Montreal Winter 2014: The Fun, The Festivals, The Food
Montreal winter can be nothing short of enchanting for people from out of town. As for residents, well, many locals love this city to pieces yet dread the colder, shorter days of Montreal winter life, bearing the season like a ball and chain, one that can drag on for half of the year, from November to mid-April. But somehow, that joie de vivre Montrealers are known for never quite extinguishes itself and legion are those who thrill in its seasonal sports, winter-themed cuisine and assorted comforts. Below are just a few of the season's finest perks.
Photo Evelyn Reid
This city is on fire in the dead of winter! From outdoor raves in subzero temperatures to restaurant week to festivals honoring snow, lights or whatever else organizers can pinpoint as a celebratory fixation, this is not the season to stay home and sulk. Au contraire. Read More
Paul Hawthorne / Getty Images
From ice skating to inner tubing, kicksledding to cross country skiing, Montreal hosts several winter sports that can be practiced at an assortment of parks across the city. Many of these locations also rent out equipment that even tight budgets can afford. Read More
Scott Olson / Getty Images
"Winter in Montreal is wonderful," so says the brochure. Well... the brochure is lying through its teeth. But it's also telling the truth.
About.com Montreal's Evelyn Reid experiencing a winter drink moment. Photo © Clint Lewis
I love winter drinks. This might have something to do with the fact that I'm one of those weirdos who also loves winter. At least most of the time. It can get a little too cold in my neck of the woods come January and February. And electrical bills can go through the roof to cover heating expenses.
Enter my winter drinks strategy, which coincidentally coincides with my keeping-the-heat-a-little-too-low-for-comfort action plan. It's great for my wallet but can be rough on morale, at least on nights that dip below 0ºF (-18ºC). But as I always say –-who am I kidding, I've never said-- where there's a problem, there's a solution. See, certain spices, roots and beverages create a warming effect, either literally heating up the body or giving the illusion of corporeal warmth by inducing certain sensations, be they a soothing, gentle warmth in the throat, by moving blood to the extremities or by stimulating circulation.
Charles Gallay / Getty Images
Plan your next winter holiday in Montreal with this nifty breakdown.
Photo © Evelyn Reid
The Montreal Snow Village, a Montreal winter attraction which debuted January 18, 2012, is a Canadian and North American first, the only snow village of its kind to be built in a major metropolitan area worldwide. As one of the city’s most important winter draws, activity options are anything but in short supply, with opportunities to play, eat, drink, sleep and even get married. On ice.
Photo by Flickr user laszlo-photo
If you grew up in Montreal, or anywhere across Quebec for that matter, chances are you've slipped on a pair of skis and snowplowed down a hill at least once in your life. It's kind of hard not to in a location that would freeze hell over six months of the year. Add to that chill eightysome alpine ski hills scattered throughout the province of Quebec and over 200 km of cross-country ski trails on the island of Montreal, and you've got yourself a local rite of passage.
But visitors from all over, particularly from Europe, the United States and the rest of Canada, join us in the fun every year, though it can be confusing where to start with so many resorts scattered throughout the province. Read More
Photo by Flickr user jespahjoy
There is something irresistibly becoming about the foot-like reek of melting raclette overtaking the kitchen on a snowy day, stinking up a storm as its mild, nutty flavor is scraped onto potatoes and served with white wine, preferably an Alsatian Riesling or Pinot Gris. Baby gherkins, pickled onions and assorted sliced meats accompany the pièce de résistance. If you have never tried raclette then you must do something about that as soon as possible (and no, fondue doesn't count). There are two ways to indulge in this Swiss delicacy in Montreal: either make it at home with raclette-specific kitchenware or spare oneself a little cooking grief and reserve a table at La Raclette
, on the Plateau. Read More
Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
Tea is good. Sipping carefully brewed oolong picked from the Phoenix Mountains in the Fujian Province of China on a bitter cold Montreal winter's day? Even better. Read More
Joe Raedle / Getty Images
One of the few opportunities you'll have all year to eat Christ's ears drenched in the heavenly goo of the gods is now. Or soon. But the window is short-lived, from late February to early April. Read More