© Tomahawk Group
November festivals and major events
Montréal’s fall festivals celebrate the city’s music, culture and creativity this month, no matter what the weather! New music from both established and emerging artists captivates at festival and industry events M for Montreal, featuring all kinds of indie music, hip hop, electronic and more from November 16 to 19, and Mundial Montréal, an international showcase of world music in its many forms, from November 15 to 18 in venues across the city. The two music festivals also present free outdoor event Le SHOW-FRETTE sous le Van Horne on November 18.
November is also a banner month for film festivals in Montréal, including hundreds of film screenings, panel discussions and special events at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) from November 17 to 27, French-language film festival CINEMANIA (with English subtitles!) from November 2 to 13, and image + nation LGBTQ+ film festival from November 17 to 27.
Experience a variety of music, dance, film, discussions and multidisciplinary exchanges at the Arab World Festival of Montréal from October 28 to November 13. Micro ouvert autochtone (Indigenous Open Mic) is a mini-festival of music, poetry, art, film and food at Place des Arts on November 12 and 13. The Montreal Bach Festival presents more than 30 concerts featuring hundreds of incredible musicians, singers, conductors and other performers from November 12 to December 21. And food is culture too! So eat well at MTLàTABLE, Montréal’s official restaurant week, invites everyone to discover new menus along with some classics in the city’s mouth-watering culinary scene from November 3 to 13.
In late-November, Montréal shifts into holiday season mode, starting with the Santa Claus Parade on November 19 along Sainte-Catherine Street downtown, a must for kids and anyone who’s ready for Christmas-season good vibes. Watch for outdoor activities, holiday markets, seasonal events and more in Place des Festivals and the Esplanade Tranquille (corner Clark and Saint Catherine streets) in the Quartier des Spectacles.
Meanwhile, in pro sports: cheer on the Montréal Canadiens at home at the Bell Centre throughout the month. And college basketball fans and anyone with a love of high-energy sports can see six Division 1 NCAA Basketball teams face off in November’s Northern Classic, from November 25 to 27 at Place Bell – affordable single-day and three-day passes are available.
Come to Montréal for festivals and events, outdoor activities, museums and more on VIA Rail – and if you’re a regular train traveler on the Québec CityꟷWindsor corridor, take advantage of VIA Rail’s “Midweeker” discount card to save 25% to 40% off your ticket!
© Alexandre Choquette - Tourisme Montréal
November outdoor activities
Whether you’re in Montréal on a visit with family and friends or enjoying a sweet solo long weekend for yourself, take in the full spectrum of the changing season outside in the crisp November air. An enchanting autumn must-do even into November, visit the Botanical Gardens to walk along the and inside the massive greenhouse. Experience some of the city’s harvest season activities at the Botanical Gardens too, visit farmers markets and more.
Downtown’s Quartier des spectacles continues to shine this month with festivals, outdoor activities and more, including a trip through Quebec history in new outdoor exhibition and video projection L'Espace René-Lévesque à Montréal : le parcours d'un homme d'exception on the Promenade des Artistes. On the façade of the Wilder Building outside Place des Arts, watch projection-mapping artwork Effects of Influence by artist Boris Vitazek with a soundtrack performed by the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, from November 13 to 30. You can also take a free walking tour of the Quartier des spectacles too! MURAL Festival may be over, but you can still see murals from this year and years past on Saint-Laurent Boulevard and adjacent streets – find the murals and hear more about the artists on a street art tour with Spade & Palacio.
In Old Montréal, walk the cobblestone streets to the Saint-Lawrence River to visit the peacefully illuminated square outside Notre-Dame Basilica – inside, see gorgeous multimedia show AURA. In the Old Port of Montréal, you can see incredible city and river views from the Observation Wheel or go for a wild 1200-metre ride over the boardwalk on the MTL Zip Line. Nearby, explore the scientific world indoors with kids at the Montréal Science Centre: see new interactive exhibition Dinosaurs Around the World, with 20 life-sized dinosaurs that move and make sounds, plus other hands-on activities and exhibitions.
By night, look for the history-illuminating tableaux projections of Cité Mémoire in Old Montréal, and see Claude Cormier et Associés’s massive The Ring installation aglow at Esplanade Place Ville Marie downtown. And for ultimate relaxation any time of the day, visit Bota Bota, spa sur l’eau on the Saint-Lawrence River in the Old Port and other world-class spas like Scandinave Spa Vieux-Montréal, Avie Spa & Coiffure, Rainspa and Strøm Nordic Spa.
