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places open on thanksgiving monday?

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Just wondering which places are open on thanksgiving, in regards to cafes and the popular (amongst chowhounders) cheap eats around guy concordia area (i.e. boustans, the fauborg etc) i tried to see if art java was open, but there isn't any info about it online that i could find.

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  1. Canadian Thanksgiving is not a big holiday in Quebec. As a result, most places that are normally open on Mondays will be open on October 12, including, most likely, the big bistros and, most certainly, every Asian place. One popular hangout that, exceptionally, won't is Café Myriade, though that's more because some of the staff will be at the National Barista Championship than because it's a holiday. As always, wherever you decide to go, you're best off calling before making a special trip.

    7 Replies
    1. re: carswell

      thanks carswell! its my first thanksgiving here in montreal, so don't know too much about how its celebrated here. back in the US, its probably one of the most biggest holidays of the year!

      1. re: sharkbait88

        Many offices, banks, post office, etc. are closed and it indeed is celebrated. I am a new arrival and was just out shopping for Thanksgiving. I casually asked in my lovely IGA (St. Lazare) if it was celebrated and I got very strange looks and some wonderful stories,"but of course we do, I am cooking for 25 people...etc., I soon had a gathering and an invitation to dinner!! Though the menus varied it sounded wonderful. I noticed that every grocery store flyer I received today did feature Thanksgiving specials.
        What I miss from the prairies are Fall/Fowl suppers, just wonderful times in nearly every small town, village, city. I stand to be corrected but there don't seem to be similar kind of community "suppers" here, pity.

        1. re: eatwell

          Thanksgiving/Action de grâce is a statutory holiday in Canada, so all government offices, post offices and banks are closed. On the other hand, many retail stores, including government-run SAQ outlets, are open during regular business hours. In that way, if no other, it's not an important holiday like, say, Christmas, New Year's or even La Fête nationale (aka St. Jean Baptiste day).

          One might even argue that, in Quebec, Thanksgiving is to Christmas as Canada Day is to La Fête nationale in that a significant percentage of Quebecers pay little attention to Thanksgiving/Canada Day and those who do tend to be anglophone and/or live close to the Ontario border (e.g. in St-Lazare). Yes, turkey and cranberry sales go up in the days before the holiday, but I bet it's not even half as much as they do in Manitoba or Nova Scotia.

          None of my francophone friends or colleagues make a traditional turkey dinner, and only a very few of my anglo friends do (the last time I was invited to a Thanksgiving dinner was probably 20 years ago). Very few restaurants acknowledge the holiday, nor are there many church, social club or community organization "turkey and all the trimmings" banquets, especially outside the anglo enclaves. Though some must exist, I don't recall ever hearing of a Quebecer who made a special trip, who travelled a long distance, to be with his/her family specifically for Action de grâce.

          Compare that with the States, where the Thanksgiving holiday is the busiest travel period of the year, where every grocery store and many others are festooned with Thanksgiving decorations, where some people deck their houses and yards with Thanksgiving lights and geegaws, where the retail sector basically shuts down for the day, where there are mega day-after-Thanksgiving sales, where many restaurants feature special menus, where every school cafeteria offers Thanksgiving fare, where every homeless shelter and food bank makes sure its patrons gets turkey and stuffing, etc., compare that to Quebec -- especially the francophone heartland -- and you can't but conclude that Action de grâce is a relatively low-key affair here.

          1. re: carswell

            "None of my francophone friends or colleagues make a traditional turkey dinner, and only a very few of my anglo friends do... I don't recall ever hearing of a Quebecer who made a special trip, who travelled a long distance, to be with his/her family specifically for Action de grâce."

            I'll second that. It's a day off work, that's all. No bigger deal than the late May long weekend throughout Canada (or, I dunno, President's Day for the States?).

            otoh, francophone Quebeckers basically transfer it, all-out American style, to New Year's Day (aka Noel part 2). They have a huge feast, they often travel to visit extended family that stayed in their end of the province for Christmas and exchange gifts with them, etc. (I think that's the tradition in most of Europe too).

            1. re: Shattered

              It is my favorite holiday as it is a time to celebrate the harvest, abundance and give thanks. I cook big all day. Tons of veg and fall flavours like pumpkin soup, sausage sage stuffing, I like to reflect on the year while I spend time alone in the kitchen.

        2. re: sharkbait88

          Canadian Thanksgiving is probably the biggest holiday of the year down there? And here I thought you all figured we couldn't even roast a turkey because our igloos would collapse ;)

          1. re: afoodyear

            I don't know anyone, francophone, anglophone or allophone, here in Montréal who celebrates Thanksgiving, though some people seem to. It is a good time of year to have a supper based on harvest and Indigenous foods as it is cold enough to have the oven going but there is still lots of lovely local produce.

            Indeed the biggest period for holiday travel is "les Fêtes", the Christmas/New Year's holiday period. Traditionally New Year's was the major celebration among francophone Quebecers, and also among Highland Scots, by the way, and no doubt several other peoples. Christmas was liturgical.

      2. Yeah, it's a quebecois thing not to notice thanksgiving. My husband even insisted that NO ONE in Canada celebrates thanksgiving. Living in Vancouver for a couple of years showed him that he was wrong about that. This year, he will be working on Monday, and i will be making a Turkey to share with my 3 year old son. How much Turkey do you think a 3 year old could eat? Maybe i should just roast a few quail birds.