Cheap & free Montreal cabane à sucre happenings

If this time of year has you thinking about maple syrup, crêpes and sugar taffy (la tire d’érable) but getting to a cabane à sucre (sugar shack) is a hurdle, here are a few ways you can enjoy the food without leaving Montreal.

Cabane à sucre events at Montreal markets

Urban Cabane à sucre at the Jean Talon Market

At 5 p.m. today (a rainy St. Patrick’s Day, no less!) you’ll find the entire market transformed into an urban cabane à sucre featuring maple syrup served all kinds of ways and traditional Québécois music from La Belle et Brette. For $5 you get a pass that lets you try all sorts of food. There will also be a lounge where you can enjoy maple cocktails. A dollar from each pass sold goes to the Maisonnette des Parents.

The tastings menu includes:

  • fèves au lard with pork
  • maple syrup pie
  • maple beer
  • fiddleheads in garlic and maple syrup
  • a wild mushroom & maple tisane
  • smoked salmon with maple syrup
  • maple syrup croissants and éclairs
  • maple bagels
  • maple cider

The list goes on and on.

When: March 17, 2016 (today),  5-8 p.m.

Where: Jean Talon market, 7070 Henri-Julien Avenue, metro Jean Talon (blue line)

Cost: $5,

Facebook event page

Parcours gourmand de l’érable at the Atwater Market

On March 18 the Atwater Market is offering people a chance to taste all sorts of maple products and enjoy some music (also from La Belle et la Brette). You can try fèves au lard and cretons, or oreilles de crisse (deep-fried pig’s jowls, a traditional Quebec dish), maple beer, ham, rabbit, maple chocolates, maple pecans, maple butter and of course, maple syrup.

Passes cost $5 and for each pass sold, one dollar goes to Garde-Manger Pour Tous.

When: March 18, 2016, 4-7 p.m.

Where: Atwater Market, 138 Atwater Ave. , metro Lionel Groulx

Cost: $5 (cash only). Passes available at a stall facing the Geneviève Grandbois stall

Facebook event page

This weekend: Verdun hosts giant lumberjack camp on Wellington St.

Photo credit: Promenade Wellington/Cabane Panache et Bois Rond 2016 Facebook page

In its sixth year La Cabane Panache et Bois Rond promises to be quite something for the eyes and taste buds. On March 18 and through the weekend Wellington St.  (Promenade Wellington) will become a lumberjack camp of sorts complete with a small farmhouse, a Welling’titem, barbershop, Parks Canada photo booth, a shoboy cauldron, wood sculpture and maple legends. But the demonstrations alone promise to be eye-popping since they include a godendart (a huge saw operated by two people), tug-of-war match, a skiing race or even hockey crottin (with a puck made from frozen horse poo) and juggling with axes.

Friday’s events are geared to adults and feature Virée carreautée Beau’s party with music, traditional dancing, maple taffy, drinks and snacks from bars. But the rest of the weekend is all about families. Starting Saturday morning local restaurants will serve all sorts of maple-inspired food (can you say grilled cheese with maple bacon and cheddar?), there be activities and demonstrations and a general store selling local products and crafts. There will be stroller parking available for families with young children.

When: Friday March 18, 2016 through Sunday March 20, 2016. On Friday the Virée carreautée Beau’s party goes from 5-10 p.m. and includes a jig and set carré and music from La Cantinière and the Winston Band. Saturday and Sunday’s Campement de bûcherons (lumberjack camp) happens from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Where: Promenade Wellington, on Wellington St. (metro De l’Église, green line)



Cabane à sucre at the Mont Royal metro

Step outside the Mont-Royal metro and you’ll find a mini cabane à sucre, complete with maple taffy on snow, crêpes and a kiosk with maple syrup, sugar, pies, cookies and doughnuts.

When: From 10 a.m.-6 p.m. It’s unclear when it ends but it’s definitely going on till the end of March.

Where: Mont Royal metro (orange line)

Maple taffy for only $2

Café 92’s Cabane à sucre

Until March 31st this NDG café will be serving maple-inspired drinks and desserts, including cheesecake with maple syrup, maple pound cake and maple cappuccino.  Yum!

Where: Café 92°, 6703 Rue Sherbrooke St. W.



Cool Montreal happenings for International Women’s Day 2016


Montrealers are marking International Women’s Day (IWD) in different ways. Here’s a list of some IWD events and activities happening on March 8th and beyond. If you know of an event that’s not mentioned here, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

Many of the events I’ve listed here are perhaps more familiar to the English community. There are many more events listed on Quebec’s Conseil du statut de la femme website.