© Susan Moss
Autumn parks and gardens
See the fall colours in Montréal's parks and cultivated gardens, including the Space for Life's Montréal Botanical Garden, both in the expansive outdoor gardens and in the tropical greenhouses. Experience several wild ecosystems at the Biodôme, where you’ll see penguins, otters and more. Explore the mysteries of the universe at the Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan. Learn about the thousands of butterflies, moths and other insects at the newly renovated Insectarium. Or head to the West Island’s Ecomuseum Zoo to glimpse local wildlife in their natural outdoor habitats throughout the year.
Among the many free things to do this fall, see incredible city views of the city from Mount Royal Park: take a walk through the park and up the stairs to the lookout or bus or drive up to Beaver Lake. Stroll around Parc La Fontaine, go to St-Michel’s Frédéric-Back Park to ride bikes or learn to fly big kites! Or cross the river to Parc Jean-Drapeau for long riverside walks and a different view of the city – while there visit the Biosphère too for environment-focused exhibitions, the interactive Ecolab and more. And though the weather’s getting colder, November is still a fine time to see the city from two wheels, whether on your own bike, a rental bike, with a bike tour, or on a BIXI shared bike or e-bike until the BIXI rental season ends on November 15.
© Société des casinos du Québec
Fall food and drink
Seasonal dishes and new culinary creations are a hallmark of MTLàTABLE, Montréal’s official restaurant week, from November 3-13: discover special multi-course menus at participating restaurants, flavours from around the world, bring-your-own-wine restaurants and out-of-this-world desserts, join culinary workshops, even enter the National Bank contest to win a hotel stay, gift certificates and more.
If you’re looking for a new lunch place, try some of Montréalers’ favourite lunch restaurants, from Old Montréal and downtown to Villeray or the South-West. Take a seat at the city’s newest restaurants and “buvettes” and don’t miss a classic Montréal brunch! Dig into long-time classics like smoked meat, poutine and Montréal bagels. If you’re craving pizza, join the debate over who makes the best pizza in Montréal or the best tacos. And it’s a great time to have dinner and see a show at the Casino de Montréal, where live music and cabaret shows are back, along with incredible seafood and more on the grill at Le Montréal, a gourmet buffet at Pavillon 67, and quick delicious eats at L’Instant.
Downtown, explore the wide variety of excellent meals at gourmet food halls, including Time Out Market, Marché Artisans, Le Cathcart Restaurants et Biergarten and Le Central - Manger Montréal. Get your caffeine fix at Montréal's indie coffee shops – and fresh-baked doughnuts to go with it! Add sweetness to your life with creations from Montréal's best bakeries and pastry shops, best chocolate shops and local candy shops.
Eat plant-based with our ultimate guide to vegan eating in Montréal. And check all the boxes on your “must-eat list” with these musts for foodies in Montréal. By night, discover the city’s 30 top cocktail bars, inventive Montréal microbreweries and late-night eats. Or mix Montréalesque cocktails at home with gin, vodka, rum and more specialty spirits from these Montréal specialty alcohol and spirit makers.
© Susan Moss - Tourisme Montréal
With the holiday season upon us, Montréal helps you check off everyone on your gift list: visit holiday markets around the city for one-of-a-kind and locally made items, from home decor and art to jewelry and toys – in late-November, shop at the Le Grand marché de Noël, Marché de Noël de Jean-Talon, and more pop-up markets. Go shopping for fall and winter wardrobe staples and dinner-party glam in Old Montréal’s boutiques, downtown along Sainte-Catherine Street and in the underground city malls, or head to the Plateau and Mile End for unique finds. Keep your eye out for items made by Montréal designers, relaxing self-care staples and plenty of home decor.
Add sparkle to your life at the coolest Montréal jewelry stores. Shop local and eco-friendly at the most fabulous vintage boutiques in the city. Pick out the perfect new books for friends and family from Montréal’s bookstores, at the Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec and Quebec Writers’ Federation Holiday Book Fair from November 4 and 5 at Concordia University, and at the Salon du livre du Montréal from November 24 to 27 at Palais des congrès, where you can find books from local and international publishers, attend readings, meet authors, and more. Find books by small publishers, independent zines, artwork and more at Expozine on November 19 and 20 at Église Saint-Arsène (near Jean-Talon metro). And dive into a wide world of music at Montréal's excellent vinyl stores.
