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Your essential guide to Montreal for tourists and locals alike. Discover outstanding restaurants, cool bars, and amazing events happening across the city.
UPDATE, Fall, 2022: Montreal ups its game in the fall. It’s a city that knows how to celebrate the last licks of summer while embracing autumn’s arrival. This essential round-up of Montreal musts is your to-do list whether you’re a tourist or a local: from iconic attractions and museums, unmissable restaurants and bars—and the very best apple picking—it rounds up the most outstanding things to do across the city. 
33 amazing free things to do in Montreal right now
Best things to do with kids in Montreal
27 best landmarks and attractions for locals and visitors

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Our local editors have spent their time handpicking and gathering the best of the best restaurants and chefs together onto one central stage, Time Out Market Montréal. It’s a 40,000-square-foot culinary and cultural destination that’s centrally located downtown in the Centre Eaton de Montréal—the biggest in the city of its kind—stocked with a wide variety of eateries, three bars for beer, wine and cocktails (and mocktails!), a cooking school to learn new tricks and techniques, a retail space, and cultural activations devoted to art, music and more. Our mission is simple (but spelled out here): If we discover something in the city that’s great, it goes in our editorial coverage of the city; if it’s unmissable, it goes in Time Out Market Montréal.

What is it? Have you heard? It’s official: Rue Wellington in Montreal was named coolest street in the world according to this year’s Time Out Index. Time Out asked 20,000-plus city-dwellers which streets they think are the coolest, and this year only two Canadian cities made the list.
Why go? Rue Wellington is flanked by one of the best restaurants, and one of the best new restaurants in the city, so there’s no questioning its cool factor. Add some next-level cocktail bars, stellar brunch spots, some of the best sandwiches in town and even a sandy urban beach into the mix, and you’ve got the coolest crowd in the city.
Don’t miss Did we mention the free tuk-tuk?

What is it? One of Canada’s largest street food festivals, First Fridays—running on (you guessed it) Fridays from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. until October 7—is where Montreal’s food trucks gather, bringing incredible food, music and a fun crowd with them.
Why go? If you’re a fan of street food, this recurring event is for you. 
Don’t miss The day between Thursday and Saturday

What is it? Two fundamental components of Montreal’s identity: terrasses and brunch. Mash them up and you’re got a summery slice of heaven.
Why go? Brunch is hard to improve upon, but enjoyed on a sunny terrasse and suddenly nothing can be wrong with the world. Outdoor dining season is fiercely enjoyed in these parts, so try as many terrasses as you can. Some of our fave al fresco brunches are spots like Terrasse Nelligan or Hotel William Gray because of the incredible views.
Don’t miss: Arthur’s Nosh Bar serves a mean bagel brunch on their terrasse, and the pain perdu at Leméac, in glittering Outremont, is French toast on ‘roids.
Discover the city’s newest secret terrasse 

What is it? The premier drag cabaret destination from Mado Lamotte, the Village’s queen diva. 
Why go? In a city known for its nightlife—and the best gay bars and LGBTQ+ clubs—this performance venue of three decades delivers the city’s wildest evenings of drag performances. Any given night’s a festive no-filter display of costumes, music, comedy and dancing that regularly features new performers (including star players from RuPaul’s Drag Race). Shows are generally in French with Madame Mado translating for Anglos if they ask nicely. Remember: The closer you sit to the stage, the more likely you’ll get roasted by the hostess. 
Don’t miss: The regular Friday and Saturday nights series Mado Reçoit, MCed by the doyenne herself. It’s the classic Cabaret Mado experience.

What is it? The centerpiece and the namesake of Montreal, Mont-Royal mountain overlooking the downtown core offers sightseeing in every direction as you explore every angle.
Why go? At 692 acres, Mount Royal is an expansive city park which gives a taste of the outdoors without leaving the confines of the city. Whether it’s exploring its forested pathways, picnicking in the shade, or cross-country skiing across miles of trails, every minute spent on the mountain is either an escape from the city or a sweeping view of it.
Don’t miss: Gaze out over the city from the Mount Royal Chalet. At dusk you can spot the twinkling light show of Jacques Cartier Bridge.
Book Montreal activities.