International Women’s Day March

A tradition in Montreal for 15 years and held in solidarity with marches happening across the world, the theme of this year’s march, organized by Women of Diverse Origins, is “Women fighting for a better world.” People are invited to march for justice, peace, equality, status, prosperity and dignity for all.

When: March 8, 2016, 6 p.m.

Where: Cabot Square (the park located across from the Cineplex Forum on Ste. Catherine St. W. & Atwater), Atwater metro

Cost: Free. Everyone welcome. Childcare is available.

Info (in French) available here


Montreal’s tech community marks IWD

Montreal NewTech International Women’s Day Edition

You need tickets for this. While early bird tickets are sold out, you can still buy tickets for $12 (plus fees) online or take your chances and pay $20 (plus fees), at the door, though tickets are limited. On the agenda: five startup demos and talks. It’s a great way to showcase women from this city’s startup community and for folks looking to take their “startup to the next level,” meet potential co-founders, mix and mingle with programmers, mobile and web entrepreneurs, tech professionals, engineers, journalists and investors. What I don’t get is why this event and others are planned at exactly the same time as the women’s day march, but anyway…

When: March 8, 2016, 6-9 p.m. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. Presentations happen from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. followed by a chance to network.

Where: Shopify Montréal, 490 De la Gauchetière W.

Cost: $12, plus $1.32 fee per ticket purchased online; $20, plus $1.80 fee at the door

You can buy tickets here

Women Techmakers powered by GDG Montreal Android  International Women’s Day Global Event Series “Our Time To Lead”

Google created Women Techmakers, a program to celebrate International Women’s Day and to highlight the talent of women in technology. More than 200 events are happening in 52 countries and Laurence de Villers and Annie Caron worked with GDG Montreal Android to organize the first edition of this all-day event in Montreal.

The event gives people a chance to learn from women entrepreneurs and leaders in Montreal’s tech community and honour women working in technology.

Attendees receive access to all talks and codelabs (bring a laptop) and a Women Techmakers 2016 – Montreal official t-shirt (at this point size is not guaranteed), bag and lanyard. Tickets also include a lunch box and coffee and snacks during breaks, a glass of wine and two bites at Happy Hour after the event and coat check.

When: Saturday March 12, 2016, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: École de technologie supérieure, 1100 Notre Dame W.

Cost: $50 general admission; $35 for students

Everyone welcome but you must be 18+ to attend

Tickets may be purchased here

In Montreal and beyond

YWCA Montreal’s “inspiring” book list

To celebrate International Women’s Day, YWCA Montreal’s youth team compiled Ten Books about Women Role Models to Inspire Young Minds, a list of illustrated books about women role models aimed at boys and girls ages three to 16. According to the YWCA’s press release, recommended books on the list highlight women such as Marie Curie, who won the Nobel prize in 1903 and 1911, Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, Elinor Smith, who became a pilot at age 16 and Elizabeth Blackwell, a U.K. woman who, in 1849 became the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States (she was also the first woman on the UK Medical Registrar). Other books on the list focus on the lives of exceptional women such as Jane Goodall, Frida Kahlo, Malala Yousafzai, Anne Frank and Ella Fitzgerald.

IWD Youth Zone Poetry slam at Montreal’s downtown YMCA

Organized by members of Strong Girls, Strong World, guests include Sue Montgomery, a journalist and co-creator of the hashtag #BeenRapedNeverReported; interdisciplinary Aboriginal artist Émilie Monnet; and Tanya St-Jean, who co-founded Je Suis Indestructible.

People are invited to “read an inspiring passage, poem or song or to cheer on our performers.”

When: March 8, 2016, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Downtown YMCA’s Youth Zone, 1440 Stanley St., Peel metro

Cost: Free

Info: available here.

Pampering, discounts & networking opportunities

Vert Essentiel, an environmental boutique in Vaudreuil-Dorion, is celebrating International Women’s Day by encouraging women to come by the store to relax and pamper themselves.

A team from ReflexOasis is offering  a chance to learn about reflexology during a  brief, free session and for $10 (you need to register) professional makeup artist Émilie will do your makeup and offer tips. The $10 fee can be applied to a makeup purchase.

As well, Smith Farms co-founder Julia Sinclair-Smith will be on hand to demonstrate her line of moisturizing products.

All day long the boutique is also holding a draw for a chance to win a Druide beauty basket.

When: March 8, 2016, 11 a.m to 5 p.m. (ReflexOasis); 12-5 p.m. (professional makeup)

Where: Vert Essentiel, 1001 Émile Bouchard, Suite 106. Tel: 450.732.1827

On March 8 Bureau en gros stores (Staples elsewhere in Canada) are celebrating International Women’s Day with in-store refreshments and local networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and 10 percent off in-store purchases.