November exhibitions and experiences
Montréal’s museums and art galleries inspire all year – and there’s always something new to see. At the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, see new blockbuster exhibition Seeing Loud: Basquiat and Music, as well as exhibitions Shary Boyle: Outside the Palace of Me and Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956-1971, new exhibition ᑐᓴᕐᓂᑐᑦ TUSARNITUT! illustrating the Inuit musical expression (opening November 10), plus collections exhibition Views of Within: Picturing the Spaces We Inhabit. Outside the museum after sunset, see animated digital artwork Contre-espace by Sabrina Ratté, projected on the museum’s facade until 11 p.m.
The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal presents TimeTraveller™ by Skawennati, an on-screen postcolonial rereading of the history of Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, and, opening November 17, new previously unseen immersive works by Montréal artist Nelson Henricks, including a program of 15 Screen Tests produced by Andy Warhol between 1964 and 1966. On screen at home, explore immersive online exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, a recreation of the MAC’s monumental show, and comprehensive new digital platform MACrépertoire.
The Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art celebrates its 15-year anniversary this year, so watch for exhibition announcements and see Yayoi Kusama’s DANCING LIGHTS THAT FLEW UP TO THE UNIVERSE - tickets are available for free on the 15th of each month! Meanwhile, experience award-winning virtual reality at the Phi Centre in Horizons VR, as well as multi-sensorial experience Last Minute, focused on mourning, births and metamorphoses, Habitat Sonore’s intimate sound immersion environment, and a photo exhibition by Fabrizio Maltese.
A massive immersive art experience in surround sound and laser light, Oasis Immersion takes over the ground floor of Palais des congrès – don’t miss its newest creation, VAN GOGH-Distorsion, a 360° experience with surround sound, featuring 225 paintings, drawings and sketches by the Dutch-born painter. A major audiovisual retrospective of Pink Floyd’s music and the band’s effect on art and culture, The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains, opens on November 4 at Arsenal Contemporary Art Montréal. And in the Place des Arts exhibition space, don’t miss As Water Falls, an virtual interactive waterfall installation.
Galerie de l’UQAM presents new work by Eritrean-born artist Dawit L. Petros in exhibition Spazio Disponibile (originally organized and circulated by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery), highlighting colonization, migration and modernism. Watch for local artwork in vacant downtown commercial spaces as part of Art souterrain’s Créer des Ponts project.
Also see new exhibitions at Bradley Ertaskiran in St. Henri, Darling Foundry in Old Montréal, Hugues Charbonneau, Galerie B-312 and Ellephant downtown, at Oboro, MAI (hosting a new exhibition by Anishinaabe Oji-Cree artists Ida Baptiste and Lara Kramer) and Fais-moi l’art (see French-Syrian artist Poline Harbali’s They wrote the countries borders on my skin) in the Plateau, Centre Clark and Galerie Elektra in Mile End and many, many other amazing art galleries in every neighbourhood – find out more in our Montréal guide to gallery hopping and these affordable places to buy contemporary art. Take a Portrait Sonore sound walk downtown and on the Mountain to discover Montréal art and culture. And hunt for more public art everywhere in the city.
History past and present
History buffs of all ages will love Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex in Old Montréal: learn about the significance of headdresses in different cultures in Headdresses from Around the world: The Antoine de Galbert Collection (opening November 17); follow the story of Montréal through historic objects in Favourites! Our Collections on Display; see environmentally themed exhibition Frédéric Back: A Passion for the Planet; and kids of all ages can step into history in interactive display Come Aboard! Pirates or Privateers?
Go to the McCord Stewart Museum to witness Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience, experience Alexander Henderson: Art and Nature, and glean insights from new photography exhibitions Incipit - COVID-19 by Michel Huneault and Disraeli Revisited – later in November and throughout December, don’t miss Ogilvy Christmas mechanical windows display Enchanted Worlds. At the Canadian Centre for Architecture, see Retail Apocalypse, examining the entangled worlds of architecture, fashion, business and art, and ᐊᖏᕐᕋᒧᑦ / Ruovttu Guvlui / Towards Home, an Indigenous-led exhibition and publication project exploring Arctic spaces.
