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Time Out: Love Local
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#LoveLocal: Time Out Montreal celebrates local shops, food and culture

As this jewel of a city reopens, we're celebrating Montreal’s best independent businesses.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki
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Even as Montreal gets back on its feet with reopenings, reinvigorated culture and revived hospitality, many businesses continue to struggle after the last year and change. Everyone—from your favourite neighborhood bar and restaurant to our city’s biggest and brightest theatres and concert venues—could use a helping hand right now.

Time Out Montreal may be relatively new in the city, but as its editors started out by seeking out the best of city life since it began in 2019, it has always taken time to champion what’s local and exciting. The world’s cities, as vibrant as they are, are nothing without their restaurants, shops, cafés, bars, theatres, music venues, cinemas, art galleries—and all the other local, independently run places where people come together to eat, drink, laugh, think, create, cut loose and fall in love.

They’re where we gather to celebrate and commiserate. They fuel our bodies, our minds and our connections. They give locals and visitors alike stunning attractions to explore, irresistible things to do, and as many fresh faces to meet as there are old friends to reconnect with.

Montreal simply wouldn't be the same without a strong community of small businesses providing places for us to gather and share common interests. As the city continues to reopen, Time Out's ongoing Love Local campaign will shine a spotlight on the people, places and organizations that make our city a special place.

Follow Time Out Montreal on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to hear about amazing people doing amazing things that you can and should support.

JP Karwacki

Editor

Time Out Montreal

Love Local in Montreal

A free museum pop-up for Underworld, one of the city's longstanding sources for skateboarding and underground music, has opened for a limited time from October 15 to November 6 at Station 16 Editions in Ahuntsic, and it's full of decks, music, photography and more that gives a rare glimpse of Montreal subcultures in the 1990s. This year marks the 25th anniversary for Underworld, a music and skateboard store that dates back to October 27, 1995 when it started in a small room in Montreal's Ahuntsic neighbourhood. That spot grew to become a benchmark spot for underground music in Montreal: With a music venue in its backroom, Underworld hosted bands like Strung Out, blink 182, Anti-Flag, MxPx, and others. Eventually , Underworld opened a second store located on Ste-Catherine Street in 2000, and developed a tour that became its own reality TV show that aired on Musique Plus, Global Extreme, Fuel TV, and other outlets. After that, Underworld opened Underworld Cabaret was born in 2004, where more than 3,000 shows of all kinds took place until it closed in January 2016. That's a lot of cultural history for one spot in one city. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Underworld Skate & Musik (@underworldskatemusik) "I created Underworld because I'm passionate about skateboarding and underground music. In Montreal, in the mid-90s, we had a big gap to fill," says owner Alex Bastide (and also the man behind the Montreal franchise L'Gros Luxe). "It's a huge honor t

On Halloween night at 7pm this year, Montreal's Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Ball has announced that its yearly festivities—which took a short break last year due to the pandemic—will be taking place as usual at Dollar Cinema. For fans of the cult film and the experience of throwing around objects and singing along to the film, the Montreal experience—deemed the largest of its kind in North America—is going to look very different this year. It may not feel quite right to some, but this is as good as it gets this year: It'll be a "non-participation screening of the classic cult film," the organizers wrote on the event's website. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Rocky Horror Montreal (@rhpsmtl) "There will be NO rice, confetti, toast, toilet paper, water pistols, other props or outside food or drink allowed inside the theatre... 'The Voice' will be doing the call back lines while members of the official RHPSMTL shadowcast will welcome you at the door and make an appearance on stage to dance The Time Warp." That's a pretty big shift from what's normally an event that's full of thrown objects, singing, dancing, and up-close-and-personal interactions with the audience; however, considering that public health restrictions won't be budging an inch in any sector except for restaurants and bars as of November, this is good news for the longstanding event. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Montreal Halloween Ball will take place on Halloween, on Sunday

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  • Restaurants
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According to a report by Radio-Canada, the Quebec government plans to cut back on health restrictions surrounding the operation of bars and restaurants as of November 1: The two-metre distance appears to be coming to an end, with tables having to stay either 1 metre apart or have a barrier between them if the distance can't be achieved, and—perhaps the biggest news of all—bars will be able to stay open until 3 a.m. Wearing masks will still be required when patrons aren't seated at a table, and there will still be a limit on how many people  will be allowed to sit at one table; it's currently maxed at 10 people from three different households. The ban on dancing and singing will stay in effect as well, with the vaccination passport continuing to be used. The news comes at a time when many Montreal establishments are decrying the hypocrisy of allowing venues like the Bell Centre pack tens of thousands of people together for shows while smaller venues have been denied the same permissions. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Turbo Haüs (@turbo_haus)  Admittedly, while we're paying a little bit of extra inordinate amount of attention to Turbo Haüs here, they're not wrong: Not for nothing, but I'd rather have 60% standing and dancing than 100% seated. — Turbo Haüs (@TurboHaus) October 14, 2021 Until November 1 comes, bars will remain limited to 50% of their maximum capacity, and bars and restaurants will only be allowed to serve alcohol until 1 a.m.

