Montreal in November may be chilly but there are world-class events to draw you there. Pre-holiday festivities, the finest in French film and live concerts will keep you busy. The weather will make you appreciate the indoor events.
The average November temperature is 45 F/ 7 C and the average high is 52 F/ 11 C. It gets cold at night with the average low just below freezing. From the infrequent warm weather day to a bone-chilling arctic experience, anything can happen in Montreal in November. And while it's not time for down-filled coats just yet, you will want to bundle up. Think wool overcoat and/or lightly insulated fall jackets with a sweater or layer of fleece underneath. And bring along those gloves and scarves. You'll need them.
Montreal's answer to Restaurant Week, actually 11 days, features over 150 participating restaurants offering prix-fixe menus.
Montreal's restaurant weeks are known by at least two different names in Montreal. One is Taste MTL or (MTLàTABLE), a fall mega-event featuring table d'hôte specials at participating restaurants across the city.
For November's Taste MTL, participating restaurants offer 3 courses at 3 prices ($23, $33 or $43). You can select from chic five-star restaurants to cozy little bistros and little restaurants tucked away in neighborhoods where you bring your own wine. Some restaurants also offer brunch as part of the event for $17.
For 2018 the 11-day event takes place from November 1 to 11.
Expect only the best in French film at Montreal's Cinemania, held at various venues in the first part of November and running for a little over a week. The films, from a variety of French-speaking countries, have English subtitles.
The film festival recently announced an expansion to show more films at more venues across Montreal. Venues now include the newly-enhanced Cinema of Montreal’s Musée des Beaux-Arts as well as the Outremont Theatre, while still maintaining screenings at the Cinémathèque Québécoise, Cinéma du Parc and, as always, its central screening flagship, the Imperial Cinema.
You can purchase early-bird tickets online.
The air is crisp, the leaves are falling, and the free attractions are there, from concerts to museums that don't charge a dime.
The Montreal casino, located on the Notre Dame Island in the borough of Ville-Marie, offers free shows, free admission and free parking in a scenic setting.
On rainy days visit the Grand Library where there are often free cultural activities and exhibits. The Redpath Natural History Museum on the site of McGill University is full of fascinating exhibits including huge dinosaurs and Egyptian mummies. Two contemporary art museums, the DHC in Old Montreal and L’Arsenal in Griffentown also offer free admission.
The Eventful site lists concerts by month. In November 2018 thrill to the sounds of bands like Three Days of Grace, Stone Temple Pilots, and Behemoth.
For something a bit quieter take in Latin Jazz Night at the Upstairs Bar and Grill which actually is in a brick-wall semi-basement. Casual food is served.
Old Montreal was made for walking, especially on a crisp autumn day.
For the full experience, stay in Old Montreal's top hotels. They're a great starting point for people who like to explore the city on foot, taking in the sights of the historic district, passing through Chinatown and the entertainment district to get to downtown.
For those concerned that it might get too cold while they're in town, try hotels connected to Montreal's underground city to stay sheltered from the elements. These Montreal convention centre hotels are also connected to the underground and are all a quick walk away from Old Montreal, Chinatown, and the downtown core.
If you can't wait to get into the holiday spirit, head for some of these Montreal Christmas shopping destinations and Christmas events. Like most major cities, the holiday festivities start early in Montreal.
Montreal's Nutcracker Market opens the end of November. From November 26 to December 10, Le Palais des Congres hosts Montreal’s non-profit market. Local vendors bring wonderful gift ideas and the event benefits The Nutcracker for Children fund.
The popular Montreal Christmas market opens November 30, 2018. The Grand Marché offers all kinds of locally made gift items, gourmet food, and drinks. Try an array of creative food truck fare, plus take in free live shows and family-oriented outdoor activities.
If there's an event that marks the beginning of holiday season in Montreal, it's the lighting of Place Ville-Marie's Christmas tree, a downtown tradition since 1962 when the downtown shopping destination first opened its doors.
The "tree" is made up of 13,000 lights, measuring 19.20 meters high (63 feet) and 7.92 meters in diameter (26 feet). It's located just outside Place Ville-Marie at the southern end of McGill College Avenue. Watch the mall Facebook page for details on the lighting.
You can't miss this beautiful sight if you're passing by on Ste Catherine Street anytime after early November through the first week of January.