What's open and closed in Montreal during the holidays
From getting around town to shopping, businesses and services offer varying hours through holidays
The holidays are here, and that means closures (and also some fun, hopefully).
Here's a breakdown of what's open and what's not.
Drinking, shopping and dining
Alcohol: SAQ outlets will have irregular hours from Dec. 24 to January 2. All SAQ locations are closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. For more information about your local store, check the website before heading out.
Cannabis: As for Quebec's cannabis outlets, supply shortages have SQDC outlets closed three days a week and, this year, those days happen to fall on Christmas and New Year's.
Shopping: Last minute holiday shopping needs to wrap up before 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve as most malls and stores will close until Boxing Day. On Dec. 26, malls and retail outlets will reopen at 1 p.m. and then they will close again on Dec. 31 at 5 p.m. and stay closed through New Year's Day.
Food: Large grocery stores close on Christmas and New Year's Day, with shorter hours on the eves of both holidays.
Public markets: Markets such as Jean-Talon and Atwater close on Dec. 25 and 26 as well as Jan. 1 and 2.
Dining: Restaurants often close for the holidays, so it's best to check ahead.
Activities through the holidays
Arenas, pools, libraries: Montreal's sports and cultural facilities have varying schedules and the public is invited to communicate directly with staff before visiting.
Space for Life: The Botanical Garden, Insectarium and Planetarium Rio Tinro Alcan are closed on Dec. 24 and 25. They reopen on Dec. 26 and stay open — including on New Year's Day. The Biodome remains closed until the summer of 2019 for renovations.
Museums: The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will open regular hours throughout the holiday season, closing only on Christmas and New Year's Day. Other museums have varying hours over the holidays, so it's a good idea to check before visiting. For example, the Montreal Science Centre is closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. It then closes on Jan. 7, 8 and 9.
Movies: Movie theatres generally stay open through the holidays.
Holiday mass: Saint Joseph's Oratory offers Christmas Eve mass and stays open through the holidays as does the Notre-Dame Basilica, but attendees need tickets to attend the holiday masses.
STM: Montreal's public transit agency stays operational through the holidays, but with limited services and hours. The STM recommends checking your bus schedule in order "to avoid any unpleasant surprises."
Intervals between Metro trains are longer than usual.
The Metro runs all night Dec. 31, but the STM recommends buying tickets in advance to avoid long lines. Don't forget, the STM offers an unlimited evening pass for late-night revellers looking to bounce around town.
Family fares: The STM offers free transit to children age 5 and under when accompanied by an adult. There is also a special service called the Family Outings program which allows up to five children, aged 6 to 11, to ride for free during certain periods when accompanied by an adult. Over the holidays, this program runs from Dec. 21 at 4 p.m. until Jan. 6.
RTL: In Longueuil, holiday scheduling will be in effect on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day as well as New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and Jan. 2. Hours are available on the RTL's website. On Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, the RTL follows Sunday hours.
STL: In Laval, buses will follow Saturday's scheduling on Christmas Eve and offer a reduced Sunday scheduling on Christmas Day. Saturday service hours will be followed on Boxing Day. Again, it will by Saturday service on New Year's Eve and reduced Sunday hours on New Year's Day.
Trains: As for suburban trains, it's best to check because, like the metro and local bus services, holiday schedules will be in effect.
Free rides: Exo, Montreal area's transit authority, is offering free rides on commuter trains, buses and handicapped transport on Dec. 24, 25 and 31 as well as Jan. 1 and 2.
Pay to park: Parking meters will be running normal schedules.
Check the signs: Parking restrictions remain in effect.
Mailing, banking and government services
Mail: Canada Post closes on official holidays, so don't expect any mail on Dec. 25, 26 or Jan. 1. Private post offices may open with limited or regular hours depending on the location.
Banking: Banks will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day and the day after New Year's.
Quebec: Provincial offices are closed on Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1 and 2.
Canada: Federal offices will be closed on Christmas and Boxing Day as well as New Year's Day.
Offices: Montreal offices close from Dec. 25 to Jan. 2 inclusively.
Collection: The collection of waste, compost, bulky materials and recycling will have modified schedules. Christmas trees will be collected at various times across the city's 19 boroughs. Check the city's website or call 311 to learn more about collection schedules.
Eco: Eco-centres will be closed from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2 inclusively and then service resumes on Jan. 3 with the regular winter schedule. For more information, visit the website or call 514-872-0384.
Legal: Municipal court (775 Gosford Street) will be closed from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2 inclusively. However, other points of service will be closed form Dec. 23 to Dec. 26, but open on Dec. 27 and 28. These points of service will then close again from Dec. 29 to Jan. 2 inclusively.