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  • Art
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Since September 28, Montreal artist Victor Pilon has moved the equivalent of 144 tonnes of sand from one mound to another over the course of more than 360,000 steps. Taking place 6 days a week, 7 hours a day, for 30 days until October 27, it's a free and public marathon performance happening now at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. It's the first solo performance of Pilon's career, produced by Lemieux Pilon 4D Art with the support of the Olympic Park and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), and with the music of Montreal's Dear Criminals. “The tragic death of my partner Sylvain led me to this project. We all have to mourn the fact that life is absurd in order to be able to arrive at a form of freedom, even happiness. As in the popular expression work work work, day after day, Sisyphus pushes his boulder to the top of a mountain, from where it always ends up coming down," Pilon writes. "This project is an effort to understand the eternal restart, to grasp the absurdity of existence, a desire for clarity, a quest for the why that dwells in all of us.” It's the first museum activity to be held within the walls of the Olympic Stadium in 45 years. "Throughout the performance, close connections happen with the people around me. Each member of the audience gives me energy to continue my quest. And, when I give the shovel to a member of the audience, an emotional bond is created when for a few moments, the person becomes Sisyphus," says Pilon. Sisyphus, a performance marathon by Vict

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  • Restaurants
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Call it a hunch, but we're thinking that the odds that the arrival of the little brother of the Old Montreal. restaurant Jellyfish  won't go unnoticed. It must be something that runs in the family, because with Pubjelly—the latest project from chef Mathieu Masson-Duceppe and his partners Francis Rodrigue, Charles Mary and Roberto Pesut—something serious is cooking. This new playground for the quartet is far from unfamiliar, however, as Pubjelly is moving next door to its progenitor into the former Pizzaiolle. Intended to express another facet of Jellyfish's repertoire that's  been in the air for a few years, the concept is not quite the same as Mathieu and his partners envisioned it a few months before the pandemic. "When COVID hit, we had a space and were ready to start renovations," says Mathieu. "It was a big disappointment; we were so excited to unveil a new facet and identity of Jellyfish." Despite this, Mathieu says he's very happy with the outcome, because in addition to having matured his first project, he got his hands on the key to the next door. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Pubjelly (@pubjelly) With Pubjelly, these entrepreneurs want to complete Jellyfish's offerings by making the place more accessible, affordable, relaxed, friendly, and—above all—without complexities. "The experience will be based on emotions, smiles, small pleasures, the present moment. An impromptu aperitif with oysters and a bottle of wine with colleagues will

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals
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This year's Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal was a milestone: It was the 25th edition for what's become the largest genre film festival in North America, an event that survived a pandemic and went on to screen online when Montrealers and travelers from around the world couldn't gather in Montreal movie theaters. To celebrate, Fantasia announced Fantasia en fête, a special screening series that will revisit "the most vital highlights from across the festival’s history... a retrospective series brings back the unforgettable experiences and award-winning, even paradigm-shifting cinematic moments that the festival is revered for." One of, if not all of, the best parts of this announcement? It's all free, and the selections are perfect for Halloween in Montreal; they've got vampire flicks, kung fu movies, kaiju battles, straight-up horror, and more. The series is happening in two waves: The first will happen this month on October 22, 23, 24, and 26 while the second will take place in December (no confirmation on whether or not the chosen films will have anything to do with Christmas). All screenings will take place at the historic Cinéma Impérial, where the festival was born in 1996. Here's what they'll be screening, and when: Friday Oct 22 at 6:45 p.m. Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain (1983, Hong Kong, dir.: Tsui Hark) Celestial castles and bouncy battles, lasers and rainbows, Good and Evil battle it out in this Tsui Hark masterpiece. Friday Oct 22 at 9:40 p.m

