Must see

Nov. 28, 2023

Must-do winter activities downtown

Activités incontournables d'hiver au centre-ville de Montréal

This winter, downtown is decked out in all its finery to celebrate the best of all seasons! Illuminations, artistic installations, entertainment and gourmet treats will be there to amaze and delight young and old alike. Here are our must-sees to make the most of winter’s wonders!

Enjoy the illuminations along a magical trail

This year, we’re pulling out all the stops: no fewer than half a million points of light will be deployed in public squares, commercial thoroughfares and heritage buildings. From Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle to Phillips Square, via Christ Church Cathedral and Dorchester Square, take time to stroll and admire the illuminations. Trees are decked out in lights, graceful deer take over the cityscape, gilded arches highlight Gothic architecture. The city center is aglow with light, waiting for you to make the magic happen!

This illumination project is made possible thanks to the support of the Borough of Ville-Marie and the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie.

Discover downtown’s illuminations 

Activités incontournables d'hiver au centre-ville : Cathédrale Christ Church

Enter the Win Your Shopping Spree contest

It’s that time of year again! From November 25 to December 31, you’ve got one chance in ten to win a gift card for the value of your purchases in downtown boutiques, restaurants, bars and theaters. You also have the chance to win some great prizes! All you have to do is visit the contest website and submit your receipt. There’s just one condition: the amount must be at least $25. Because giving gifts is great, but winning MORE gifts is even better!

Activités incontournables d'hiver au centre-ville : Concours Gagne tes achats

Comfort yourself with Luminothérapie

This winter, come out and explore the farthest reaches of the universe! Inspired by the complexity of the cosmos and the forces that shape it, the 14th edition of Luminothérapie features five colourful, majestic works lining Sainte-Catherine Street West as well as an original video projection that changes according to weather fluctuations. As soon as dusk falls, kids and adults are invited to stroll through the Quartier to enjoy works from here and elsewhere, all presented for the very first time in Montreal. Give your next winter stroll through the Quartier des Spectacles a whole new dimension!

Luminothérapie is presented with the support and collaboration of the City of Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, Montréal centre-ville and Place des Arts.

Discover Luminothérapie

Activités incontournables d'hiver au centre-ville : Luminothérapie

Admire the projections on the Museum of Fine Arts

As soon as night falls, come and admire the installations projected outside the museum! Quebec video artist Nathalie Bujold’s Pixels, Petits Points and Monument takes the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts by storm.

These installations are projected onto the façade of the Michal and Renata Hornstein pavilion, opposite the MBAM’s main entrance. We recommend a detour to Sherbrooke for your daily dose of beauty and poetry!

Discover Pixels, Petits points and Monument

Activités incontournables d'hiver au centre-ville : MBAM

Visit the Christmas Market on Place des Festivals

What would the holidays be like without a market worthy of the name? The Grand Marché de Noël is back at last! Join us now in the Quartier des spectacles for a healthy dose of enchantment… and treats! Over sixty Quebec artisans will be on hand to offer jewelry, decorations, cosmetics and clothing. Cosy chalets will be on hand to satisfy our stomachs and help us forget the cold, with recipes each more delicious than the last. Above all, there’s plenty to keep you entertained, with over 150 free events – the highlight of which is the Christmas in Montreal show.

Visit the Christmas Market 

Activités incontournables d'hiver au centre-ville : Marché de Noël
© Carole Balas

See the Ring in the snow

It weighs a lot, it’s round and it makes Montrealers happy: no, it’s not Santa Claus, but the Ring in the heart of the Esplanade PVM! Claude Cormier’s work will be illuminated in a different color every day, from December 1st to 31st!

A special light countdown will even take place on December 31 to herald the end of the year! A detour is in order to admire it at night, illuminated!

Activités incontournables d'hiver au centre-ville : Anneau du centre-ville
© JPlouznikoff

Skating in style on the Esplanade Tranquille

This winter, the Esplanade Tranquille skating rink is back to delight us all. The perfect opportunity to discover this beautiful square! Let your skates fly on the ice while enjoying the city lights and the enchanting surroundings. If you want to warm up after your acrobatics, the Esplanade multifunctional pavilion is ready to welcome you in its beautiful spaces. Settle down for a quiet read in one of the alcoves of the self-service library, take advantage of the Grand Salon’s bay windows to admire the skaters. L’Esplanade Tranquille has never been more aptly named!

Discover the skating ring 

Activités incontournables d'hiver au centre-ville : patinoire de l'Esplanade Tranquille
© Ulysse Lemerise / OSA

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