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Time Out Love Local Awards
Photograph: © MU, Ville-Marie, ElMac Gene Pendon (2017) - Photo : Eva Blue - Tourisme Montréal

#LoveLocal: Time Out Montreal is celebrating what makes this city great

As this jewel of a city gets back up and running at full speed, we're celebrating Montreal’s best indie businesses.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki
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Montreal continues with its reopenings, reinvigorated culture and revived hospitality, but many businesses continue to struggle since the pandemic began. Everyone—from your favourite neighborhood bars, restaurants, and indie venues to big and bright theatres and attractions—could use a helping hand right now.

Time Out Montreal may be relatively new in the city, but as its editorial team 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.

Here's what you loved most in your city in 2021

Montreal has spoken: These are the winners of the 2021 Love Local Awards, voted in by locals themselves.

These are the local places you've nominated that are worth celebrating. 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

These are Montreal's fave spots in the 2021 Love Local Awards

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Love Local in Montreal

  • Art
  • Art

Celebrated Montreal image-based artist JJ Levine is the toast of the Montreal art world. The nonbinary, transmasculine photographer has exhibited his photographs internationally and his critically-hailed exhibition Queer Photographs—featuring a selection from his major photo projects Queer Portraits, Alone Time and Switch—runs at the McCord Museum until September 18, where admission is free for residents of Quebec on the first Sunday of the month. Photograph: Courtesy of McCord MuseumJJ Levine Queer Photographs exhibition Levine loves his hometown: “It’s laid back and unpretentious, and since it historically has had a lower cost of living than other big cities, there’s more time to be creative, so this city has always had very strong cultural communities.” RECOMMENDED: Best free things to do in Montreal Time Out Montreal spoke with Levine about his favourite neighbourhood, the city’s diversity and where to find the best roti. Montreal has so many different neighbourhoods. Which is your favourite? “I live in Villeray, so that’s an easy one—though I spent many years living in the Village and then Little Italy, and I was certain that each of them was the best at the time. I love Jarry Park and all the tree-lined streets and how intergenerational the neighbourhood is.”  What activity do you love to do in the city? “I love biking up to the river or down to the canal, and I especially appreciate how all the bike paths make Montreal so easy to navigate without a car. The Botanical

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

If summer in Montréal had a flavour, it would be ice cream. From swirls of soft serve to the classic hard stuff, the city has so many options to choose from. Looking for the scoop? It doesn’t get any tastier than city favourite Mlle Catherine Café+Gelato’s artisanal gelato and sorbet. Photograph: Geneviève GiguereMilk Bar Time Out Market Montréal Mlle Catherine Café+Gelato—a staple in Montréal’s Old Port—is collaborating with Time Out Market Montréal to bring the city’s crème de la crème to the Market’s new Milk Bar. The female-owned business, run by the “two Catherines”, is a café-creamery-creperie located in the heart of Old Montreal in Place Jacques-Cartier. Open since April 2016, the two working mothers have developed a cult following for the gelato and sorbet they serve from their pastel-coloured storefront.  Photograph: Geneviève GiguereMilk Bar Time Out Market Montréal This June, head to Time Out Market Montréal and cool off with Mlle Catherine’s seasonal sorbet flavours (think pineapple, passion fruit or raspberry), or a milkshake inspired by the best chefs in the city under one roof. Channelling childhood nostalgia (cookie and cream) and Happy Days ice cream parlour vibes (cue the vintage sundae glasses), shakes like the decadent caramel apple is a cool combination of salted caramel ice cream, apple compote, salted caramel, cinnamon, milk and whipped cream.  Photograph: Geneviève GiguereMilk Bar Time Out Market Montréal Did you say toppings? Dipping a scoop

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  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals
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Escape to the banks of the Lachine Canal and join the Saint-Jean fun! From June 23 to 26, Les Guinguettes du Sud-Ouest festival in Parc de l'Ancienne-cour-de-triage will be showcasing live music, local artisans, food, drinks and more. With so many incredible free things to do in Montreal this summer, you can add this urban festival oasis with free admission to the top of your list. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Les Guinguettes (@lesguinguettesmtl) Montrealers love a good terrasse. And in a city that is home to massive new beer gardens, hidden rooftop bars and IG-friendly patios, this one takes the cake. Picture colourful terraces, lounge furniture, and a family corner on the banks of the Lachine Canal overlooking the water. Catch live performances during the day, DJ’s at night, dance classes and magicians... (Even dogs are allowed on site provided they are leashed.)  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Les Guinguettes (@lesguinguettesmtl) Discover about 20 Quebec artisans at the Tropical Market, where craftsmen and artists will be selling local, eco-responsible and often (gourmet) handmade products from jewellery to clothing to croissants.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Les Guinguettes (@lesguinguettesmtl) Don’t forget to grab something to eat at one of the 8 waterfront food stations, including last year’s mega-hit Merci Tâta (think: house sangria, vegan cheeseburgers and churros). All that