Travel back in time in Old Montréal as you tour the rooms of Château Ramezay (hosting fun seasonal event Pick a Peck of Pumpkins until November 6) and historical site Chateau Dufresne. Climb aboard railway cars, learn about the history of the railroad and explore miniature railways at the Exporail the Canadian Railway Museum. Take a historic walking tour of Jewish Montréal, with the Museum of Jewish Montréal, relocated to 4281 Saint-Laurent Blvd. – see new exhibition Public Intimacy by Berlin-based artists Sophia Hirsch and Johannes Mundinger. Explore the Afromuseum, representing the contributions of Afro-Canadians to the cultural landscape of Canada. Discover the vivid history and present of Québec ceramics at the Musée des métiers d'arts du Québec. And for another slice of Québec history, visit Montréal’s stunning churches and sacred sites.
Make the most of your visit and save big on museums and other attractions with the MTL Fall + Winter Passport: discover five Montréal attractions for one low price, and get discounts at many more! Or discover even more in the city and just outside it in the Montérégie region with the MTL + Montérégie Passport.
On stage in November
Montréal’s cultural calendar is packed this season, with entertainment for everyone on the city’s many stages. Opéra de Montréal presents La beauté du monde, a libretto by playwright Michel Marc Bouchard and composer Julien Bilodeauis about the epic rescue of artwork from the Louvre, at Place des Arts from November 19 to 27. This time, he teams up with.In international contemporary dance, Danse Danse presents the Hofesh Shechter Company in double bill Double Murder, featuring two contrasting, high-energy pieces for 10 dancers, from November 2 to 5 at Place des Arts, followed by Shay Kuebler Radical System Art’s MOI – Momentum of Isolation tackling the growing phenomenon of loneliness and the need for community, from November 8 to 12 at Edifice Wilder.
Circus is never in short supply in Montréal - you can see two incredible circus shows this month at La Tohu: in Muse by circus troupe FLIP Fabrique, seven skilful acrobats play with gender stereotypes in theatrical acrobatic ways, from November 3 to 13, while Ghost Light: Between Fall and Flight by Machine de Cirque, is a circus duo of acrobatics, choreography, ghostly lights and live music, from November 9 to 12. And secure your seats for Cirque du Soleil’s fabulous show Corteo at the Bell Centre from December 21 to January 1 – and even scoop up tickets for Cirque’s brand new show ECHO, celebrating its world premiere in Montréal in spring 2023!
Theatre, dance and multidisciplinary performances light up the stage throughout the fall. In theatre, see Cyclorama, an immersive bilingual documentary performance about the history of the long-running Centaur Theatre and Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, at Centaur Theatre from October 11 to November 5, followed by comedy Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes from November 8 to 27, tackling intimacy and power within academia in the #MeToo era. The Segal Centre presents Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors, where classic horror meets satire with an all-star cast and special effects, from October 23 to November 13. Inspired by a true story, The Covenant is set in the town of Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia in 1944, a haven for the Jewish people but concealing a horrific secret, at the Segal Studio from November 13 to December 3.
At MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels), see Syrian dance and movement artist Hoor Malas’ If My Body Had a Name from November 3 to 5 and Anh Vo’s solo work Babylift, conjuring ghosts of the Vietnam War, from November 24 to 26. At La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines, artists Agnés Mateus and Quim Tarrida revolt against societal and domestic violence in Rebota, Rebota y en tu cara explota (It Bounces, It Bounces, And Then It Blows Up In Your Face) from November 3 to 8, and Alix Dufresne and Étienne Lepage question morality’s limits in Malaise dans la civilisation from November 10 to 13. Discover new contemporary dance and interdisciplinary works presented by Agora de la danse, Tangente and Danse Cité throughout the month.
Sing along to ‘80s rock classics while watching musical Rock of Ages at Espace St-Denis from October 27 to November 6. Expect the unexpected in multidisciplinary, multi-stage show and electronic music party UNTIL WE DIE at Arsenal Contemporary from November 2 to 13. And step into the magical world of Harry Potter: A Yule Ball Celebration starting November 28 at Le Salon 1861.
On screen in November
One of North America’s leading documentary film festivals, the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) presents more than 150 Canadian and international documentaries illuminating every corner of our world, as well as discussions, special events and more, from November 17 to 27, opening with Rewind & Play by French filmmaker Alain Gomis.
