Christmas in Montreal
I know that it's a bit early to be talking about Christmas but I promise you won't regret it. If you always spend the holidays at home then it may be time for a change. The holidays are the only time that basically everyone can take off and that means it's time to travel. If you've never traveled internationally before and can't seem to bring yourself to go on a major trip to another continent then you're in luck. Canada hosts a plethora of seasonal events with the Christmas time festivities being the epitome of Christmas Cheer. Within all of the cities in Canada though we've found that Montreal winter festivities are the best.
The first thing of note about Montreal is the annual Christmas Parade. Hosted between the 19th-century quasi-European building facades the Christmas Parade (otherwise known as the Défilé du Père Noel) is the largest attraction of the holiday season. It attracts nearly 300,000 people annually to downtown to see the show. It usually showcases about 20 floats with hundreds of performers and people in costumes ranging from snowmen and elves to Ukranian dancing uniforms. The only downside is that this parade starts the season slated to begin this year at 11 am on November 18th.
Running in the Show Quarter will be the Lumiertherapie (Light Therapy) public exhibit. It serves as a playground of light and sound featuring interactive games that allow you to "create a choreography of sounds and lights to brighten the dark days and evenings of winter and warm this cold period of the year." If you want to stay up to date on news related to that click here.
If you're looking for a romantic evening then look no further than the Bonsecours Basin. This basin is where the Christmas fireworks are hosted. They happen every Saturday of December and then January 6th at 8 pm. The name of the show is Fire on Ice because at the basin in addition to free fireworks there is an ice skating available at the same time. Bring the significant other, your best friend, or the whole family. There's something there for everyone.
If parades and fireworks aren't your things and all you want to do is find the best shopping then fret not because there's something for you too. If you want to avoid the cold winter weather all together while shopping, try taking a look at the Underground City. L'art des Artisans du Quebec is another area with more shopping than one person could ever go through. Situated right on Ste. Catherine St. you can follow that same road a little west to Simons, a huge department store. Once you've finished your time in these larger stores and want to go check out some boutiques there are rue St. Denis and St. Laurent where boutiques line the street for as far as the eye can see.
Montreal is a European experience while still staying in North America. The winter temperatures average right around 30 degreesFahrenheit. That may sound cold but it doesn't even phase people as unpleasant as long as they pack correctly. The key to surviving in colder weather is packing clothing that can be layered. Make sure to pack long sleeve shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, lighter jackets, heavier jackets, and comfortable waterproof shoes.