January in Montreal often feels like a cabin-fevered slowdown of inactivity. Granted, I'll be the first to admit it's coooold out there. But Montreal in January is more action-packed than you think.
Don't be fooled by the temperature dip. There are plenty of things to do this month. Think outdoor dance parties. Two mini restaurant weeks that last a month. Then there's weekend after weekend of winter sports, a little light therapy, and every shop-a-holic knows January is a prime month for deals and steals. Make the best of the wind chill and read on.
If you ask me, it's a fantastic month to be in Montreal. January features guided forest treks under the stars, Old Montreal's answer to restaurant week followed by yet another restaurant bill-slashing event, the best of the Banff Film Fest, one of the largest bridal exhibits in Canada, the city's craziest dance event of the season, and there's more.
Welcome to winter in Montreal. The statistically coldest month of the year, you'll curse beautiful days right about now because a sunny, clear-skied one in January nearly guarantees it's bone-chilling cold outside whereas a gray, cloudy day tends to announce a "warmer" outdoor experience likely complemented by snowfall.
And if you don't know what wind chill means yet, you'll soon find out.
But here's the good news. What you wear has a major impact on how you'll feel outdoors. Here's how to dress the part for January in Montreal.
Visiting Montreal in January
Save yourself the trouble of trudging through snow or getting caught in a cold spell. These Montreal winter hotels are perfect for the season since all of them are connected to the underground city, allowing travelers to navigate the city indoors without so much as setting foot outside if they wish.
Even in January, there's something going on in Old Montreal. Always. Plan for the perfect weekend. This Montreal weekend guide includes the scoop on must-see events, Montreal's best restaurants, hottest pubs and bars, the city's top spas, and activities you won't want to miss.
Winter in Montreal
Montreal in the winter is loads of fun if you know where to go, what to do, and most importantly, what to wear.
Alpine skiing, winter's most exhilarating sport, is accessible in abundance just outside of Montreal, with the Laurentian mountains to the North and the Appalachian range to the east moving south.
This guide to downhill skiing in Quebec details the particularities of the province's three main ski regions, the region's top ski hills, and reveals an amazing season deal for skiers planning multiple visits.