© Eva Blue
Selected from an open call for ideas by Design Montréal, the 25 Winter Stations scattered across 17 boroughs of the city from Ahuntsic to the Plateau-Mont-Royal, Outremont and Lachine are cozy and creative hotspots perfect for a break. Think you’re up for the challenge of seeing them all? Ready, set, go!
What can we say? Montréal loves the holidays, and this year the city’s seasonal markets and playgrounds promise an unforgettable evening. Explore the fun activities for the whole family in the Jardins d’hiver (winter gardens) in Place des Arts and the Quartier des Spectacles, enjoy local delicacies and products at the Village de Noël (Christmas village) at the Atwater Market and sip a cup of hot chocolate while finding the perfect tree at the Marché de Noël de Jean-Talon (Christmas market) at the Jean-Talon Market. (The Noël Montréal installations are also adhering to the recommendations of health authorities with ample hand-sanitizing stations and other considerations).
© Ulysse Lemerise, OSA
An annual highlight (pun intended) in the Quartier des Spectacles, Luminothérapie sets the night aglow with eye-popping installations and interactive playthings. Featuring the 2020 return of the Instagram-friendly Loop – this year paying tribute to classic québécois literature – there’s a surprise awaiting around every corner in the neighbourhood.
© Philippe Nguyen
Odyssée, le grand réconfort
XP_MTL launched their new initiative, Odyssée, le grand réconfort, to make downtown Montréal shine, in every sense of the word. Explore the giant installations adorning our beloved Sainte-Catherine Street and get into the spirit of the season!
© Kyle Williams
Lights on Peel
To the local Indigenous populations, before there was Montréal there was Tiohtià:ke. And following the discovery of thousands of hand-crafted Iroquoian artefacts at the intersection between Peel Street and Sherbrooke Street, this winter the story of Tiohtià:ke is commemorated by Lights on Peel. Three designs by artist Kaiento:ton Kyle Williams portray three of the Rotiononhsión:ni Clan System’s symbolic animals: the turtle, the wolf and the bear, with scannable QR codes for a deeper look at the area’s rich First Nations history.
© Eva Blue
Each year when the snow starts to fall, Old Montréal transforms into a twinkling storybook winter wonderland. And following a three-year revitalization project to leave the whole neighbourhood shining, Old Montréal is a top destination for your next #mtlmoments selfie. Place Jacques-Cartier turns into Place Nordique, with cozy rest spots and installations to thrill both young and old. Neighbourhood shops go all out in decorating their entrances, lights hang over the streets and large stars over 20 feet tall soar over Place d’Armes in front of the Notre-Dame Basilica. Say cheese!
Dance and performance lovers won’t want to miss the series of projections on Mont-Royal Avenue between Fabre and Marquette Streets running December 3-13, 2020. Created under the guiding hand of choreographer Karine Ledoyen and Danse K par K, these illuminations are the perfect accompaniment for an evening stroll down the avenue.
© Caroline Perron
The shining heart of Verdun
One of Montréal’s most exciting up and coming neighbourhoods, Verdun has lit up its heart for the holidays. The borough’s charming Wellington Street glistens with the installation of Le Cœur Sur la Well featuring an Enchanted Alley, performances by the choir on the Well and an illuminated moose standing 13-feet tall. Vacant shopfronts make up the exhibition Vitrines Sur la Well, telling the history of the street, and created in collaboration between local restaurants and Les Weekendeurs, you can take the tastes of the neighbourhood home with a VERDUNLUV ready-to-make food box.
New to Montréal’s Village, the Proud Colours lights gracing Sainte–Catherine Street tell the proud history of the sexual and gender diversity flags raised in pride by the LGBTQQIP2SAA community. Reflecting all the colours of the rainbow and more, #ProudColoursMtl is a shining, moving gesture of pride.
Explore the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood’s Christmas Village 2.0, and pose for a family holiday snap in the Photomaton (and don’t forget to tag them #mtlmoments and #jaimeCDN). And each evening after dark from 5:00-9:00 PM, an eye-popping projection on the facade of the Terrasse Royale hotel is sure to thrill kids of all ages, followed by a stroll through the borough’s sparkling streets.
© Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin
Neighbourhood by neighbourhood
Each holiday season, locals also deck the halls with picture perfect lights and trimmings down every street, so just take a wander through any of Montréal’s iconic neighbourhoods and you’re sure to find sparkle at every turn. We’d suggest a stroll through Square Saint-Louis and the streets of the Plateau and Mile End with cameras at the ready.