Out on the Town, Student Life

How to plan a reading week staycation

With reading week on the horizon, many of us are creating plans to escape the city (or reading responsibilities). But if you happen to be sticking around Montreal here are some cool things to check out for your reading break staycation. 


Montreal’s thriving music scene is always bustling with local talent. With ample time to nurse a hangover and recover from the ringing in your ears, reading week is the perfect time to discover your next favourite artist.

On March 6, there is an open mic night at Turbo Haüs on Saint Denis. This bar is usually rocking out with amazing talent, and its open mic would be a great event to check out some new Montreal musicians. Their cocktail menu is to die for, and if drinking on a Tuesday is your vibe, the No-Moshing is delicious.

To cap off the week, on March 8 there is the album launch of Seelonce with John Cohen Experimental at Casa del Popolo. Tickets cost only $10. With their combined listener numbers on Spotify being a mere 77, if they ever make it big you could have the most pretentious-person points by saying you “knew them before they were popular.”


Take advantage of the dwindling winter with some skating, and bring a buddy to stay warm, //wink wink//. Skating is notoriously one of the best date activities; though Valentine’s Day has passed, it’s a great way to “accidentally” fall into your lover’s arms. Montreal has a plethora of outdoor rinks to choose from, many of which are located close to campus. For some fresh air, up the elevation, bring your skates, and check out the rink near Beaver Lake near the summit of  Mont-Royal.

If you want to rent some skates, Patin Patin is a skate rental service currently offered at four Montreal rinks: Parc Jean-Drapeau, Old Port, Parc Maisonneuve, and Quartier des Spectacles. The Quartier des Spectacles location is right near many trendy cafés and bars where you can go in and warm up with a hot chocolate or shot of whiskey. This aphrodisiac of a sport is so popular in this city that Montreal could dethrone Paris from its title as the “city of love.”

Cross-country skiing

If you’re looking for some solo activities, cross-country skiing is the perfect sport to pick up. It is a great cardio workout for when running on the icy streets becomes a treacherous task. Mont-Royal has 16 kilometres of trails of varying levels for cross-country skiing that wrap all around the mountain. The park rents equipment at its lodge located at 2000 Remembrance Rd. When choosing your trails, keep in mind that the easiest ones are marked by green circles, intermediate by blue squares, and expert by black diamonds and double black diamonds. 


If you are someone who is actually going to read over this reading break, I’ve found an amazing place to do it. Anticafe on Sainte Catherine street near Place des Arts is a funky kind of café where you don’t pay for the coffee. The pay is per hour and snacks and coffee are unlimited. The pay rates start at $4 and max out at only $20. It is a great place to spend an entire day with a constant flow of cappuccinos and a nose in a book. With its quiet atmosphere and whimsical decor, it is one of the coziest spots in Montreal.

With the plenty that Montreal offers you don’t have to go far for a little fun. Before we return to campus and to what the exterior wall of Redpath library calls “blissful studies,” you can take a little local adventure. 

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