Things to do in Montréal - November 2 to 8

Montréal welcomes November with the good food and good times of MTLàTABLE restaurant week, along with colourful walks on Mount Royal, high-energy Montréal Canadiens hockey games, the innovative art of Alexander Calder, no less than three film festivals and excellent theatre, dance and live music from around the world.

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November city sights

Among the many free things to do this fall in Montréal, seeing the city from several vantage points is a must: walk, bike, bus or drive up to the lookout on Mount Royal (one of the most Instagrammable spots in Montréal), stroll through city streets to the St. Lawrence River on the beautiful Promenade Fleuve-Montagne path or check out colourful Jean-Talon Market and Atwater Market to see what's in season – and eat local while you're there. Visit stunning Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal in the neighbourhood of Côte-des-Neiges, where you can hear a free preview of the Montréal Bach Festival on the afternoon of November 4 with organist Emmanuel Hocdé. At night learn why Montréal is a city of lights: revel in the high-tech wonders of Moment Factory multimedia creation AURA at Notre-Dame Basilica (one of Montréal's most famous icons) and spot history-focused Cité Memoire projections on building facades throughout Old Montréal. Bird's-eye views of the city await in the comfort of the Observatoire Place Ville Marie downtown, La Grande Roue de Montréal observation wheel in the Old Port and the Montréal Tower at Olympic Park – or experience an Olympian's journey in the Canadian Olympic House at Canadian Olympic Committee headquarters downtown. Meanwhile in pro sports sights: the Montréal Canadiens take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on November 3 and the Buffalo Sabres on November 8 at the Bell Centre. Whether you're in Montréal for a long weekend or a week, solo or with family, plot your days and nights with My Official Montréal City Guide, a travel app that lets you experience the city like a Montrealer.


Food and drink

Montréal's restaurant week, MTLàTABLE, goes into full swing this week at 150 restaurants around the city – don't miss out on excellent prix-fixe meals for $23, $33 or $43, from November 1 to 11. Whether you're on a date, feasting as a family or out with friends, read all about MTLàTABLE's perfect restos for any occasion, bring-your-own-wine restaurants and 30 new participating restaurants. At MTLàTABLE, you'll also find top Montréal restaurants for the gourmet traveller and restaurants serving up sumptuous brunches and all manner of local Québec ingredients – not to mention creative chocolate desserts. There's no need to change into fancy duds at these new casual restaurants and cheerful bring-your-own-wine eateries, including some in Little Italy. Watch autumn's changing colours as you eat at Montréal's restaurants in parks. Any time of day grab a pick-me-up at Montréal's indie coffee shops. And later on, relax with a perfect cocktail or have a drink away from it all in a hidden bar. If you're looking for local food and Québécois classics follow our guides to the best poutine, the best Montréal bagels and the best smoked meat, Montréal's top chocolatières, excellent Montréal meals worth writing home about and more musts for foodies visiting Montréal. If you've got a craving for dumplings, follow our guide to where to eat some of the best Chinese food in Montréal. For something light, seek out these health-conscious restaurants and great sushi restaurants and peruse our ultimate guide to vegan eating in Montréal. Or indulge your sweet tooth at Montréal's best bakeries and pastry shops. Explore more of Montréal and its culinary delights on Montréal's best food tours. And if you're traveling with kids, check out our ideas for great places to eat with kids in Montréal

On stage

Montréal's English theatre fall season continues to shine into November with Imago Theatre's presentation of Other People's Children by Hannah Moscovitch, exploring parenthood, privilege and the ethics of migrant care work, from October 25 to November 4 at Centaur Theatre. With wit and insight, British playwright Lucy Kirkwood's The Children confronts heavy, timely issues of industrial and personal responsibility and reparations, from November 6 to 25 at Centaur Theatre. Teesri Duniya Theatre presents Stephen Orlov's Birthmark, a drama that crosses the social and cultural divide between Canada’s Jewish and Palestinian diaspora communities, from November 3 to 18 at MAI Montréal, arts interculturels. And Acts to Grind Theatre stages Glengarry Glen Ross, David Mamet's examination of ethics and social indignities through the world of real estate salesmen, at MainLine Theatre from November 7 to 18. In Montréal contemporary dance this season, Danse Danse presents Gauthier Dance // Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart's four-piece performance featuring Beating by Virginie Brunelle, We Love Horses by Helena Waldmann, Infant Spirit by Marco Goecke and Electric Life by Eric Gauthier and Andonis Foniadakis from October 31 to November 3 at Place des Arts. Lucie Grégoire takes audiences on a wild journey through nature in Territoires, from November 7 to 10 at Agora de la danse. Contemporary dance is also centre stage at Théâtre La Chapelle in Hidden Paradise by Alix Dufresne and Marc Béland, inspired by an interview with economist and philosopher Alain Deneault on tax evasion, from October 29 to November 6. Also at Théâtre La Chapelle, see writer and musician Ian Kamau's Loss, confronting a family history of mental illness, from November 1 to 2. Or for something completely different, participate in immersive live cinema-performance experience All We Have Is Now, presented by from November 1 to 3, or cheer on the spellers at the hilarious Strip Spelling Bee – Gryffindorable Edition! at MainLine Theatre on November 2.