What is it? Montreal’s superpower: its food scene. 
Why go? From some of the world’s most famous and best restaurants to new affordable discoveries, Montreal can guarantee one thing: there’s always something incredible to eat. No matter the cultural leanings, local fare generally puts an emphasis on fresh market vegetables, a fuss-free aesthetic (bagels, anyone?), and atypical cuts of meat (hello, smoked meat). 
Don’t miss: The 12-plate tasting menu of Le Mousso, or for a pared down experience, the shaved Québec ham topped with local cheeses (and a bottle of wine of course) at Vin Mon Lapin.
Discover Montreal’s hottest new restaurant openings.

What is it? Whether you’re looking for a family outing, or a boozy day trip to escape the city, heading to one of the orchards and farms just outside of Montreal is always a great idea.
Why go? Bring back more fruit than you now what to do with, or a six-pack of cider. Either way, you’ve spent the day outdoors in some of the most beautiful spots in the province.
Don’t miss Get a head start on Halloween and find a farm that grows apples and pumpkins.

What is it? There are countless terrasses and rooftop bars to chose from in this city, and Aire Commune’s 5 à 7 is famous in a city famous for its 5 à 7s.
Why go? Live music performances in the buzzy outdoor setting at Espace Louvain is just what the doctor ordered after a long day, because what is better than an after-work drink! Aire Commune stretches the classic format of a typical Montreal 5 à 7 to about 8 or 9 pm, with live DJ sets and exclusive performances by local talent.
Don’t miss: The inauguration of the season’s programming on May 26, with acts Shaq France, Lu B and A$h Banks. 
Check out Montreal’s newest hidden beer garden.

What is it? Originally established in the 17th century by the city’s first settlers of New France, the narrow cobblestoned streets and foundations in Old Montreal are what solidifies the European roots of Montreal.
Why go? This neighbourhood looking out onto the Saint Lawrence River united some of Montreal’s top-tier restaurants, long promenades of shopping, a handful of museums, historic structures and attractions upon attractions. There’s never a shortage of things to do by day or by night in this part of town.
Don’t miss: The street performers at Place-Jacques Cartier, Inuit art at Galerie d’art Images Boréales, sunning at the Clock Tower Beach, or the Gothic Revival church Notre-Dame Basilica.
Go on a walking tour of Old Montreal.

What is it? A farmers market going back to 1933, Jean-Talon hosts a variety of local growers, fishmongers, butchers, bakers, restaurants and grocers.
Why go? Whether it’s here or at other spots like Atwater Market, Montreal’s markets are hubs of the city’s gastronomic building blocks full of local produce and products. In the summer they’re open-air areas to explore and sample with seasonal pop-up restaurants, while the winters carry a steady collection of vendors indoors.
Don’t miss: Fresh produce and sampling the charcuterie and cheeses of Quebec are the main drawcard but be sure to grab a meal at El Rey Del Taco or Le Petit Alep.

What is it? A huge, sprawling network of connected subterranean tunnels running throughout the downtown core with easy access to the metro system. Air-conditioned in the summer, and heated in the winter.
Why go? Walking the full circuit numbers in at over 30 kilometers, so one visit to this multi-level maze is never enough. It’s a functional web of passageways to get from restaurants to malls to downtown attractions, one of the largest of its kind in the world with half a million people using it every day.
Don’t miss: The indoor ice skating rink of 1000 de la Gauchetière, the fragment of the Berlin wall at the World Trade Centre and Eaton Centre, the site of Time Out Market Montreal.
Book a walking tour.

What is it? A grassy knoll, a couple of lawn chairs and the bard. Add a bottle of mead and you’ve got yourself a party.
Why go? Shakespeare in the Park by Repercussion Theatre is a longstanding tradition in Montreal, with over 13,000 people gathering each summer in a variety of parks in and around the city. It’s a fun way to explore areas you may not know and discover new green spaces worth returning to later. Plus, the performances are offered free of charge (though donations are graciously accepted). 
Don’t miss: This year’s production, All’s Well that Ends Well, a comedy about the lunacy of marriage. 

