Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates.
Santa Claus Parade / Défilé du Père Noël (canceled in 2020)
Montréal Christmas is indeed magical—the streets and parks are illuminated and there are plenty of events, activities, and delicious foods to take in. You must be sure not to miss the annual Santa Claus Parade, which has been held since 1925. Le Défilé du Père Noël is observed by thousands of delighted kids waiting to see Santa Claus and the audience of this parade tends to reach 300,000 people! Around 20 floats proceed along René-Lévesque Boulevard between Guy St & Saint-Urbain St . The parade is usually held in late November.
Marche de Noël aux Flambeaux (canceled in 2020)
Throughout the month of December, the Avenue du Mont-Royal gets adorned with festive decorations to enchant the many Montrealers and visitors who participate in holiday festivities every year. The month-long celebrations begin with the popular Marche de Noël aux flambeaux (Mont-Royal Christmas Torchlight Parade), musical performances, and fireworks. The detailed programme is usually available mid-November on the Mont-Royal website.
Hudson Santa Claus Parade (date for 2020 TBA)
The Hudson Santa Claus Parade gives you the opportunity to have a hot chocolate with Santa Claus in a community centre on Main Road of Hudson, about an hour drive from Montreal city centre.
Christmas Mass at the Notre-Dame Basilica (December 24, canceled in 2020)
Another site worth visiting during Christmas time is the Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montréal. The church is ancient and beautiful and a Christmas Mass here is an experience in itself. Make sure to buy tickets in advance.
Défilé des Rêves (canceled in 2020)
The second largest festive parade is called Défilé des rêves (French for "parade of dreams"). It is usually held on the last Friday of November or the first Friday of December with floats, marching bands, singers, and dancers on the streets. The parade used to start at 7 pm at the corner of Bellechasse and Saint-Hubert Street and proceeds to Jean-Talon Street. The last edition took place in 2017 because of the ongoing renovation project of Plaza St-Hubert, and the next edition will take place in 2020.