It was barely into December and home improvements chains and big box stores were already sold out of seasonal decorations. My early morning shopping trip to find a string of lights yielded bare shelves and empty aisles. Where had all the reindeer inflatables and singing Disney characters scampered off to?
It turns out that Montrealers are really into the holiday spirit this year.
From houses dripping with multicoloured icicles and LED light shows, to neighbours seemingly competing for the largest gingerbread man blowup; Montreal is aglow this season as we all try to bring some cheer to cold and dark pandemic nights.
Though almost every street and neighbourhood has an impressive house to check out, Montreal Families readers shared some of their favourites in an informal Facebook poll. We also perused community groups, chatted with friends, and did some intense Google-ing to find some of the biggest and brightest Christmas light displays that are worth travelling to see.
So grab some treats (hot chocolate anyone?), pack the kids in the car, and set out to view (free!) dazzling delights. Belting out holiday tunes while you tour around is optional.
The West Island
Take a walk along Churchill St. and spot the house with the 20+ blow ups. Impressive!
See area map
Beaconsfield Christmas Projected Show
Erwan Amireche has created a spectacular light show projected onto the front of his home in hopes of bringing joy to the neighbourhood. “We know these times are tough for many, and we hope our show can bring our neighbours some happiness,” says Erwan’s wife Melissa Lagacé. Spectators can stay warm in their cars and listen to the show’s music by tuning in to 88.3FM. The show can be seen between 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Dec. 17 to 23. 301 Allée Acadia, Beaconsfield, H9W 2K1
“There are a couple really good homes with loads of inflatables and lights on Baderwood Rd. in D.D.O,” says Danya Rielly
“Leslie St. in D.D.O. It’s unbelievable. They did a super job at Halloween too. Absolutely amazing,” says Wendy Schaffer-Berenbaum
Katie Parent adds that Trottier Road in D.D.O. has lots of houses with great lights.
Clément Ave. (near Torrence) in Dorval North. Tune your radio to 90.7FM to bop along with the festive tunes while watching the light show. Great fun for little ones! On every night from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Christmas (and until 11 p.m. on Dec. 24)
Lights on Boischatel – This Christmas light display has both computerized and traditional lights synchronized to music that’s broadcast on 87.9 FM. The show runs nightly in December starting at 6 p.m. Please be mindful of the neighbours by staying in your car and keeping the volume at a reasonable level. Donations are being collected for the West Island Citizen Advocacy group and can be left in the Santa mailbox. 15531 Boischatel, Pierrefonds-Roxboro, H9H 1Y7
Danya Rielly mentions that Des Arbres St. (corner Perron) in Pierrefonds is another great spot.
Broadview Ave. between Braebrook and Saint- Louis
Don’t forget your letters for Santa, because there’s a beautifully decorated mailbox at this house where you can drop them off. Photo ops are available in the gorgeous period sled, and (motion-activated) music and projected movies round out the experience.
“There are two amazing houses in the Mile End on Jeanne-Mance between Laurier and Fairmont,” says Christine Laroche.
“Michel-Ange Rd. from Parc Francois-Perrault to Jean Talon E, in St-Michel. All the neighbours have joined in. It’s really pretty,” adds Aaron Miechkota
A Very Verdun Christmas\ Noël à Verdun – Check out this map created by David Loutfi to find some of the best lights in Verdun.
Vaudreuil/Saint-Lazare/Ile Perrot areas
Terrace-Vaudreuil Lakeside Lights – “There’s a music and lights show with an amazingly decorated house and adjacent park, with props for kids to take pictures. So it’s perfect for daytime visits as well as evening!” says Nadia Goyette. Tune into 87.9FM for the nighttime music. #2 3e Terrasse-Vaudreuil Boulevard, J7V 5N6
Johnson Family Light Show – More than 35,000 Christmas lights on 125 channels are all synchronized to music that you can listen to on 89.5FM. The Johnson family started their light show (then in Vaudreuil) in 2006 in hopes of showing their children “a way to give back to the community and bring families together for a moment during the hectic holiday season.” Shows run nightly starting at 5 p.m. 2622 Yearling, Saint-Lazare, J7T 2A1
1783 Fawcett, Saint-Lazare, J7T 2G3 – This home features Santa’s workshop, lights (of course), inflatables, and giant candies that’ll delight the little ones.
2553 Place du Gevrey, Saint-Lazare, J7T 2C1 – Inflatables, life-size Santa, and tons of lights!
Nadia Goyette is also a fan of a house on Olympique St. (corner Ménard) in Pincourt. “Amazingly and magically decorated!!!!”
Search through the addresses on the Illuminated Christmas Vaudreuil-Soulanges map (creator unknown) to find more decorated houses near you.
Quite a few readers say a trip to Choisy St. corner St-Zotique in St. Leonard is a must. You can peak through the windows of Santa’s home, take in the dazzling lights, and wave hi to the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh.
48 Place Calais, Candiac, J5R 4K6 – More than 13,000 lights, Santa’s sleigh and all and his reindeer, illuminated angel and igloos!
5090 Forester, Saint-Hubert, J3Y 1W8 – Inflatables and lights galore!
5015 Westley Blvd., Saint-Hubert, J3Y 2T5 – Watch the 10-minute sound and light show every night starting at 7 p.m. from Sundays to Thursdays.
266 Jeannette, LeMoyne, J4R 2C5 – Decorated from the ground to the roof!
The town of Saint-Philippe has designed a special holiday promenade on the footbridge over the Saint-Jacques river. The illuminated bridge is between Paul-Chartrand Road and José Road and is accessible free of charge every evening until January 7, 2021.
In La Prairie you can visit the illuminated Christmas Village and admire projected images on église La Nativité de la Sainte-Vierge located opposite the Vieux-Fort path. On until January 17, 2021 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. every evening.
74 Turcot, Saint-Constant, J5A 2S2 – With its lights and animations that change to the rhythm of the music broadcast on 95.5 FM, the house lights up the entire neighbourhood. From 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Turn off your car lights for the full effect.
For more decorated houses in the Montérégie region, you can search through this online map (creator unknown)
Labelle en Lumières – Tune your radio to 88.1FM for synchronized music while watching the light show. There are four showings each evening, starting at 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 1076 Royale Rd, Saint-Jérôme, J5L 2P3
Even more dazzling lights!
Created by Sarah Jolicoeur, the Sparkling Christmas project allows homeowners to upload their address and info, and is a spot for citizens to find houses to visit.
If you’re around Old Montreal, Place des Arts, or Peel St., you can find even more lights sure to bring a sparkle to your eye.
Tips for a stress-free visit
If you decide to embark on a holiday lights tour, make sure to bring along your masks, hand sanitizer, and a dose of patience. Chances are you won’t be the only spectators and some times are more popular for families with small children.
If viewing from your car (which is recommended), turn off your engine and lights, and of course respect people’s private property. And as always, please keep all public health rules and restrictions in mind while planning your visits.
Did we miss an impressive holiday display? Let us know in the comments!