What is it? The essential addresses for Québécois and Montreal classics like bagels, poutine, and smoked meat can all be found within this hopping borough.
Why go? This combination of three distinctive neighbourhoods—Mile End, the Plateau, and the McGill Ghetto—is known to have the best of the best in signature dishes; Fairmount and St-Viateur for hot and fresh bagels from wood-fired ovens, Schwartz’s for Montreal-style smoked meat washed down with a Cotts black cherry cola, and La Banquise for poutine day or night.
Don’t miss: Starting off or completing a historic food crawl with visiting slices of Montreal food history by noshing on a special sandwich at Wilensky’s Light Lunch or a mish-mash at Beauty’s.
Go on a three-hour Montreal food tour.

What is it? Introduce the kids (or the kid within) to Québec’s indigenous wildlife at the Ecomuseum Zoo, a preservation reserve in Montreal’s West Island.
Why go? Just 30 minutes from downtown, this pleasant spot is a humanitarian take on a zoo, where the species are all indigenous, living in large enclosures in a natural setting, where every care is taken to ensure the animals’ physical and emotional well-being. You can make a half-day of it: stroll through leisurely, pack some sandwiches, and spot everything from snowy owls to gray wolves.
Don’t miss: Plan for an early start to the day, and you can join in the breakfast activities, whereby kids can help feed either the otters, lynxes, bears or wolves. Check the calendar of activities for dates.

What is it? A humongous collection of plant life spread out over 190 acres of culturally thematic gardens, greenhouses, and Art Deco pavilions.
Why go? Considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious collections of plant life for its sheer variety of species numbering in at tens of thousands, the Botanical Garden is one of the more cherished attractions of the city for either leisurely visits or educational trips. Its space also features the Insectarium, a natural history museum with 95 different species.
Don’t miss: The Chinese Garden gets a lot of due attention for its Lantern Festival in early fall, but events like Butterflies Go Free in the Main Exhibition Greenhouse are equally inspiring.

What is it? If there’s one thing Montreal is known for, it’s the nightlife, with DJ events and torn dancefloors across this central borough.
Why go? With a legal drinking age of 18, a prominent presence of inner-city university campuses and its bars closing at 3 a.m., this city holds a longstanding reputation for being a party town most days of the week. Bass-pounding joints like the underground forest supper club and nightclub Soubois are popular for spending the night, followed by the after-hours spot Stereo to literally dance until the sun comes up.
Don’t miss: Visiting a stretch of bars and clubs like Crescent Street during the weekend, especially during F1 Grand Prix, when that street goes wild.

What is it? A walk along the Main (one of Montreal’s most famous streets) and its accompanying alleyways to view graffiti from artists both raw and recognized.
Why go? Come summer, the core stretch of Saint-Laurent Boulevard between Maisonneuve Boulevard to the south and Saint-Viateur to the north sees a wide array of artists throwing up fresh paint while spectators enjoy street fairs, food, and expanded bar terraces. The result is large artistic pieces that remain for the rest of the year.
Don’t miss: Keep an eye out for local talent like Miss Me or Stikki Peaches, and focus on checking out Mural Festival in June.
Book a guided tour and see more than 35 murals.

What is it? See work from local and international artists alike at this multidisciplinary arts centre with work ranging from the technically accomplished to the provocations of post-modernism.
Why go? Opened by the same people behind the exhibition space Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Phi Centre features regularly varied programming in all possible art forms both analog and technological. Whether it’s aural, visual, tactile, olfactory or gustatory, there’s always something astounding going on. Its space, built with sustainability in mind, also features a green roof, urban garden, and urban beehives.
Don’t miss: Watch its calendar for the next virtual reality event, or get a taste of Montreal’s lauded indie music scene with a show by a local artist. 

What is it? The world-famous, Montreal-based circus company that synthesizes a global set of circus styles.
Why go? What started as a tiny troupe of street performers in the late 1970s has since exploded into a massive traveling circus which astounds in every respect, from costumes and comedy to acrobatics and storytelling. Its skills in design and performance now form regular acts in Las Vegas, while touring around the world between late summer and Montreal’s colder months.
Don’t miss: Grabbing a pitcher of sangria at the rooftop bar Terrasses Bonsecours before heading to the big top for a show at any time between mid-spring to mid-summer.