See over a hundred French-language features and short films at French-language film festival CINEMANIA (with English subtitles!) from November 2 to 13, also hosting panel discussions, special events and more. Canada’s first LGBTQ+ film festival, image + nation, celebrates its 35th anniversary this year with buzzed-about feature films and hidden gems that nurture queer storytellers and promote queer culture, from November 17 to 27.
In the Society for Art and Technology’s 360° dome, immerse yourself in incredible new audiovisual creations Entangled Structures and Écosystème until November 24. See independent features, family films, documentaries and more at Cinéma Moderne in person and online. See the art world in a whole new light thanks to the International Festival of Films on Art year-round ART FILM program. Discover new art house films and more from Montréal indie cinemas' programming at Cinéma du Parc, Cinéma du Musée at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, and Cinémathèque québécoise in the Quartier des spectacles. The Montréal Science Centre’s IMAX cinema puts nature on the giant screen in all its glory – don’t miss new addition, Dinosaurs of Antarctica 3D. And explore the city through cinema in these Hollywood movies made in Montréal.
© Antoine Saito
Classical music in November
In classical music, beloved Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Conductor Emeritus Kent Nagano returns to conduct repertoire that is particularly close to his heart: Schubert’s Third Symphony dated 1815, in the Mozart and Schubert concert from November 22 to 24. And Laurence Equilbey conducts OSM concert Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in OSM Colours on November 9 and 10. Also at the Maison symphonique, violinist Isabella d'Éloize Perron performs The Four Seasons with Ensemble Classico-Moderne on November 5 and 6, Jordi Savall performs with ensemble Hespèrion XXI in a program of Renaissance and Baroque music on November 7, and The Orchestre Philharmonique et Chœur des Mélomanes performs Verdi's Requiem on November 13 at Maison symphonique.
The Montréal Bach Festival presents numerous concerts at Place des Arts, Bourgie Hall and gorgeous churches, including La Passion selon Saint Jean with Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart at Maison Symphonique on November 17, Night of Choirs at Church Of St. Andrew & St. Paul on November 12, organ concerts, children’s concerts and more throughout November and December.
Attend more concerts throughout the month at Place des Arts, including McCartney Symphonique performed by the Orchestre symphonique du Grand Montréal and a choir, on November 6, and the Soweto Gospel Choir on November 25. And hear world-class chamber orchestras, soloists and more almost every night of the month at Bourgie Hall at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts.
More live music
Along with music festivals M for Montreal and Mundial Montréal (don’t miss their free outdoor event Le SHOW-FRETTE sous le Van Horne on November 18), hear live music at all the city’s music venues this month too. At the Bell Centre, get loud with The Offspring & Simple Plan on November 4, Marc Anthony on November 11, country star Luke Combs on November 18 and Belgian hip hop superstar Stromae from November 25 to 27. At Place des Arts, see pop icon Engelbert Humperdinck on November 11 and former Genesis lead guitarist Steve Hacket on November 29.
At MTELUS see Cannibal Corpse on November 5, Alex G on November 6, Afrobeat artist Yemi Alade on November 10, Arkells on November 23, Jessie Reyez on November 26, and more. Beth Orton performs at Studio TD on November 7, Russian Circles plays Theatre Fairmont on November 9, Bright Eyes comes to Théâtre Corona on November 10, Bartees Strange at Studio TD on November 12, and Matthew Good is at Théâtre Corona on November 26, Meanwhile, Montréal ska legends The Planet Smashers play Foufounes Électriques on November 12 and Three Days Grace come to Place Bell on November 20. See these shows and more co-presented by Greenland, Blue Skies Turn Black, I Love Neon, and other show promoters at venues citywide, including Bar Le Ritz PDB, Casa del Popolo and Sala Rossa, L’Escogriffe, Newspeak and elsewhere throughout the month.
In electronic music, ILESONIQ and Neon present French future house producer Tchami at the SAT on November 5, and dance into the night at the Dômesicle party at the SAT with LAGOM collective DJs and VJs on November 19. At the Phi Centre, hear Hyd perform songs from their debut album on November 10.
Groove to live soul, disco, jazz, funk, salsa, Cuban music Fridays and more at Le Balcon, where you can have dinner with a show, go dancing, and enjoy a gospel brunch on weekends ‒ or have meal and drinks on Le Balcon’s new terrasse right on Sainte-Catherine Street downtown. Hear live jazz nightly at Montréal’s amazing jazz and blues clubs, like Diese Onze and Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill. And go out dancing late into the night at Montréal's dance clubs.