On screen

The CINEMANIA Francophone Film Festival (with English subtitles!) runs from November 1 to 11, bringing feature films and shorts to Montréal, along with directors, actors and industry experts in talks, workshops and more, including Olivier Assayas's Doubles Vies (Non-Fiction), Gilles Lellouche's comedy Le Grand Bain, Emmanuel Mouret's Mademoiselle de Jonquières and a tribute to Olivier Gourmet. The 8th edition of the South Asian Film Festival of Montréal features an eclectic mix of award-winning films from the Indian subcontinent and its diaspora, from November 2 to 4. And the Montréal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) screens 157 films from 47 countries from November 8 to 18, kicking off with What Walaa Wants by Christy Garland. Experience the universe's timeless vibrations through virtual reality storytelling in VR exhibition Echo: The Sound of Space at tech and culture hub the Phi Centre. In the SAT's Satosphere dome downtown, see 360-degree immersive film Noesis until November 3 and kids film Creatures on November 3. Roam the cosmos in science-meets-multimedia double bills Planet Nine and Secrets of Gravity, Continuum and Aurōrae and more at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. The Montréal Science Centre features IMAX films Oceans 3D and Pandas 3D along with hands-on science activities and a 3.8-billion-year-old moon rock! See music documentary Chilly Gonzales: Shut Up and Play the Piano at Cinéma du Parc as well as international film screenings for the Arab World Festival of Montréal. And Mile End's cinema, Cinéma Moderne, features art-house and cult films every day – this week including a retrospective of Mexican filmmaker Amat Escalante – plus daytime family programming on weekends.

Art for all

Among this season's must-see museum exhibitions, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presents Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor, the first Canadian retrospective of the American modern art giant, with over 150 works on display – admission is half-price on Halloween night. The MMFA also features Resplendent Illuminations: Books of Hours from the 13th to the 16th Century in Quebec Collections, video installation Liminals: A Para-fiction of Transcendence by Jeremy Shaw and a powerful Inuit art collection. At the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, don't miss the 13-screen immersive video work Manifesto by German artist Julian Rosefeldt, with actor Cate Blanchett taking on various roles, as well as a retrospective of influential multidisciplinary Québec artist Françoise Sullivan, historical artist manifesto exhibition Scores and Dana Michel's Jams Do Jams dance performances. At DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art in Old Montréal, Jasmina Cibic's Everything That You Desire and Nothing That You Fear immerses us in issues of cultural production and political aims, anchored in the planning stages of Expo 67. Galerie de l'UQAM and Cinémathèque québécoise explore themes of revolution in cross-disciplinary exhibition and film program Uprisings. In Ke'tapekiaq Ma’qimikew: The Land Sings / La terre chante, multidisciplinary Mi’kmaq artist Ursula Johnson reflects on human-made trauma on the land and waterways at SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art. Head to Mile Ex to see Never Apart's new fall exhibitions. See the iconic underwater photographs of Canadian artist Barbara Cole at Galerie LeRoyer in Old Montréal. With a social message of peace and better living together, Cosmopolitan Fashion Week features a free exhibition as well as a glamorous evening fashion show and party on November 3 at the Wilder Building downtown. And there's more art to discover while gallery hopping and antiquing in the city.


