Things to do this Thanksgiving weekend in Montréal

Robyn Fadden

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.

This article was updated on October 1, 2020.

Along with the changing season and cooler weather in Montréal comes Canadian Thanksgiving, or as we know it in Québec, Action de grâce, on Monday, October 12 this year. The holiday also means a long weekend full of things to do – and plenty to eat – from October 9 to 12.

Thanksgiving dinner and more

Montréal satisfies the seasonal palate with classic and non-traditional dinners alike. Fine-dining luxuries and local delicacies make these Montréal meals worth writing home about – we've also selected some top Montréal restaurants for the gourmet traveller, designer restaurants for those who love to eat in style and five restaurants with amazing chefs – among them, try Europea’s Épicure Land and La Grande Table Gastronomique experiences, Impasto for Italian comforts, Le Club Chasse et Pêche Restaurant Bar Salon, Leméac and Maison Boulud. Find Parisian flair at these authentic French restaurants or tap into Montréal's DIY spirit at these cheerful bring-your-own-wine eateries. And for families, Montréal has plenty of great places to eat with kids.

By day, go for an excellent brunch, and pick up something sweet or savoury at Montréal's best bakeries and pastry shops, sip the perfect latté at the city’s indie cafés. For something light, check out these health-conscious restaurants, great sushi restaurants and our ultimate guide to vegan eating in Montréal. Discover Montréal neighbourhoods on a local food tour. Visit Montréal’s public markets, including Jean-Talon Market and Atwater Market for in-season fruit and vegetables, meats and cheese and all manner of Thanksgiving-worthy pies. Or take a day trip dedicated to harvest season activities like apple picking and corn mazes. 

Please note that restaurants are only open for delivery and take-out.

Fall for families

Roam through nature in the city at Mount Royal Park and see all of downtown and the St. Lawrence River from the lookout and chalet. Watch the leaves fall in beautiful Parc La Fontaine in the Plateau and cross the St. Lawrence River to visit Parc Jean-Drapeau. See the city from great heights on La Grande Roue de Montréal in the Old Port. Take a boat tour on the St. Lawrence River with Croisières AML and Navark – one of many reasons to make Montréal your island getaway this fall. Or take a day trip to orchard Verger Labonté to pick apples and pumpkins and find your way through its massive galaxy-themed corn labyrinths.

On stage and screen

The Orchestre Métropolitan delights in a performance at the gorgeous Maison symphonique (available online). See cutting-edge contemporary dance and performances at Théâtre La Chapelle. Comedy festival Just For Laughs goes virtual – and free! – with a roster of international and local stars on October 9 and 10. 

In film, the expertly curated 47th Festival du nouveau cinéma features hundreds of films from Canada and around the world as well as workshops, new cinema technologies, performances and parties from October 7 to 18. 

Long-weekend art excursions

While the trees provide their own colourful display, Montréal’s galleries pop with bright offerings as well. Bring a work of art home with you while gallery hopping and antiquing, and even pick up arts and crafts at these cool (no, really) souvenir shops.

History then and now

See the McCord’s outdoor photography of Go Play Outside! Outdoors along the Promenade des Artistes explore multimedia exhibition Un coeur nomade, honouring author Dany Laferrière, and watch animated film L’Exil vaut le voyage on the façade of UQAM’s Pavillon Président-Kennedy. While in Old Montréal on Friday and Saturday nights, look for the projections of Cité Mémoire.

Robyn Fadden

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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