What is it? 662 acres of green spaces, attractions, a major festival site, a high-speed racetrack and an amusement park spread out across two islands.
Why go? Commonly looked to as the launchpad for some of Montreal’s biggest festivals like Osheaga, Heavy MTL, and ’77 Montreal, this park is also the location of the annual F1 Grand Prix on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, relics of Expo 67 like the Biosphere environmental museum, and the La Ronde amusement park. Stretch your legs and see where a day’s worth of exploring takes you.
Don’t miss: Putting it all on black at the Montreal Casino, and dancing to electronic music at Piknic Électronik—held on Sundays from May until September—or Île Soniq in August.
See Parc Jean-Drapeau from a helicopter.

What is it? A popular roadside attraction and classic diner in Montreal‘s Côte-des-Neiges shaped like a giant orange, serving a distinctively creamy orange juice drink.  
Why go? A casse-croûte dating back to the early 1930s, Gibeau Orange Julep is a popular pitstop for motorists pining for its beverage and a bite of its hot dogs and poutine. Once a popular chain in Montreal, this location is now the only one that remains, with hours that run late into the night during warmer months.
Don’t miss: Wednesdays from May to August, when antique car aficionados roll up to show off their babies. With the backdrop of the orange globe, it’s a popular destination for Instagrammers.

What is it? An independent cinema in the Mile End coupled with a café and bar serving snacks and drinks to enjoy while viewing a film.
Why go? Thanks to a supergroup of film festival and production company veterans, Montreal has joined the moviegoing revolution with this intimate drink-dine-watch movie theatre equipped with a top-of-the-line projector and sound system. Enjoy coffee and pastries by day or drinks by night before settling in to one of the cinema’s highly curated titles. No weekday programming’s the same as the next—keeping the selection vibrant—and the same goes for the kids movies throughout the weekends, one of the best things to do with kids in the city.
Don’t miss: Any of the special events, like screenings and panel discussions with directors, or dropping in for their brunch service weekends from 10am to 4pm.

What is it? The bridge connecting the Island of Montreal to the city of Longueuil is lit by a chromatic calendar of 365 colours.
Why go? Best to get up close and personal when admiring this bridge’s decorative lighting, attached to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada and the 375th anniversary of Montreal. It’s also one of the best spots, whether you’re on it or around it, to view the Montreal Fireworks Festival—the largest of its kind in the world which first began in 1985.  
Don’t miss: Go all out and climb aboard a four-hour long dinner cruise to really enjoy the lights above the river in style.
Learn about architecture on a guided bike tour.

What is it? A public space that has been reinvented as an urban living lab where bars, chefs, musicians and the public dip their toes in its sand and swing from its hammocks.
Why go? Located on the edge of the Saint Lawrence River in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood, this space makes a point of hosting family-friendly events and parties every weekend. It’s a series of stalls for bars and cantinas, green spaces and beach parties put together from shipping containers, strung lights and reclaimed materials, giving the feel of an upscaled favela.
Don’t miss: Whenever its beer garden is hosting live music performances, and when it opens (occasionally on exception) for the International Fireworks Festival.
Check out the best beaches in and around Montreal.

What is it? An indoor zoo and aquarium which hosts recreations of four different ecosystems found in North America, plus some Sub-Antarctic Islands.
Why go? Originally built for the judo and cycling events of the 1976 Summer Olympics, the Montreal Biodome features thousands of animals from over 200 different species and 500 different plant species to explore. A visit to its immediate neighbour of the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium will yield an equally fascinating time.
Don’t miss: The greenery and humidity of its tropical rainforest, or its collection of penguins that’s unique to Canada.
See the Montreal Biodome and the St. Lawrence River on a half-day tour.

What is it? A local tradition, this outdoor festival happens every Sunday during summers around the Georges-Étienne Cartier Monument, stretching up the base of Mount Royal.
Why go? From May to September, the area around the Goddess of Liberty statue becomes a massive free-wheeling drum circle and cloud of pot smoke, while the surrounding stretches of grass see the likes of slackliners, live action role-playing battles, eclectic individuals and just a whole lot of good vibes. Everyone’s invited to join in on the beat.
Don’t miss: Take home a memento from one of the vendors, and sample the under-the-table food you’ll find for sale to accompany that six-pack you should’ve brought.

