Charming any time of year, Montreal is especially bewitching in winter, when twinkling lights and fluffy snowflakes imbue the streets with an ethereal ambiance. This city knows how to make the most of its coldest season. Rather than hibernate indoors, locals bundle up for classic Canadian pursuits like ice-skating or cross-country skiing at area parks, or they head to festivals such as Montréal en Lumière, which mixes outdoor adventure with gastronomy. Visitors can wander the historic quarter’s cobblestone streets or head to the city’s namesake, Mount Royal, for a guided snowshoeing tour under the stars.
Spend less on dining for six weeks in January and February when LeChop—a culinary event put on by the Ville-Marie Collection of restaurants—offers three-course meals for just $25 at participating locations. You can also save at Pointe-à-Callière museum, which discounts admission by one per cent for every degree below zero centrigrade on weekends in January and February (so, if it’s -30ºC, you save 30 per cent).
Two words: Poutine Week. Try Quebec’s famous culinary export at a variety of restaurants as they attempt to best each other with special versions of this French fry, cheese curd palate-pleaser. Or, dance for warmth at Igloofest, an electronic music festival spanning four weekends in January and February in Montreal’s Old Port, with icy decor lending to the frozen ambiance.
Average Winter Temperature: Daytime highs average around -4°C in both January and February.