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At the beginning of 2021, Montreal's Palais des congrès added three immersive rooms to its permanent facilities for OASIS Immersion. The first convention centre in the world to do so, OASIS formed Canada's largest indoor immersive experience across more than 2,000 square meters (or 21,500 square feet), a blend between a museum you could walk through and was often called an 'immersive magazine' with text and visual components. Shows were largely sold out until the end, when it shut down to create a new show in mid-summer. Now, that new 75-minute show has arrived: RECHARGER/Unwind. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Time Out Montréal (@timeoutmontreal) Housed on the main floor of the Palais, the three new immersive rooms include 105 laser projectors and 119 surround sound speakers. That makes 360° projections on walls and floors possible, and this time, it's being pushed further by showing 10 works by digital artists from Quebec and abroad. "Simulated ecosystems, sublimation science and flowery poetry, technology fusing with organic matter, acid fractals, a tribute to tidal e-motion… it's a whole new stimulating sensory universe for the imagination charged with positivity," the release for the second exhibit's launch reads.  The whole experience is spread out across three rooms—one for relaxation, the second for energizing with lots of light and sound, and the third and largest is meant to transport visitors into a state of reconnection with themselv

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It looks like Montrealers' vote for their city's best neighbourhood last year, Verdun, has been beaten out by an all-new contender: Villeray, which has secured itself the #18 slot in this year's round-up of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world. The result comes from the annual Time Out Index survey which polled a total of 27,000 city-dwellers from around the world about—among many things—what their favourite neighbourhood in their city was. Those results were brought to Time Out local city editors and contributors who then vetted that public vote against all-important criteria that ranged from sustainability to how strong the community vibes are in that area.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Arrondissement de VSP (@mtl_vsp) So Villeray takes the #1 spot locally; that may surprise some, but when you take the last year into account, Villeray seems like the perfect place when you take it all into consideration: "After a difficult stop-start reopening, Montrealers seemed to unanimously agree that they'd get out there and make the most of 2021. Villeray was the place to do just that: its streets and gemstone parks became oases where locals would simply gather and make the most of one another’s company – exactly what the city needed after a long and lonely lockdown winter," we wrote about Villeray. "If you didn’t meet up with friends for beers, food and a spot of culture at one of Jarry Park’s impromptu festivals? What can we say, pretty much every

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You're planning on having some fun this Halloween in Montreal, right? Of course you are. But while Montrealers sometimes get to celebrate on a Saturday, what happens when Halloween falls on a Sunday instead like it does this year? You go to a spook-tacular drag brunch, of course (and it's perfect timing now that we have proper all-day brunch options on offer). On October 31 with two brunch shows to choose from, Drag Brunch MTL and Time Out Market Montréal are hosting a Halloween Extravaganza! They'll bring the song, dance and comedy in drag, the Market will have the food and drink, and you bring the appetite and sense of humour.  It's going to be a fabulously spooky afternoon filled with drag performances by Barbada de Barbade and friends while you dig into menus from the city’s top chefs. Everyone is encouraged to bring their costumes, have as much fun as possible, and slay the day away. All about the city's top brunch queens Montreal was craving live shows again after a long lockdown, and Drag Brunch MTL was a welcome return to performances that were equal parts comedy and fabulousness. Doing family-friendly shows in both English and French simultaneously (perfect for Montrealers) that are festive and outside the usual bar scene, they came back this past summer in full force with lots of shows. The events are headlined by Barbada de Barbade, a performer who excels in disco, pop and dance styles, as well as humor and 90's classics. Her entertainment is hilarious and always w

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  • Eating

For one night only, Haitian chef Paul Harry Toussaint is inviting Montrealers to join him for an exclusive three-course dinner party with drink pairings at Time Out Market Montréal. Be it date night or girls' night, this Parole de Chef event (a Chef's Talk) is a great reason to get out of the house. Come learn about Toussaint's travels, inspirations and influences with a never-before-tasted experience on November 2: Beginning with a cocktail and a conversation with local Black luminary Carla Beauvais, Toussaint will dish out three meticulously crafted creations that explore his personal roots in Haiti and Canada, his history with food, and his signature style in the kitchen throughout the evening. Listen to the chef's story between the lines Paul was born in 1987 in Jacmel, Haiti’s artistic epicenter. He later moved to Montreal, Canada, to complete his college education and enroll in law school, as he was expected to become a lawyer. Realizing it was not his calling, he dropped out only to graduate a few years later, top of his class, from culinary studies at Montreal’s LaSalle College. This major achievement opened doors for the up-and-coming chef. Paul gained experience in some of the city’s best kitchens, including that of the famed and favourite Toqué!. He remained there for two years, during which he honed his culinary skills, and in 2012, he was involved in the drafting of the restaurant’s coveted cookbook, Toqué! Creators of a new Quebec gastronomy.  In 2013, the chef

The best things to do at home in Montreal

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