While much of Montreal's population will be enjoying their Easter over a glazed ham at home, the rest will want to spend the holy day in a park or at brunch. As with any city, Quebec's most populous municipality will have many temporary closures over the holiday weekend, but some things—like Montreal's museums and restaurants— will remain open for the brunch crowd and parkgoers.
In Canada, Good Friday, Easter Sunday (April 12, 2020), and Easter Monday are nationally recognized as statutory holidays, so as a general rule, expect federal offices to be closed. When in doubt, call the business you wish to visit directly for detailed scheduling information.
Montreal's municipal government offices—including Accès-Montréal offices, borough offices, and courthouses—are closed Good Friday through Easter Monday. Some exceptions may apply, including the 311 information line, which will remain in operation. You can dial 311 to find out which offices will be closed in your neighborhood.
Federal offices, including employment offices, will also be closed over the holiday, as will provincial offices such as immigration. Call ahead to double-check as some exceptions (government-regulated SAQ liquor stores, for instance) may apply.
Garbage Collection and Écocentres
Garbage collection services may be postponed in light of the holiday, so check garbage schedules online or call 311 if your street's regular garbage recycling collection happens to fall on one of these days. Ecocentres, where heavy-duty items like home appliances are taken to be recycled, remain open on Good Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but will close Easter Monday.
Montreal's public transit system remains in operation throughout Easter weekend, but with buses and commuter trains running on special holiday schedules. The metro will be running at 10-minute intervals. Consult the STM website for specific bus schedules and the AMT website for details on Montreal's five above-ground commuter trains as routes around the city will be impacted differently.
Unfortunately for brunchers, Montreal's parking meters will adhere to regular fare schedules throughout Easter weekend. No exceptions.
Easter is a much more restaurant-friendly holiday than, say, Christmas. With brunch and dinner being such popular Easter pastimes, many eateries throughout the city will not only be open, but they will offer special menus and sprawling buffets. Easter brunch in Montreal can mean carbo-loading on homestyle pancakes at a sugar shack (where maple syrup is made) or having an afternoon tea at one of the posh cafes around town.
After filling up on a big Easter meal, some people like to kick back for a flick at the cinema. Montreal movie theaters, such as Dollar Cinema and downtown's Scotia Bank Cinema, will stay open during Easter weekend. Call ahead to your preferred cinema to confirm.
Montreal SAQs (alcoholic beverage stores) stay open on Good Friday and Saturday. On Easter Sunday, SAQ Express stores stay open until 10 p.m., as per usual. Some SAQ Classique stores stay open, too, but SAQ Selection and Signature stores typically close on Easter, as do those located inside shopping malls. Most SAQs that are not located in shopping malls are open on Easter Monday.
Supermarkets and Convenience Stores
Grocery stores larger than 375 square meters (4,037 square feet) in size are not legally allowed to open on Easter Sunday. Smaller supermarkets may remain open at their discretion, though hours are usually reduced. Montreal's quintessential corner stores, also known as dépanneurs, tend to remain open during the holiday weekend—especially the 24-hour variety.
Pharmacies generally stay open during the Easter holidays as they are under no legal obligation to close. However, you should call your pharmacy ahead of the weekend to be sure.
Montreal's public markets, including the Atwater Market, Marché Jean-Talon, and Marché Maisonneuve, are open regular hours on Good Friday, Saturday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday. Old Montreal's Bonsecours Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
As a general rule, Canadian banks and financial institutions are closed on Good Friday but are open on Easter Monday.
By law, Quebec retail stores are not allowed to open on Easter Sunday, except for bookstores, flower stores, and antique shops as well as service-based businesses like hair salons, restaurants, gas stations, and manufacturers, who are free to open as they please. Call the Montreal shopping mall of your choice to confirm opening hours from Good Friday to Easter Monday.
Gyms, Maisons de la Culture, and Museums
Holiday schedules for nonessential businesses like gyms, museums, and cultural centers vary by neighborhood, so check your local listings in advance. Montreal's Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard sports facility, for instance, is closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Museum hours vary.
- The Montreal Planetarium is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Good Friday through Easter Monday.
- The Montreal Science Centre screens IMAX films and offers access to its family-friendly exhibits through the long weekend.
- The Montreal Botanical Garden and Montreal Insectarium are open regular hours every day of Easter weekend.
- The Pointe-à-Callière Museum will remain open every day.
Every season is ice skating season at Atrium le 1000. The downtown indoor rink will be open throughout the holiday weekend, even offering special programs (egg hunts and such) on Easter.