What is it? A 60-metre tall observation wheel that’s kaleidoscopically lit and equipped with climate-controlled booths running throughout the year, offering a full view of Old Montreal and downtown.
Why go? Also referred to as the Montreal Observation Wheel, La Grand Roue was set up in Old Montreal to commemorate the city’s 375th anniversary. Fashioned after similar structures found in Chicago and Hong Kong, the panoramic views aboard this illuminated wheel make this a picturesque attraction for tourists and a romantic evening for locals.
Don’t miss: Climbing aboard for the day and night package to get two alternate views of the city, or early bird specials that cost half the price.

What is it? Montreal’s premier destination for curated collections of contemporary art numbering at over 8,000 pieces by over 1,500 artists both national and international.
Why go? Founded in 1964, the MAC is Canada’s first contemporary art museum and combines exhibits of both visual and performing arts regularly. With its HQ currently undergoing massive renovations, it has relocated to an even more central spot at the heart of Place Ville Marie. It remains a gathering place for locals and tourists to check out art both provocative and contemplative, in addition to lectures, workshops, and fresh new exhibits every single year.
Don’t miss: Visiting this museum during Montreal’s annual Nuit Blanche festival with DJ and VJ performances, art workshops, and temporary installations.

What is it? A ferryboat that’s been repurposed as one of the finest spas in town, giving a great view of Old Port and Habitat 67 in the distance from relaxing quarters.
Why go? Billed as a ‘spa on the water’, this multi-tiered floating building may not physically unmoor and drift down the river, but a day spent there sure feels like it. There’s a Nordic water circuit to enjoy throughout the year with saunas and baths, and gardens for lounging about in the summer.
Don’t miss: Springing for any one of its massage or beauty treatments, followed by wining and dining at its onboard restaurant La Traversée.

What is it? A national historic site, this 14.5-kilometre long canal runs through the southwestern side of the Island of Montreal, from Old Port to Lake Saint-Louis.
Why go? Each section of the canal yields different things to see and do by land or by water. One of Montreal’s more panoptic bike trails, it extends from the Visitors Centre in the borough of Lachine for history to popping into the neighbourhood of Saint-Henri for lunch, followed by a scenic evening in Old Montreal.
Don’t miss: The swan paddleboats and electric boats from H20 Adventures make for a kitsch adventure. Otherwise there’s always getting blotto at McAuslan Brewing’s Terrasse St-Ambroise beer garden.
Book a 13-mile guided bike tour of Montreal.

What is it? The original neighbourhood and cultural center jam-packed with restaurants, shops, and bars surrounding the small pedestrian-only strip of De la Gauchetière.
Why go? What began as a collection of laundromats 1877 has grown into an area with distinctive character and feel seldom found elsewhere in the city. There are Sunday dim sum brunches by the cartload at Ruby Rouge, flossed treats from Dragon’s Beard Candy, the culinary performances of Nouilles de Lan Zhou and bamboo steamers brimming with dumplings at Qing Hua.
Don’t miss: Catching your breath at the indoor koi pond located inside the pagoda-topped Holiday Inn before heading to Chinatown West in Concordia University’s downtown campus for more.

What is it? The performing arts centre that makes Montreal a top live music city, from local acts to international extravaganzas.
Why go? First an indoor skating rink in the 19th century, then a cinema, then a theatre, the building that houses MTelus has been delivering entertainment for over a century. Known to locals as Metropolis, this is the site for some of Montreal’s biggest acts (besides the Corona Theatre) with none of that stadium show feel.
Don’t miss: Grab some pre-drinks at Time Out Market Montréal and then hop on the metro, or head to Foufounes Électriques or cocktails at Taverne Midway, topped off with hot dogs from Montreal Pool Room (sorry, no pool tables).  

What is it? The city’s go-to district for entertainment and cultural events spaced out across eight areas, and the main site for some of the city’s most famous festivals.
Why go? With a summer roster of Montreal’s biggest events like the Just for Laughs comedy festival and the International Jazz Festival (the world’s largest), plus regularly scheduled public art, this area prides itself on being the center of attention most days of the week. It’s also where the dapper performances of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Montreal Opera can be found.
Don’t miss: The free outdoor performances that animate the whole area throughout the summer festivals, and screenings at the Cinémathèque Québécoise, which never fail to satisfy.

