17 Red Zone-friendly things to do in Montreal this week: March 8 to 12

Mar 8 2021, 9:28 pm

Montreal is currently in Red Zone, Level 4–Maximum Alert — the government’s strictest tier — in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Between 8 pm and 5 am, Quebecers must not leave their homes except in cases that justify travel. Travelling between regions is not recommended per the government, and all COVID-19 protocols (indoor mask-wearing, two-metre physical distancing, and frequent sanitization) must be followed.

As we enter the first full week of March, parts of Quebec have been downgraded to orange zones. And, while Montreal remains in a red zone, there is still a handful of both virtual and in-person things to do.

If you plan on hitting the town, or plan on keeping busy indoors, here are a 17 things to do in Montreal this week.

Montréal en LumiÚre

Montréal en LumiÚre

Place des Festivals is offering a slew of COVID-19-friendly, physically-distanced outdoor exhibitions for this year’s MontrĂ©al en LumiĂšre.

Check out the site’s Splinter, Chimes, Passage, Heat Island, and the timeless Grand Roue.

Espace pour la vie

Montreal Biodome


The newly renovated BiodĂŽme de MontrĂ©al has reopened amid Quebec’s latest round of eased COVID-19 restrictions.

In fact, both of the Espace pour la vie venues have reopened as of two weeks ago. The Jardin Botanique is open to the public as well.

The BiodÎme is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm, and the Jardin Botanique is open daily from 7:30 am to 5 pm. Tickets cost a smooth $19 to enter each one.

In September, before the second wave of COVID-19 shut down venues and museums across the province, Espace pour la vie reopened after more than two years of construction and refurbishment work.

The iconic space’s renovations are highlighted by a new “multisensory and immersive experience,” as guests can make their way through five ecosystems of the Americas.

The OASIS Immersion Gallery

Montreal LED show

Palais des CongrĂšs

The OASIS Immersion Gallery in Montreal opened last week, and the pictures of it look just as cool as we thought they would.

If you don’t already know what it is, OASIS is a new permanent immersive art centre at the Palais des Congrùs. With 119 surround-sound speakers, 105 laser projectors, and a whole LED lighting system, Montrealers are in for a breathtaking experience.

Take a ghost walk

Montreal haunted

Bruno Passigatti/Shutterstock

With its paved streets and centuries-old buildings, it’s not hard to believe that Old Montreal is a haunted neighbourhood.

Well, you can find that out for yourself at one of Montreal’s Ghost Walks, which have resumed right on time for spring break.

In tours of up to eight people, you can learn about some of the city’s most harrowing tales. You’ll be guided by professional actors and street theatre performers who will take you through a 90-minute deep exploration of the oldest area of Montreal.

Order some local food

best burgers Montreal


Montreal’s service industry has been completely decimated by the pandemic. If you’re not in the mood to cook, there’s a bevy of great options for takeout across a bunch of food delivery apps.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA)

Montreal museum fine arts


The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) has reopened its doors for the first time in over four months.

The four exhibitions on display are “brimming with artistic discoveries and reflections on the major issues of our time.”

The MMFA is following all COVID-19 protocols and “ensures customer safety.”

Go thrift shopping


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If there’s one thing Montreal and Macklemore have in common, it’s their love of thrift shopping.

Truly, there’s nothing like diving into a colourful rack of secondhand clothes and finding the sweatshirt you’ve been trying to find for months, or a skirt that fits like a glove and matches with everything you own.

As post-lockdown makeovers begin, it can be difficult to revamp your style in a way that is sustainable, ethical, and won’t make your wallet cry. Despite the vast big brand thrift stores like Value Village and the Salvation Army, finding something decent often takes many hours and hundreds of failed trips to the fitting rooms.

Take a stroll through Old Montreal

montreal winter

Chat des Balkans/Shutterstock

Restaurants and bars don’t need to be fully open in the Old Port to appreciate the European-like beauty of Old Montreal.

Enjoy cobblestone steps, narrow streets covered in snow, the Notre-Dame Basilica, the glistening dome of the Bonsecours Market, or soak up a breathtaking nighttime view of the landscape of downtown Montreal.

Time travel back to 1940s Montreal

Saint-Henri. Rue De Couvent. 1943 (Archives de la Ville de Montréal)

If you’re in the mood for a little bit of time travelling, why not check out some photos of Montreal in the 1940s?

The photos, courtesy of Archives de la Ville de Montréal, feature rue Ste. Catherine, The Plateau, St-Henri, and more from over eight decades ago.

LuminothĂ©rapie – Loop

Ulysse Lemerise

Quartier des Spectacles is lit.

The Quartier des Spectacles’ public square is hosting the 11th edition of LuminothĂ©rapie with Loop, a series of luminous, music-playing, interactive art pieces.

Because if anything can lighten up the bleak start of the year, it’s LuminothĂ©rapie, Quebec’s largest temporary public art installation. Loop will be on display every day from noon to 7:30 pm until March 14.

Go house shopping

expensive houses Montreal

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

Now might actually be the best time to sit at home and peek into the luxurious lives of million-dollar homes around Montreal.

We scoured Sotheby’s International Realty and put together a list of the most expensive properties for sale in Montreal. Because sure, it’s a pandemic, but now might be the time to pour $25 million into a home.

A Crack in Everything – Virtual Leonard Cohen Exhibit


The MusĂ©e d’art contemporain de MontrĂ©al (MAC) is currently hosting the virtual edition of Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, a major exhibition of the great literary songwriter.

Take some deep-dish pizza to go

Montreal pizza


Detroit-style pizza, welcome to Montreal.

A deep-dish pizza pop-up has sliced its way into a portion of Café Pigeon in Monkland, offering specialized pizza from Motown, for a limited time.

The pies, named Fungool Pizza, come with six thick slices and deep-dish pizza’s trademark hefty doses of crust.

Fungool Pizzas result in flavourful pies with a thick outside crust and a crunch exterior. And then cheese. So much cheese.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing

mount royal ski

Mount Royal Park/City of Montreal

Similar to golf this past summer, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing has become the go-to hobby for a lot of Montrealers.

There is a slew of great trails around the island, ranging from easy to hard.

Plus, with more snow on the way this week, it might be easier than actually driving.

Check out Montreal (virtually)

Montreal photographers


Montreal feels different since the onset of the pandemic (obviously), but the virtual world of Instagram is bustling with gorgeous shots of the island.

If heading out isn’t up your alley, check out some of these amazing local photographers.

Choose a tattoo


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If you’re already a tattoo fan or you’re in the market for one, now is a good time to research some of Montreal’s well-known tattoo artists.

Because nothing says “I overcame the COVID-19 pandemic” like a tat.

Order some fresh sushi

Montreal sushi

Restaurant Posher/Facebook

Sushi is one of those foods that you just can’t get tired of, and fortunately, in Montreal, great sushi places abound.

It’s one of the most versatile foods: it can be shared, snacked on, engulfed in one sitting
 the possibilities are truly endless.

The variety of flavour combinations just makes it a go-to option. Whether you’re a fan of salmon or more of a tuna person (or a lover of freshwater eel, like Ross from Friends), there’s a sashimi and maki roll for you.

Check out some of our favourite spots right here.

DH Montreal StaffDH Montreal Staff

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