What's open and closed in Montreal on Christmas and New Year's Day for the 2017-2018 holiday season? The city pretty much shuts itself down on those two days, but there are exceptions to the rule. I cover major attractions, restaurants, museums are open and closed for the holidays. The list below sums up when stores, banks, and other businesses are open but it isn't exhaustive enough to cover every mom & pop shop, restaurant and retail store and government branch in town. If in doubt, call the commerce, business or agency you wish to frequent directly for detailed scheduling information.
Municipal Government Offices
Most city of Montreal offices will be closed from December 22, 2017 to January 2, 2018, including Accès-Montréal offices and borough offices. Some exceptions apply. Call 311 or (514) 872-0311 to confirm if your neighborhood borough office is closed throughout this entire period.
311 Information Line
Residents and tourists will be able to inquire about municipal services throughout the holiday season, including on Christmas Day and New Year's Day, by calling 311 or (514) 872-0311.
Canada's Federal Government Offices
Federal offices, which include employment offices, are closed December 25, Boxing Day and January 1.
Quebec's Provincial Government Offices and Services
Quebec's provincial office schedules vary by department. Quebec's general information line (1-877 644-4545) always closes December 24, December 25, December 26, January 1 and January 2. Quebec residents are advised to call the office or department they require services from for precise scheduling details.
Garbage Disposal, Recycling, Bulky Items Removal
Montreal garbage and recycling pickups usually scheduled on Mondays are postponed until the next day in several neighborhoods. Thus, pickups scheduled December 25 are moved to December 26, 2017 and January 1 pickups are moved forward to January 2, 2018.
However, other neighborhoods have either outright canceled pickups or rescheduled them on different dates, such as in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, LaSalle, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Le Sud-Ouest, L'Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Outremont, Saint-Léonard, Ville-Marie, and Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension. Find out what the holidays garbage and recycling schedule is in your neighborhood.
Montreal ecocentres are closed December 24, 2017 through January 2, 2018.
Postal service deliveries and mail collections are postponed and Canada Post post offices are closed December 25, December 26 and January 1 every year, with the exception of independent postal offices operating in the private sector, which can remain open at their discretion.
If December 25 falls or January 1 also fall on a weekend day, then Canada Post usually shuts down the Friday or Monday closest to the holiday, which is not the case for 2017-2018 given that both holidays fall on a Monday.
Montreal's public transit system is operational throughout the holiday season, with the vast majority of bus routes running on a regular schedule. However, December 25 and January 1st run on Sunday schedules, and metro train intervals are set at 10 minutes. Expect service slowdowns also on December 26 and January 2.
As for commuter trains, the Agence métropolitaine de transport's commuter train lines adhere to a Sunday schedule on December 25, December 26, January 1 and January 2. Since no weekend service is offered on the Mont St. Hilaire, Mascouche and Candiac lines in the first place, no train service will be offered for those same holiday dates. Call (514) 287-TRAM (8726) or visit the AMT website for train scheduling details (info line closed on December 25 and January 1).
Municipal Court Offices
The Montreal Municipal Court at 303 rue Notre-Dame Est and points of service are closed from December 22 to December 26, 2017 and then again from December 29, 2017 to January 2, 2018 inclusively. Municipal Court point of service at 775 rue Gosford closes December 22, 2017 through January 2, 2018 inclusively. Call (514) 872-2964 for details.
All Montreal parking meters follow their regular schedule throughout the holiday season. No exceptions.
Montreal Restaurants Open Christmas Day
The restaurant situation in Montreal on Christmas day can be a drag. Foodies across the city concur choices are limited to dining in Chinatown and hotels. So I did a bit of digging, a lot of calling and found out there are actually quite a few Montreal restaurants open Christmas day.
Montreal Restaurants Open New Year's Day
Finding Montreal restaurants open New Year's eve? Not a problem. Finding Montreal restaurants open New Year's day? That's another story. Nonetheless, I made a few phone calls and found some real restaurant gems open for business on New Year's day, including some of Montreal's best known culinary landmarks.
Montreal movie theatres are generally open Christmas Day and New Year's Day, including Dollar Cinema and downtown's Cinéma Banque Scotia and Cineplex Forum.
Montreal's quintessential corner stores, at least the 24-hour chains, generally remain open. But many don't. It's a bit of a crapshoot.
Grocery stores/supermarkets larger than 375 square meters (4,037 feet) in size are legally obliged to close December 25 and January 1. However, smaller food markets can remain open at their discretion. But it doesn't mean they will. Always call your smaller local grocer to make sure they're open before heading out.
Some may remain open, especially the chains. Call your local pharmacy if in doubt.
Société des alcools du Québec
All SAQ liquor stores are closed on Christmas and New Year's Day, with varying schedules throughout the holiday season. And all SAQs open at 1 p.m. on December 26 and January 2. And don't sleep on those boozy purchases on December 24 nor December 31 as most SAQs close early at 5 p.m. with the exception of SAQ Express stores which close at 7 p.m., much earlier than their usual 10 p.m. close time.
All of Montreal's public markets, including the Atwater Market, Marché Jean-Talon and Marché Maisonneuve, close December 25, December 26, January 1 and January 2 with reduced hours on December 24 and December 31, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bonsecours Market closes December 25 and January 1.
As a general rule, banks and financial institutions in Quebec close December 25, Boxing Day, January 1 and January 2. Usually, an extra day is taken off for every holiday day that falls on a weekend. Clients are nonetheless advised to contact their local branch in case of isolated exceptions.
You can always count on the Montreal Casino being open on both Christmas and New Year's Day. Same goes for St. Joseph's Oratory, the Bonsecours Basin's outdoor skating rink, Atrium le 1000's indoor skating rink as well as Notre-Dame Basilica and Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours. As for Bota Bota's floating Nordic spa in the Old Port, it's closed Christmas Day BUT open New Year's Day.
Quebec ski resorts outside Montreal stay open for the holidays.
Major Churches and Basilicas
Montreal has got some of the most beautiful churches in North America and naturally open on Christmas Day given the religious significance of the holiday. Naturally, my top picks for Christmas Mass are also open Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
The Montreal Biodome and Montreal Planetarium both close December 24 and December 25, 2017 but open January 1, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Montreal Botanical Garden and Insectarium both close December 24 and December 25, 2017 but open January 1, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Pointe-à-Callière Museum closes December 25 as well as January 1 but is open December 26, 2017 and January 2, 2018 from noon to 5 p.m. Last but not least and with perhaps the most kid appeal is the Montreal Science Centre, is closed on both Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
As a general rule, Montreal parks close December 25 and January 1st. "Closed" means that any ice skates, ski or snow shoe rentals are unavailable and that parks will not clear/clean up skating rinks and cross country ski trails on those days. Basic services like bathroom access can not be guaranteed either. Some exceptions exist: Bonsecours Basin's Old Port skating rink operates Christmas Day as well as New Year's Day.
Arenas, Swimming Pools, Sports Centres, Libraries and Maisons de la Culture
Residents are encouraged to call these facilities directly since their schedules vary though they tend to close the same dates as the Complexe Sportif Claude Robillard, which shuts down from December 24 to December 26, 2017 and then from December 31, 2017 through January 1, 2018.