experience films as part of the 41st Rendez-Vous Québec Cinéma film festival celebrating films d’ici at five different theatres throughout the city.
- Get a headstart on sugar shacking with Labonté de la pomme’s gourmet dinners and winter picnics, plus dinner boxes to order if you can’t get a ride out of town.
- If you want to try a new bar, check out the latest spot full of deli sandos and booze from the folks behind places like Atwater Cocktail Club and Milky Way. It’s called Bon Délire.
- Taste the Caribbean specialties of Saint-Henri’s PIKLÌZ in a fiery atmosphere accompanied by a good cold beer at the 4 ORIGINES microbrewery; tickets to eat and drink go for $46.
- Get out of your bat cave and grab a glass of red wine with The Dark Eighties at Cabaret Berlin following their last sold out party at Bar Le Ritz; expect a lot of dark hits from the 1980s.
- Bar Notre-Dame-Des-Quilles is hosting a fundraiser party for Ukraine's Energy Crisis Relief, a donate-what-you-can event full of booze and blini: Make blini, not war.
- Dine in a dome on the 8th floor of the William Gray Hotel as part of their pop-up winter rooftop, and try out their 5-course dinner menu themed around sugar shacks.
- Check out the new Indo-Malay restaurant Satu Lagi for cocktails designed by Drink Masters’ Tao Zrafi and gluten-free menus.
- Skate to the sound of jazz at Place des Festivals, eat maple taffy, and gaze in wonder at all the lights downtown with the very last night to experience Montréal en Lumière.
- Try out the city's “only authentic plant-based Indian restaurant” to date with the new restaurant Tula that’s cooking everything from vegan butter chicken to biryanis, and curries.
- Dig the contemporary instrumental jazz of the Alex Lefaivre Trio and their mix of jazz standards, pop covers and original compositions over at Bootlegger.
- End the weekend on a warm and comforting note with bowls of ramen, chicken karaage, and tempura crab sticks from Verdun’s new ramen destination Iku Ramen.
What you need to know
ICYMI: Presenting a weekly round-up of the latest local news, from food and entertainment to current affairs.
Montreal’s bars and venues were open all night long for Nuit Blanche—but was it chaos?
Nearly twenty establishments on Saint-Laurent Boulevard remained open later than usual for Nuit Blanche, and the pilot project is being hailed as a success. However, as good as business was, the surprising consensus is that most business owners are saying they don’t want it all the time. (Le Devoir)
The influence of King Tut’s tomb on Montreal architecture
It’s been a century since King Tut’s tomb was unsealed, bringing on a revival of interest in ancient Egyptian art at the time. In Montreal, the exoticism was celebrated in buildings like a downtown synagogue and NDG’s Empress Theatre that served as a supper club and theatre back in the day. (CTV News)
Would you rather win the lottery, or find prison contraband in your backyard?
A Montreal man says he found $45,000 worth of prison contraband containing cannabis, cell phones and other goodies hanging from his clothesline last week. Originally bound for Bordeaux jail, the seven-metre-long sealed package was to be delivered via drone and snaked into a cell through the window. (Radio-Canada)
First dried fruit that gets you high, now beef jerky
The SQDC’s joyless family of legal cannabis edibles has gotten a new and apparently popular addition: THC-infused beef jerky. Each piece of salty dried meat contains 4.5 mg of THC, a relatively low dose, with the effects taking up to 60 minutes to set in and lasting for upwards of eight hours. (MTL Blog)
A new city-within-a-city for Montreal’s Blue Line expansion
Roughly 14,000 new housing units capable of accommodating 28,000 people are planned to emerge from the ground around the extension of the Blue Line of the Montreal metro. That’s roughly the same size as Magog, Boisbriand or Saint-Bruno, and it’s going to take some serious urban redesign. (La Presse)
The South Shore’s getting a new airport, but not everyone wants it
Porter Airlines is partnering with the Montreal Saint-Hubert airport to develop a 225,000-square-foot terminal as the company aims to broaden its footprint in Quebec. Thing is, not everyone is happy with the airport's expansion plans to serve up to four million passengers a year. (Global News)
What quarantining in a Montreal basement taught one out-of-towner
Back in 2020, Sydney Baker had to find a new temporary place to live, and ended up in a basement suite on the South Shore. Thanks to being confined underground with low ceilings, a lack of natural light, and limited space to move around, she had some revelations about what she considers liveable. (Dwell)
We’re kind of into this winter greenhouse made out of tempos
A series of temporary carports or ‘tempos’ have been converted into greenhouses growing everything from lettuce and cabbage to bok choy, radishes and greens. The project’s supported by the borough, and was created by an urban agro research group and food advocacy group working together. (CBC Montreal)
The Quebec government’s language watchdogs over at the OQLF have found that 74% of businesses made language errors—typos, spelling or grammatical errors, anglicisms, and syntax errors—on public-facing signage in Montreal, Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Gatineau in 2021. (CTV News)
A Montreal museum experience that makes you feel like a bug by design
Montreal’s Insectarium goes way back, and—we think—generally gets looked at as an activity for kids. Its revamped architectural design, however, says different: The insect zoo and museum’s interiors are made to emulate the experience of being a bug. Get a sense of the space with these photos. (Dezeen)
Tweet of the Week
Quickly becoming our favourite part of the weekly newsletter, we got two for you this week:
That wraps up this week's edition. We’ll be back with more curiosities, local stories, and events to discover next week.
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