History near and far

Catch Queens of Egypt before it ends on November 4 – the major exhibition of rare ancient objects transports us back in time 3,500 years to peer into women's royal lifestyles, at Pointe-à-Callière, one of the city's excellent kid-friendly museums. At the McCord Museum, see different sides of local history in Shalom Montréal – Stories and Contributions of the Jewish Community and Wearing our Identity – The First Peoples Collection, and on Sunday bring your kids for story hour and hands-on workshops. Learn more about Jewish culture in Montréal in Zei Gezunt // Porte-Toi Bien // Keep Well (2018 - 2019), a grandson’s exploration of his grandfather’s inventions, transformed into works of art and history-rich storytelling, at the Museum of Jewish Montreal. See the City of Light circa the 18th century in the Stewart Museum's Paris on Display: 18th-Century Boutiques exhibition. At the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Scripts for a new world: Film storyboards by Alessandro Poli explores elements of film that helped Poli form a new language for architecture while Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernist Myths proposes a counter-reading of postmodern procedures, opening November 7. Based in research spanning three Québec universities, the Écomusée du fier monde's InterReconnaissance – Une mémoire citoyenne se raconte gathers voices and traces from 50 years of mobilizing for the rights of minority groups in Québec. The Musée de Lachine presents history and archeology from the times of fur trade and New France alongside contemporary art. Take more recent history home with you with our ultimate guide to vintage shopping in Montréal. And read all about jazz in Montréal, from the Roaring Twenties to today, featuring not only local history but jazz clubs still hopping today.

Traditional and classical music

The multidisciplinary Arab World Festival of Montréal brings together Arabic and Western cultures in music, theatre, dance and film from October 26 to November 11, including Lebanese singer Oumaima el Khalil, Kurdistan melodies played by the Kamaan Ensemble and Éléonore Fourniau, Algerian musician Meziane Amiche, free music and dance performances at Place des Arts' Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme and more. Among the fall season's classical concerts, Bernard Labadie conducts La Chapelle de Québec and vocalists in concert Cérémonie des Lumières, on November 3 at Maison Symphonique. The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal accompanies Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights on November 6 at Maison Symphonique, while on November 8, German conductor David Afkham conducts the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and violinist Blake Pouliot in The Sibelius Concerto at Maison Symphonique. And Opera McGill performs Albert Herring, a three-act chamber opera by Benjamin Britten, at Pollack Hall from November 8 to 10.

More live music

Hear French-language indie rock, folk-pop, electro and more by over 150 bands and solo artists during the international Coup de cœur francophone festival, from November 1 to 11 – on Friday, check out Qualité Motel at Club Soda and a multi-band celebration of poet-rocker Lucien Francoeur at Foufounes Électriques, while on Saturday see freestyle hip hop group Clay and Friends and Belgian singer-songwriter Jérôme Mardaga, and many more artists throughout the week. Also on Friday night, singular musician, songwriter and producer Sandro Perri launches his album In Another Life at the Phi Centre, Brooklyn-based electronic musician-producer, vocalist and all-around cool artist Yaeji plays Corona Theatre, while We Are Monroe rocks out at Théâtre Plaza and electronic producers Giraffage and Ryan Hemsworth get everyone dancing at Théâtre Fairmount. It's non-stop entertainment on Saturday night with singer-songwriter and musician Serena Ryder at Corona Theatre, electro house producer Seven Lions at MTELUS, Finnish folk-metal band Korpiklaani at Club Soda, Australian psych-rock band Pond and opener Juan Wauters at La Sala Rossa, indie garage punks Shannon and the Clams at Ritz P.D.B., art exhibition meets electronic dance party Nuit Chromatic at Usine C, British electronic producer Ross From Friends at the Phi Centre and the Malaa Illegal Tour revving up the dance floor at New City Gas.

Close out the weekend on Sunday with the warm sounds of Iron & Wine at Corona Theatre, the heavy metal of Behemoth at MTELUS, hardcore award-winning punks F*cked Up at La Sala Rossa and local underground-pop acts The World Provider, Bibliotek and Lost Creatures at Casa Del Popolo. Monday, November 5 features British Lion (with Iron Maiden's Steve Harris) at Corona Theatre, while Tuesday night brings pop singer-songwriter MAX and opener Bryce Vine to Théâtre Fairmount. On Wednesday, see French dance music duo The Blaze at MTELUS, country music singer-songwriter Tim Hicks at Corona Theatre and art rocker Ron Gallo at Le Ministère. Thursday night proves itself worthy with the electro stylings and bass drops of Louis The Child at MTELUS, rapper-singer-songwriter Jazz Cartier at Corona Theatre, rapper 6LACK at L'Olympia, the downtempo musical creativity and nuance of Low at La Sala Rossa, and the quintessential sound of Portugal in O Som do Fado, an evening of fado music with singer Marta Raposo at Le Balcon Cabaret Music-Hall. For even more music throughout the week, check out our picks on how to get your nightlife on in Montréal, where to hear live music in Montréal, 10 great places to see indie bands, Montréal's best jazz and blues clubs and our guide to electronic music in Montréal. And if you want to bring the music home with you, go record shopping at Montréal's excellent vinyl stores.

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden, blogger

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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