An annual statutory holiday held the second Monday of October (in 2019, it's on Monday, October 14), many businesses shut down for Canada's Thanksgiving Day celebrations—but not everything grinds to a halt.
In fact, there are quite a few things to do in Montreal during Thanksgiving and more stores remain open than during other holidays, great news for those of you dying to purchase ingredients to make my holiday-inspired soup! But why are so many stores open during a statutory holiday, you ask? It might have something to do with Quebec's attitude towards Thanksgiving.
Businesses That Are Closed
These institutions likely close down for the holiday, so take note if any closures will affect your plans.
- most city of Montreal offices
- municipal court
- most provincial and federal offices
- postal service and Canada Post post offices, with the exception of offices operating in the private sector such as select ones located in pharmacies, which can remain open at their discretion
- some restaurants, especially since some are usually closed Mondays anyways. Yet others open specifically for the Thanksgiving holiday. Always call and check operating hours before heading out
- The Montreal Biodome and Montreal Insectarium are both temporarily closed during the holiday season in 2019.
Businesses That Are Open
These are typically open for the holiday, but be sure to check the specific website of these businesses or call them to verify whether they will be open this year.
- 311, the city of Montreal's information hotline
- some dépanneurs (aka corner stores)
- most shopping malls, including ALL downtown Montreal shopping malls, with the exception of Westmount Square which is closed
- pharmacies can remain open at their discretion, hours may be reduced
- grocery stores of any size can remain open at their leisure (unlike with other statutory holidays, provincial law allows large surface supermarkets the option to remain open on Thanksgiving Day, though hours may be reduced), always check hours of operation before heading out as it varies by store
- some arenas, swimming pools and sports centres remain open and others don't depending on the neighborhood, call 311 for details
- Montreal Casino
- Montreal Botanical Gardens
- Montreal Science Centre & IMAX Theatre
- Montreal Planetarium
- public markets/farmers markets
- Marché Bonsecours
- public transit is pretty much always open, even on statutory holidays, just expect longer wait times comparable to weekend scheduling
- garbage and recycling pickups generally stay on schedule with rare, isolated exceptions, call 311 for details
- all SAQ liquor stores remain open, with the exception of SAQ stores located inside a closed shopping mall which don't have doors located directly via the parking lot or through a movie theatre. In other words, if you have to walk through a mall hallway to get to a given SAQ, and that mall is scheduled to be closed on Thanksgiving Day, then the associated SAQ is closed by default.