Does Canada close up shop for the holidays?
December 15, 2011 6:19 AM   Subscribe

Do Montreal and Quebec City close up shop for the holidays?

The girlfriend and I are considering renting a car and driving up from NYC, but she's a little nervous that things might be totally closed on Christmas Eve / Christmas / Boxing Day. Are they?

Our travel generally involves a lot of eating and drinking, so that's our main concern--any specific recommendations of places that might be open are welcome.
posted by ElCuadrangular to Travel & Transportation around Canada (8 answers total)
I'm a Montreal native, and she's right that Christmas eve/Christmas day are pretty quiet as almost everything is closed. Clubs tend to be closed, but dive bars are open, though! There's extremely good shopping to be had on Christmas Eve and Boxing day, but since you're from NYC you might not be all that impressed. The general idea is that Christmas is for family, and new year's is for friends.

I've never been to Quebec City during Christmas, but I can't imagine it being any more interesting than Montreal.

Also, if you're driving, watch the fuck out. There are drunk people driving everywhere, and thus there are breathalyser checkpoints everywhere. Make absolutely sure you're below .08, because punishment for drunk driving is *severe* in Quebec, to say the least.

New year's eve is a blast, at any rate!
posted by Mons Veneris at 7:02 AM on December 15, 2011

I've been up to QC after Christmas, before New Years and have done NYE there and it was AWESOME. It's small and quiet, and if you're into skiing, Le Massif is just a stone's throw away along with all sorts of other cool stuff to do. It's the off season, but I recommend it for a quiet getaway!
posted by floweredfish at 7:02 AM on December 15, 2011

I've never been to Quebec, but hotel restaurants should be open.
posted by brujita at 7:07 AM on December 15, 2011

I'm not sure if it would be open on 24-26, you'd need to call for a reservation anyway, but La Tanière near Quebec City is one of the top three restaurants I've been to in my life. I highly recommend the 20 course tasting menu.
posted by Grither at 8:44 AM on December 15, 2011

In Montreal, as in NYC, all the jewish restaurants will be open. And the movies will be open!
(But yeah, if you go, i'd say book a nice hotel and assume that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be all about hanging out in the lounge by a fireplace.)
posted by Kololo at 11:46 AM on December 15, 2011

In Montreal, on X-mas, most places are closed, with the exception of a few odd grocery supermarkets, cinemas like AMC (but you don't need to come to MTL to watch a movie. On a sidenote, AMC in MTL opens all year long, no shortened opening hours), on Boxing day, the opening hours could be shorter.

Quebec city is extremely quiet. I doubt all those small boutiques in downtown would be open on X-mas eve, but I've never been there at that time of the year. Maybe like NYC, some stires in tourist spots are always open.
posted by easilyconfused at 1:05 PM on December 15, 2011

As a Jew in Montreal, I can assure you that any number of Chinese restaurants stay open on Christmas!
posted by vasi at 4:03 PM on December 15, 2011

Quebec city is pretty much like Montréal, your main problem will the 25th. Lots of places are opened on the 24th, although they will probably close a bit earlier than usual, but most stores are closed on the 25th. You can find some restaurants/pubs opened on the 25th, but not that many. Shops open late on the 26th (and are full of people).

Sorry I can't suggest specific restaurants, I looked up some restaurants but none seem to list online if they'll be opened on Christmas. The only one I see opened for sure is the fancy restaurant Saint-Amour (pretty good if you have the budget : ~400$ for two).
posted by domi_p at 8:02 PM on December 15, 2011

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