Every year, Canadian Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday of October, which is weeks ahead of American Thanksgiving and with significantly less fanfare.
Yes, Canada enjoys its turkey dinner and family reunions, but the holiday itself is comparably lower-key than what's observed south of the border. In addition, Canadians most definitely do not observe anything like the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sprees its southern neighbors flock to, though select Canadian retailers and manufacturers have mirrored American Black Friday sales with discounts of their own, albeit more so in concert with American Thanksgiving dates.
And in Quebec, it's not called Thanksgiving at all. Rather, the second Monday of October in Quebec is action de grâce*. Translated literally, it means "action of grace."
What's Open and Closed?
Many businesses shut down for Thanksgiving, but not everything grinds to a halt. In fact, there are quite a few things to do on Canadian Thanksgiving Monday. More stores remain open than during other holidays in the province of Quebec and the city of Montreal. Consult this list to find out what's open and closed during Thanksgiving.
What to Do
Where to Stay
If you're traveling to the area from out of town and need a place to stay, the Old Port is stunning in the fall. Consider staying at some of the top-rated accommodations in Old Montreal for a picturesque sojourn.
With Halloween only weeks away, you might want to start thinking of what kind of costume you and yours want to wear. Stop in at a few Montreal costume shops to find some ideas. If you have children, check out any of these Montreal-based Halloween events for kids. Or if you want to enjoy something a little more adult, register for the Montreal Zombie Walk.
For something a little different, consider going apple picking at orchards near Montreal. The city center is surrounded by orchards in every direction. Bring your friends and family to any of these local places to pick your own apples.
Pick a Peck of Pumpkins
When was the last time you headed out with the family to pick the ultimate pumpkin? Spend a day in the country while you're in Montreal.
*How to pronounce action de grâce? It sounds a little bit like "axsyoan de grahss" with a subtle, almost silent N.