How to explore wellness in Montréal

Daniel Baylis

Daniel Baylis is a writer and adventurer. Born in British Columbia, Daniel came to Montréal with the kooky bohemian notion that he would write poetry, learn to speak French and fall in love. Having achieved various levels of success in said domains, he now focuses his energy on a new hobby: artisanal pickling.

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There are many things we can’t control these days, but one thing we can is how we take care of ourselves and each other. Here are a few ideas to lift your spirits and enjoy time with friends and family, or some “me time” on your own, all while respecting the health measures in place.

Move your body

One of the best ways to boost your spirits (and your heart rate) is simply to go for a walk. In fact, many studies show that walking boosts your immune function. These romantic walks are perfect for discovering the city with your sweetheart, or maybe to simply stroll alone while listening to your favourite playlist. Want to motivate your family to head outside for a walk? Try this free winter scavenger hunt. It’s the perfect activity to rediscover historic Old Montréal (while also keeping the kids entertained). While you’re in the neighbourhood, pop into Le Petit Dep, a lovely little shop brimming with sweets and gifts from local producers.

Montréal also offers many other outdoor options to get your body moving. The city’s parks offer tons of options for cross-country skiing. with many trails groomed and flat (perfect for beginners). Or, you can strap on the snowshoes and explore these beautiful trails. When is the last time you strapped on some ice skates? There are lots of places to go ice skating in Montréal. If you worked up an appetite with all those figure eights, we’ve got you covered with a round-up of places to grab a snack near many of the city’s outdoor skating rinks. No equipment? No problem. There are lots of places to rent all kinds of winter sports equipment.

Take time to connect a friend

For many, a wellness moment is quality time spent with a good friend. Invite one of your besties to wander through Quartier des spectacles to witness the glow of Luminothérapie. The annual outdoor festival of light, sound, and wonderment—which takes place until the end of February—includes various inspiring installations and projections. Or warm up with a visit to one of Montréal’s many stellar museums—yes, museums are open!—such as the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, the McCord Museum, the MAC (in its temporary home at Place Ville Marie) or the city’s popular history and archeology museum, Pointe-à-Callière. Reservations required. Stimulating conversations guaranteed.

If you’re roving around with a friend and need a warm-me-up, then a cup of hot chocolate is the perfect solution. Here is where to find some of the best cups of hot cocoa in Montréal.

Recharge your inner introvert

While it’s important to spend time with other people, a bit of solo time can be a great way to recharge your mental and emotional batteries. You can do this at home, of course, but if you’re craving a change of scenery, the city offers plenty of options for solo sightseeing. The OASIS immersion RECHARGER/Unwind experience and Imagine Monet immersive exhibition both offer stimulating environments for reflection and inspiration.

If it’s chilly outside, you can always take advantage of the city’s underground network of walkways for urban exploring. And be sure to pop into one of these Montréal book nooks to embark upon a fresh literary adventure!

Indulge yourself

Wellness and food go hand in hand. Food is one of the great comforts and while the world is full of every-changing variables, a good meal is a reliable pleasure. Few global cities have the diversity of dining that Montréal offers.

Access to dining in restaurants can change quickly. What remains constant, however, is the option for quality take-out or delivery. Check out this comprehensive list of Montréal restaurants that offer take-out and/or delivery. And you don’t have to sacrifice your brunch rituals, because these Montréal restaurants specialize in brunch delivery. Finally, if your definition of “wellness” includes carbohydrates, then make sure to visit one of Montréal’s best bakeries and pastry shops.

Another form of indulgence is massage. Montréal spas are offering massage and other treatments and you deserve to be treated like royalty.

Daniel Baylis

Daniel Baylis is a writer and adventurer. Born in British Columbia, Daniel came to Montréal with the kooky bohemian notion that he would write poetry, learn to speak French and fall in love. Having achieved various levels of success in said domains, he now focuses his energy on a new hobby: artisanal pickling.

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