A lot of logged off of the internet in general over the holidays, so you might have missed it: The City of Montréal announced on December 23 that parking is free downtown on weekends, starting with Fridays at 6pm and continues throughout the weekend.
If you want to get prepped for the likely upcoming complete lockdown that will be announced tomorrow, it's good to remember to pick up what you need downtown if you have a car to do it with.
If you think Ville-Marie only covers the downtown core of the city that's covered in construction sites right now, think again: The free parking extension includes neighbourhoods like the Village, Old Montreal, Chinatown, Shaughnessy Village around Concordia University and the Latin Quarter.
Here's a full map that shows the Ville-Marie borough proper.
Businesses have been allowed to extend their operating hours to 10 pm on weeknights and up to 7 pm on weekends as well for the holiday season, but it should be noted that non-essential businesses remain closed due to the lockdown announced back in December.
When it comes to what is essential and can be shopped for, "retail stores and personal and beauty care enterprise must cease their operations" with the exception of essential services like grocery stores and other food stores, drugstores (for everyday essentials), hardware stores (for maintenance, repairs, or construction products), service stations, animal feed and supply stores, work-related safety and protective equipment stores, florists and a handful of other business types outlined by the Québec government.