If you love going out, dancing to the latest beats and don't mind the crowds or getting your feet a little wet, then my list of top Montreal New Year's Eve events, just below, are sure to please! And do check out this extensive list of New Year's events in Montreal for more choice, courtesy of Club Zone.
Taxicabs: Plan Ahead
Finding a taxi after the clubs close on a regular night is an exercise in patience by itself. Calling for a cab after 3 a.m. on a cold New Year's morn in Montreal can be even more exasperating than usual with busy phone lines and long wait times. So on this new year's, save yourself the frostbite and aggravation. Print this list of Montreal taxi companies and bring it with you to your club event on New Year's Eve. Your wait will be that much shorter with all these taxi phone numbers on one page: just call them one by one, ask them how backed up they are and find the quickest ride. And for everyone who came by car, these two designated driver services in Montreal are going to come in mighty handy.
MONTREAL NEW YEAR'S EVENTS 2012-2013: BEST BETS
1. The All Ages
New Year's Grand Ball at the Old Port
If the idea of engaging in run-of-the-mill clubbing bores you to tears but you really want to be out and about in the middle of some action and also want to do something a little different, then consider the Old Port this New Year's Eve. Or maybe you're just looking for an early evening precursor. Skate at the Bonsecours Basin outdoor skating rink, open until 1 a.m. on December 31st (technically January 1st). Fireworks herald the new year at midnight but the party gets started as early as 10 p.m. just north of the skating rink, at Place Jacques-Cartier, and keeps going until 2 a.m. with outdoor dancing, mulled wine and other surprises. About 40,000 people attend the Old Port's Grand Bal du Nouvel An so be ready for a crowd. All ages and families welcome. Event is free but skating is not. Details on skating admission and rentals.
2. The Naughty
CARNAVALESQUE: A Cirque De Boudoir New Year's Eve
Cirque du Boudoir consistently makes my NYE party list. Previous years included tarot readings, a supervised dungeon area and other otherworldly pleasures, and in 2013, New Orleans Mardi Gras is the theme of the night with associated paraphernalia are at the forefront. Evening includes circus, fire and fetish performances. Runs from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Admission runs from $70 to $100 (limited tickets) and includes at least drinks until midnight on the lower price end and drinks all night on the higher price end. At Bain Mathieu (map).
3. The Soul
Good luck finding PEOPL Boutique Club in a Montreal guidebook. Easily the hottest new club to hit Montreal last fall, PEOPL opened up where Club U.N. shut down, last September, proposing a lounge format at the beginning of the evening that morphs into a club atmosphere at the night moves along. But what I really love is the vibe resident DJ and PEOPL owner Jojoflores brings to the venue. I remember being an underage pipsqueak back when he was spinning at Montreal's Jai Bar in the '90s and for whatever reason, the crowds he brought were consistently lovely. Pretense-free. They were there to dance. And judging the latest mixes I've listened to by the jetsetter, he's one of the best deep house DJs I've heard in circulation. Admission $50 before midnight (open bar from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.), $25 after midnight with complimentary drink. At PEOPL (map).
4. The Goods
The Goods Four Horsemen NYE 2013
The gentlemen behind the Montreal nightlife movement and CKUT radio show The Goods propose their annual new year's tradition of soulful tunes spun by co-creators and Sala Rossa resident DJs Scott C and Andy Williams. They've been attracting a mighty fine down-to-earth following from what I've been told by several insiders, setting it apart from the common nightclub bull you're apt to find when the sun goes down. And for the 2013 edition, they're bringing in guest DJ Lexis, founder and chief curator of music website Music Is My Sanctuary. He told me to expect the night to run the gamut of soul, funk, disco, hip hop, house and jazz. Admission $20, more at the door. At Sala Rossa (map).