Luxury Family Holidays Handpicked for Parents

Montreal

  • Ritz Carlton Montreal entrance

  • Loews Hotel Vogue roof terrace by night

  • Hotel Place d'Armes Montreal exterior

Canada’s bilingual ‘sin city’ may be legendary for its after-dark verve, but it’s also a daytime paradise for a luxury family holiday.  Kids under six ride the bus and metro for free and low-level buses are even equipped with designated stroller parking.  The joie de vivre in this town is contagious, especially during the summer when Montreal plays host to a myriad of free festivals.  Winter weather can be undeniably brutal, but the city doesn’t slow down as locals of all ages take to the public skating rinks or huddle together at one of the city’s many bistros, bagel shops and cafes.

Hotel Place d'Armes Montreal exterior

Hotel Place d’Armes Montreal

The Place d’Armes Hôtel & Suites, both charming and historic is a 19th-century neoclassical building on Old Montreal’s cobbled streets.

The Hôtel Place d’Armes Montreal is both charming and historic.  This 19th-century neoclassical building sits among Old Montreal’s cobbled streets, across the square from Notre-Dame Basilica and just a hop, skip and jump from the St-Lawrence River.  The rooms offer ample space and many have exposed brick walls...

Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Loews Hotel Vogue roof terrace by night

Loews Hotel Vogue

Recently renovated, this once business-orientated hotel is now the new kid on the family-friendly block in downtown Montreal.

Smack in the middle of downtown Montreal’s main shopping district, you can’t get more central than the Loews Hôtel Vogue. This used to be mostly a business hotel, but after a big renovation it’s now rolling out the welcome mat for families with kid-friendly maps of the city, babysitting services and healthy,...

Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Ritz Carlton Montreal bedroom

Ritz Carlton Montreal

The luxurious ‘Grande Dame of Sherbrooke Street,’ The Ritz Carlton is steeped in local history.

Anyone travelling with kids knows a chosen hotel can make or break a trip, but you’ll never go wrong with a Ritz Carlton.  Gloriously restored, the tubs in this Ritz Carlton Montreal are big enough to swim in, baby cribs come perfectly made with pretty linens and the staff treat tots (and grown-ups) like long lost...

Baby-friendly / Pre-Teen friendly / Summer Sun / See this Hotel & Book »

Au Pied de Cochon

536 Duluth Est

Chef Martin Picard’s Au Pied de Cochon is considered, hands down, one of the best restaurants in the city. Best for carnivorous kids over the age of 3 (there are no high chairs or booster seats,) we recommend you book an early table and tuck into poutine (fries, gravy and cheese,) onion soup (a mainstay of Quebec cuisine) or foie gras tart.  Come spring, the restaurant opens a traditional and very kid-friendly Cabane à Sucre (sugar shack) 45-minutes outside the city, where traditional dishes like tourtière, (meat pie) beans and pork belly are smothered in local maple syrup.  In the warmer months they also operate their own roving food truck.

Em Café

5718 Avenue du Parc

Em Cafe is a neighbourhood hang-out in Mile End that serves home-cooked meals with an international flare. You’ll feel right at home sipping macchiato and munching on a Mexican burger at the communal harvest table.  The cozy décor is “modern nostalgia”:  black and white hand-painted murals, exposed brick walls and picture frames made from the original wooden floorboards.  There are plenty of high chairs and a selection of books and toys to keep the children busy.  There are a couple of steps to get in the door but plenty of room for strollers and a big bathroom with change table. This place is bustling with brunchers on weekends, and they are also open for dinner.

Bevo Bar & Pizza

410, rue Saint-Vincent Right in the heart of Old Montreal, Bevo Bar & Pizza serves traditional Italian fare such as wood-fired pizzas, Porchetta Al Forno and Risotto Porcini. While you’re sipping on Prosecco and admiring the stone walls, the kiddies will enjoy lounging in the hanging bubble chairs and watching chef Giovanni Vella cook Margherita pizzas in the wood-burning oven.  On weekdays, the popular 5 à 7 can get a bit busy. There are high chairs, but no change tables.

Food Trucks

Various locations

After a 66-year ban, food trucks are finally licensed in Montreal opening up a whole new way of eating in the city. Forget greasy burgers and dried out hot dogs, these camions serve up tasty fare for discerning gourmets (and their kids). Anthony Bourdain himself has given the thumbs up to Grumman 78’s Mexican street-style tacos made with locally sourced ingredients.  Le point G is entirely gluten-free and P.A. & Gargantua does melt-in-your-mouth grilled cheese sandwiches (a Quebec staple) using Île-aux-Grues cheddar. These trucks roam but they’re easy to find.

Olive & Gourmando

351 St. Paul West

On Saint-Paul Ouest where restaurants come and go, O&G has become somewhat of an institution in la vieille ville.  Here, creative types and bankers sit shoulder-to-shoulder while tucking in to the house-made granola, poached-egg paninis and fresh ricotta.  Even the pickiest tot will love the freshly baked buttered croissants.  There are no high chairs but do order take-out sandwiches for a picnic at the nearby Old Port.

Fitz & Follwell bike hire

One block from the base of Mont-Royal, Fitz & Follwell (115 Avenue du Mont-Royal West) rent bicycles and offer a lovely “Hoods & Hidden Gems” bike tour geared specifically towards families.

Quartier des Spectacles (festival central)

Check out Quartier des Spectacles (festival central) which, wonderful in itself, is also a perfect space for little ones to run amok on a hot day thanks to its fountains

Winter Mountain Tours

Come winter, there’s still loads to do like rent wooden sleds by the day or sign up for a four-hour Winter Mountain Tour of skating, snowshoeing and tubing. Don’t forget your toque and watch out for les enfant terribles barreling down the piste!

Montreal's Olympic Stadium

The city’s Olympic Stadium houses the new Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, Biodôme, Insectarium and Botanical Gardens.

About

Dial 911 for emergencies. The Montreal Children’s Hospital (2300 Tupper St.; +1 514-412-4400) & Hôpital Sainte-Justine (3175 Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine; +1 514-345-4931) offer emergency services 24 hours a day for children under 18.  For adults, the Montréal General Hospital (1650 Cedar Ave;  +1 514-934-1934) or Jewish General Hospital (3755 Côte-Sainte-Catherine Rd.; +1 514-340-8222) both give excellent emergency care.  For minor ailments, adults and children can visit one of several provincially-run CLSC walk-in clinics, many of which operate after-hours.

When to go

Summer is idyllic here – Kids ride the metro for free and there’s an international festival running almost every single week. Winter gets extremely cold but the beauty of this part of the world is the clearly defined four seasons. You know what to pack for the whole family; the weather patterns are both reliable and quite beautiful; the colours make a day trip outside the city a must.

Currency

Canadian Dollar

Language

English and French