Press release | For immediate release

Montreal, November 8, 2023 – Starting November 15, the Quartier des Spectacles will overflow with holiday spirit thanks to the Esplanade Tranquille skating rink, holiday revelry with Noël dans le parc in Place Émilie-Gamelin, The Great Christmas Market in Place des Festivals, the Santa Claus Parade, the traditional festivities at Complexe Desjardins and an all-new series of Luminothérapie works! Montrealers, visitors and neighbourhood residents are invited to enjoy a magical program of free activities to immerse themselves in the season’s festive ambiance.


Esplanade Tranquille skating rink
Opens November 15
Sunday-Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Holiday schedule:
December 15 to January 6: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
Exceptions: December 24: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; December 25 and January 1: noon to 11 p.m.; December 31: 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Dowtown’s biggest refrigerated outdoor rink is back! The rink is free to use and can accommodate up to 400 skaters on its 1,500 m2 surface. Skates are available to rent, so anyone can make the most of winter downtown and be amazed by the interactive projection on the ice surface, Au bord du lac Tranquille, by Mirari and Normal studio, presented every Sunday through Thursday at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m.

The Esplanade Tranquille skating rink also hosts numerous activities, including musical lunchtimes with Classical Noon every Wednesday starting November 22. On Saturday evenings starting December 16, Disco Fever returns to get all the skaters boogieing. Finally, Santa Claus and his elves will lace up their skates for Le Père-Noël sait-il patiner? on December 16 and 24 between 11 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Complete programming details will be announced soon.

Esplanade Tranquille pavilion
Sunday to Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Thursday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to midnight

Holiday schedule:
December 15 to January 2: 9 a.m. to midnight daily
Exceptions: December 24: 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; December 25 and January 1: noon to 11:30 p.m.; December 31: 9 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.

The Esplanade Tranquille pavilion is a cozy space where everyone can come warm up for free every day and evening. Whether you want to enjoy a quiet moment in the Grand salon, with its beautiful Christmas decorations by paper artist Pauline Loctin, who will host maker workshops on December 2 and 3 at 10 a.m., or enjoy free cultural activities including a Christmas cookies workshop on the weekends of December 9-10 and December 16-17, the Pavilion is sure to be a favourite destination. Complete programming details will be announced soon.

November 30 to March 10
Sainte-Catherine St. W.

A new series of local and visiting works will be presented on pedestrianized Sainte-Catherine St. West this winter. Each evening starting at sunset, the Quartier des Spectacles will be illuminated by five new works and a generative video projection accompanied by original music and scenography throughout the pedestrian zone. Complete Luminothérapie details will be announced on November 20.


The Santa Claus Parade
November 25, 11 a.m.
From René-Lévesque Blvd. to Saint-Laurent Blvd.

People of all ages are invited to enjoy a procession of 13 allegorical floats that will snake along René-Lévesque Boulevard, up Robert-Bourassa Boulevard and along Sainte-Catherine Street to Place des Arts (Saint-Urbain street). The excitement of the Santa Claus Parade is the official launch of the holiday season downtown!

For the occasion, the Place Ville-Marie Esplanade will host the arrival of Santa Claus, while Les petites tounes will perform on Promenade des Artistes at the end of the parade.

Christmas magic in Complexe Desjardins
November 25 to December 24
Complexe Desjardins

Beloved seasonal activities and children’s shows return to Complexe Desjardins, including dance performances, choirs and face-painting for children. This year also marks the return of the carousel and the tiny train to the delight of the little ones. On November 25, the real Santa Claus will be there for the parade, accompanied by a show for kids and an explosion of confetti! Finally, the multimedia show Fontaine Boréale will be presented daily, every hour on the hour from 4 to 11 p.m.

The Great Christmas Market
November 25 to December 30
Place des Festivals

Montreal’s Great Christmas Market is a spectacular immersive holiday wonderland. Montrealers will find crafts, delicious food, lively performances and signature sites such as La Fabrique, La Maison d'Alsace, l’Orangerie and Le Grand Sapin. Some 40 artisans will be present each week. From November 25 to December 17, the market will be open Thursday to Sunday and daily starting December 18. For detailed hours visit the Great Christmas Market website.

Noël dans le parc
December 8 to 31
Daily from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Place Émilie-Gamelin

The 30th edition of the Christmas in the Park Festival is shaping up to be one of the most festive yet, with an opening show on 8 December at 7pm, promising a memorable musical experience! Every day from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., the public is invited to discover a site decked out in the colours of Christmas, where they can buy their Christmas tree and enjoy a range of festive food and drink. From Thursday to Sunday, Place Émilie-Gamelin will be buzzing with musical performances for the general public and family shows that are sure to warm up visitors! The full programme will be available towards the end of November on the website Noël dans le parc


  • Public transit: numerous STM bus routes and three metro stations (orange and green lines) serve the area.

  • Cycling: numerous all-season bike lanes crisscross the downtown core, and bike racks are available at Saint-Laurent metro station, just steps away from Esplanade Tranquille.

  • Driving: in addition to street parking, the district has five indoor parking garages that are open to the public.

Plan your visit with the help of the Quartier des Spectacles website.


The Quartier des Spectacles is 20 years old! The Quartier des Spectacles is Montréal’s cultural heart, boasting North America’s most concentrated and diverse group of cultural venues as well as numerous festivals and events. The Quartier also hosts innovative urban installations involving cutting-edge lighting design and immersive environments. The Quartier des Spectacles has become an international showcase for digital public art.

The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, founded in 2003, is a non-profit organization with more than 85 members active in the district. It is responsible for animating the Quartier des Spectacles by programming cultural activities, managing and animating public spaces, providing distinctive illumination and promoting the Quartier as a must-visit cultural destination. The Partnership benefits from the support of the Ville de Montréal. 

More information:

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Mélanie Mingotaud
Communications Mingotwo  
514 582-5272   


Quartier des Spectacles Partnership
Chloé Goldstein
514 812‑2193