What is it? A prime example of Montreal’s neon-soaked history of exotic dancers on the ground floor strip club, with an upstairs cabaret featuring burlesque, vaudeville and drag shows.
Why go? One of the few businesses to remain intact since Montreal’s red-light district was given a major facelift, Café Cléopâtre is part of the reason why this city was formerly known as the Paris of North America. 
Don’t miss: The first Saturday of every month has Bareoke, combining karaoke with stripping by anyone who wants to participate. It’s more wholesome than it sounds with a respectful and fun vibe.

What is it? A Mile End bookstore belonging to a Canadian publishing company specializing in comics and graphic novels by authors both international and national.
Why go? Drawn and Quarterly, one of many beloved bookstores in the city, has been a publisher of comics since 1990. Its popularity prompted the opening of this bookstore in 2007 and is now a gathering place of the city’s literati that organizes big name book launches. It’s not just about comics either, as the store curates solid selections both in fiction and non-fiction.
Don’t miss: Regularly scheduled readings by authors that make for high-spirited events, but May is the month to visit for Free Comic Book Day or the Montreal Comic Arts Festival.

What is it? A 360-degree spherical projection screen providing wild audio-visual presentations, films, dance parties and games are presented in a fascinatingly conceptual venue.
Why go? Part of the complex that’s home to the Society for Arts and Technology, an arts and research centre focused on immersive technologies, the Satosphère is the first of its kind for Montreal and beyond. Equipped with 157 speakers and regular programming that sees the likes of virtual reality, VJs and DJs, it’s an experience that’s more than unique.
Don’t miss: Anything else on the third floor it occupies, including an outdoor terrace and the Foodlab, a farm-to-table restaurant with cocktails and great biodynamic wine.

What is it? A homegrown microbrewery specializing in tasty beers that are both traditional and experimental, and favoured by locals and tourists alike.
Why go? There are a lot of spots producing choice craft brews in Montreal these days, but Dieu du Ciel! is generally the first on everyone’s tip of the tongue for its ability to produce a wide spectrum of bubbling pints. With its running chalkboard of concoctions, it attracts long lines and packed tables no matter the season, but the wait is worth it for some of the best beer in Montreal.
Don’t miss: Either grabbing a bottle of its set-in-stone pantheon of famous recipes to any exploratory recipe that incorporates fruits, flowers, spices or sweets.
Book a Montreal tour.

No matter what neighbourhood you’re in this weekend, there’s something going on in the street.

Our top picks for the best things to do in Montreal with kids make sure you’ll be having just as much fun as they are.

Find activities, attractions and more without spending a single dime with some of the best free things to do in Montreal.

The best Montreal attractions reveal the city’s rich history and landmarks, all waiting to be (re)discovered.

Maximize your dime and time with the best cheap things to do in Montreal, from arts and culture to food and drink.

Ponder fine art, explore historical crypts, go on walking tours and more at the most inspiring museums in the city.

Get lost in shelves and stacks full of literature and brain candy by visiting these amazing libraries in Montreal.

Hit the road, take a hike, visit small-town gems or bask in some big city glory with the best day trips from Montreal.

Get the lowdown on exploring the forested grandeur of Canada by using this guide to the best hiking near Montreal.

It’s crazy what a 48-hour escape from the city can do—time to hit the road with our curated guide to the best weekend getaways from Montreal.

Montreal zoos are among the most interesting in North America, the perfect places to explore, learn and have fun.

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, get to know the 514 better than ever on foot with the best Montreal walking tours.

Amazing things to do in Downtown Montreal are found on every corner, each bursting with arts, culture, food and drink.

Time to crawl the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal, our ground zero for some of the best attractions and activities.

There’s more to the best things to do in Little Italy than just mangia this and mangia that—but we got that covered too.

Use this guide to find the best things to do in the Mile End, the world-famous hipster haunt and bohemian borough.

The best things to do in Chinatown, Montreal include late night feasts, shopping hubs and more—here’s the best of it.

Discover the best restaurants in Montreal with Time Out’s curated list of what’s good eating, from casual snacks to high-end fine dining. These are the best restaurants in Montreal right now.

Welcome to the Time Out DRINK List, where you’ll find our carefully chosen ‘best of’ Montreal’s libational landscape.
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