  • Travel
  • price 0 of 4

The metro system in Montreal is the easiest (and fastest) way to get around, especially during the summer months when there are so many festivals, performances and things to do across the city.   To encourage Montrealers and summer visitors to use public transit as a means of transportation, the City of Montreal has announced that access to the metro will be free of charge at seven stations located near downtown tourist attractions during the summer weekends.  Cet été, l’accès aux stations de métro suivantes sera gratuit les fins de semaine : Saint-Laurent, Place-des-Arts, McGill, Peel, Champ-de-Mars, Place-d’Armes et Berri-UQAM.La meilleure façon de venir au centre-ville, c’est en transport collectif! 🚈🙌 #polmtl — Valérie Plante (@Val_Plante) June 16, 2022 Whether you’re planning to hit one of Montréal’s incredible beaches in and just outside of town, or looking to park it in some of the city’s best green spaces and hiking trails, taking the metro is always a good idea—especially if it’s a free ride.  When do the free metro rides start? Starting on June 24 until September 5, anyone and everyone can ride 7 metro stations for free on weekends.  Which metro stations are providing free access? Seven stations located near downtown tourist attractions during the summer weekends will be offering free rides: Saint-Laurent, Place-des-Arts, Peel, Champ-de-Mars, Place-d'Armes, Berri-UQAM and McGill—a few steps from Time Out Market Montréal in the Eaton Centre. Berri-UQAM, Champ-de-

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  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

Calling all music lovers: The 33rd edition of Les Francos de Montréal is back this summer with over 100 free performances in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles! Photograph: Benoit Rousseau - Équipe SpectraLes Francos de Montréal Celebrating French-language music and the diversity of francophone artists at various venues across the city, highlights of the June 10-18 line-up include Koriass, Loud Lary Ajust, Corneille, Hubert Lenoir and a tribute to Karim Ouellet. More than half of the concerts are free outdoor shows on six stages in the Place des Festivals area. What’s happening at Time Out Market Montréal tomorrow? A surprise musical guest will be performing at Time Out Market Montréal on Friday, June 10 at 6 p.m. The free pop-up will be announced tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on Time Out Market Montréal’s Instagram and Facebook.  Time Out Market MontréalTime Out Market Montréal Downtown’s Time Out Market Montréal, a few steps from McGill metro in the Eaton Centre, is home to some of the best chefs in the city under one roof, and a sprawling beer, wine and cocktail bar. With so many things to do across the city this summer, the Market’s central location makes it the perfect meeting spot before a show or event. More information about Time Out Market Montréal here.

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

The city’s biggest party weekend of the year is kicking off in a few weeks, and if you’re not planning to hang out at the actual race, you’ll be revving up to enjoy Montréal’s famous nightlife.   Photograph: Susan MossGrand Prix Formula 1 Time Out Market Montréal is a triple (party) threat this June, with three epic takeovers happening at once in the sprawling bar—a hotspot for beer drinkers, wine lovers and cocktail aficionados.  What's happening at Time Out Market Montréal over the race weekend? From June 16-19, Peroni—the refreshing, sophisticated beer that screams summer in Italy—is taking over the beer bar. The wine bar will be pouring iconic Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, and Les Îles—a local version of the Apérol apéritif with notes of orange and mandarin—at the cocktail bar.  Photograph: JF Galipeau But don’t expect your average bar. The three bars, each focused on wine, beer and cocktails, are manned by pro sommeliers and feature cocktails inspired by the best mixologists in the city. Throw in a stellar DJ, Peroni beer, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte and Les Îles-inspired cocktails, and you have a winner. Time Out Market MontréalTime Out Market Montréal With parties galore over the festive weekend, Time Out Market Montréal’s three bars are the spot to pregame before heading out on the town. Centrally located inside the Eaton Centre in the heart of downtown Montreal, the Market is a few steps from McGill metro, and minutes on foot from the Bell Centre and Quartier

