02 Dec 2019

Time 4 minutes

Going out during the holidays: 10 great places to check out in Old Montreal

Going out during the holidays: 10 great places to check out in Old Montreal

The historic neighbourhood quickly undergoes a magical change when winter arrives, and even without a blanket of white snow, the roads and buildings, cute little shops and restaurants, lights and people all contribute to the festive feeling in the air. If you’re into wandering and exploring, this is the neighbourhood for you!

Christmas Markets, a holiday tradition

When you think of the end of the year, you always think about Christmas presents and markets. That fits well with the Vieux, as it is packed with small boutiques, creators, and artisans, and because it is THE ideal place to find something to fill your sack of presents! At the heart of rue St-Amable, from December 6th-15th, Atelier b is hosting exhibits and welcomes you with activities, mulled wine, and snacks.

You should also check out the Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum boutique. There, you will find original gifts and Accueil Bonneau honey! You might not think it, but this place is great when scrounging for gifts! Finally, even though it’s open all year, the Bonsecours Market offers boutiques for art and artisanal products where you can find limited edition items.

Don't miss Maison Pepin's beautiful Christmas Market in their courtyard, running until December 22nd! On December 8th and 15th, children will get the opportunity to get a picture with Santa Claus, while you can enjoy a variety of creative workshops to share some quality time with your loved ones during this festive season!

And if you're still looking for gift ideas, don't miss the annual sale event by the shop Aesop Old-Montréal on December 6th, from 10am to 8pm! Along with a 10% in-store discount, you will also be able to enjoy a delightful wine and cheese sampling in a festive decor to celebrate the Holidays!

Holiday lights, a simply sensational street spectacle

© Geneviève Giguère

For several years, the SDC of Old-Montréal has been working to create a space that is as welcoming and festive as possible for the Vieux inhabitants and the visitors walking around the neighbourhood alike. Radio-Canada has organized a window contest for the second year running, and the voting public could win 1000$ in gift-cards for businesses in Old-Montréal. While you wait to come vote for your favorite window display, come visit the arches of the Pigeon Hole and lose yourself for a bit, or see the charming Christmas trees set up at the Place d’Armes, Place Royal, or at Frères Charron Park. And finally, don’t miss the rue St-Amable passageway that lets out into the impressive Place Jacques-Cartier.

Seasonal performances

This December, Old Montréal abounds with performances as holiday euphoria overtakes the city scene. We highly recommend the Choralies presented at Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours. These classical music performances, most of which are free on Saturdays and Sundays in December, will immediately transport you to another world.

There’s also the incomparable Aura, the spectacle of sounds and lights, by Moment Factory, created specifically for the Basilica of Notre-Dame. Montréal’s history takes on a gripping, romanesque dimension.

As Christmas approaches, the lively, irreverent, and brilliant puppeteer Ronnie Burkett takes the stage at Centaur with his play Little Dickens. You’ll be clenching your teeth with laughter at this puppet show that is definitely for adults only; supplemental showings will be held up until December 21st.

Happy Hours, brunches, and other festive gatherings around the table


Just across from the illuminated Place Jacques-Cartier, le Jacopo is a beautiful place to enjoy the dolce vita of Italian dining. Whether you come there for the Happy Hour Spritz during the week or for the special holiday menus, you will get a sense of the generosity of this European country! For evenings after work, we like le Vallier and its relaxed atmosphere, seasonal food, its Happy Hour (which starts at 4!) with three entrées for 33$, and its affordable drinks; what could be better than grabbing a drink and bonding with some friends or colleagues? After all, shouldn’t the holiday season bring us together? Then later in the evening, if you still didn’t know, le Bord’Elle is a stylish venue with immersive cocktails and spectacles and a Gatsby feel… everything here is just the tops!