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Escape to Mexico via Montréal’s newest terrasse. Greenwood Summerhouse, an urban oasis tucked away on the Time Supper Club’s terrace, is bringing all the Tulum vibes to the downtown core just in time for Grand Prix.   Greenwood SummerhouseGreenwood Summerhouse   Picture lush, tropical greens hanging from the ceiling; earth-toned pendant lanterns; mismatched pillows and clusters of colourful cascading flowers. Greenwood might not be the biggest new terrasse in town, but it’s definitely the beachiest.    Photograph: Greenwood SummerhouseGreenwood Summerhouse   Margaritas, spritzes, pina coladas and passion fruit mojitos are on point thanks to Kevin Demers' cocktail menu. View this post on Instagram A post shared by greenwood (@greenwoodmontreal) A Mediterranean-inspired menu by Chef John Zoumis (formerly of Babacool Mtl) includes highlights like spiced lamb lollipops with labneh, sumac and pistachios. And in a city known for its brunch, Greenwood is also serving up fried chicken and waffles, lobster omelettes and a dish we are obsessed with (bourbon coke meatloaf with brioche, brie, caramelised onions, creamed kale, bacon slab, black pepper gravy, fries and a fried egg, because why not?) on Sundays.   Photograph: Greenwood SummerhouseGreenwood Summerhouse   Greenwood, the brainchild of Steve Havitov (Time Supper Club), Tongue Bui (Jiao, École Privée) and Jamie Sunny (Flyjin), has a retractable roof so the party can continue on deep into the night, rain or

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Our favourite downtown destination for coffee connoisseurs is about to get even better. Time Out Market Montréal’s Tunnel (as it’s affectionately known by regulars), has a new addition to the team — with years of experience at local specialty roaster Kittel, Elsa Ouagmi is bringing her passion for all things coffee to the table.   Photograph: Tunnel EspressoTunnel Espresso   On a mission to bring the feeling of a neighbourhood coffee shop experience where everyone knows your name to the downtown core , Elsa is focused on creating connections with coffee-lovers. “A local coffee shop knows the name of your kids. It’s where you take a walk to for some fresh air,” she explains. “Tunnel is about finding the perfect coffee product for the client, and getting to know people through their drink. That Marc-André arrives every day at 1:10 p.m. for his usual, for example,” she says. Photograph: Tunnel EspressoTunnel Espresso Elsa fell in love with coffee in 2015 while living in Australia, before joining Kittel (a specialty coffee roaster in Montreal) in 2017. As a champion of others in the industry, she strives to empower women and unrepresented communities by connecting coffee professionals, and is working to start a Canadian chapter of the IWCA to promote, educate and network women and self-identified women to help each other build stronger business opportunities.  In addition to Tunnel’s expertly pulled shots, next-level beans sourced directly from the Canadian Roasting Society (

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

For the second month in row, the Beer Bar at Time Out Market Montréal is putting the spotlight on one of our favourite local microbreweries: Microbrasserie Charlevoix starting on June 1, 2022. Photo: MicroBrasserie CharlevoixMicroBrasserie Charlevoix Baie-Saint-Paul, a charming village nestled in the postcard perfect region of Charlevoix, is known for its sweeping views, gourmet local products, arts and culture, and more recently: Microbrasserie Charlevoix’s craft beer.  Don’t miss the official tasting day on June 8 at 5 p.m. where you can geek-out with the brewmaster or brand ambassador during happy hour, or soak up their know-how while sipping on their latest brew. What makes Microbrasserie Charlevoix unique? It all began with a bottle of Belgian beer. Frédérick Tremblay's father’s best friend (say that ten times fast after a pint) brought a Belgian beer to their home one evening. Frédérick, who had just discovered a taste for the refreshing beverage, loved the bottle of Chimay so much that he started to experiment with small home brews. Once he and Caroline Bandulet (his future wife and partner) started brewing using an all-grain kit, the rest (and future Charlevoix microbrewery) was history.  Photograph: MicroBrasserie CharlevoixMicroBrasserie Charlevoix Frédérick, whose roots were solidly in the Charlevoix region, decided that the couple should establish their brewing business there. Fast-forward to 1998, when their restaurant Le Saint-Pub opened, serving Belgian-sty

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Drake made the 416 area code famous, but the Toronto rapper clearly has some love for Montreal's nightlife. During a visit to the city for a surprise appearance at Festival Metro Metro, Drake stopped in at an iconic watering hole in downtown Montreal. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Festival Metro Metro (@festivalmetrometro) The Montreal hip hop Festival Metro Metro — one of the largest urban music festivals in the country — returned last weekend after a two-year hiatus. Fans bought tickets to see Lil Baby perform his first-ever show in Canada at the Olympic Stadium, and went wild when the Drip Too Hard singer introduced Drake as his surprise guest. On Sunday, Ziggy’s Pub shared a post on their social media showing owner Ziggy Eichenbaum and Drake posing together with the caption, “Just another Saturday night at Ziggy’s!”. Ziggy’s Pub, a classic, no-frills watering hole that is beloved by loyal patrons, is located on Crescent Street, one of the city’s main nightlife destinations. With dozens of spots to eat, drink and dance on three blocks between René-Lévesque Boulevard and Sherbrooke Street West, the West end hotspot is also known for throwing epic Formula 1 parties during Canadian Grand Prix weekend. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to best things to do in Montreal

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