Cult MTL’s May Letter From the Editor

“Stay strong through May, Montreal. We’ll be back in print in June with the Best of MTL.”

May is when we usually publish our Best of MTL issue. Under normal circumstances, voting in the readers poll would have ended in mid-April, the results tabulated the following week, the quotes and photos from some of the winners taken as April drew to a close. Clearly 2020 has not presented us with normal circumstances. Voting in the poll has been extended (till midnight on Sunday, May 10); the special issue postponed.

As with our April issue, this one is online-only, featuring complimentary advertising that we offered to our clients. Up to 90 per cent of our distribution locations remain closed, as do so many of the businesses that will make the Best of MTL Top 5 and Top 10 lists. The whole point of the Best of MTL is to promote the great things about Montreal, which includes its shops, bars, clubs, restaurants, salons, studios, museums, galleries and theatres. And while we now know that retail in Montreal is tentatively set to reopen on May 25, the plan for cultural spaces, restaurants and other service-oriented businesses — hair salons, spas, massage, tattoo etc — is unknown. 

While putting out the Best of MTL issue on schedule might have been a welcome distraction for readers in lockdown, we feel that this is not the right time. We decided to save the announcement of the results as fanfare for local businesses in the June issue, after the city’s gradual reopening begins.

In the meantime, presenting a “normal” May issue allows us to feature one of Montreal’s best bands, the Dears, on the cover for the first time. We’re also bringing you a feature interview with Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, reports about local designers making “isolation garb” as well as the trendy accessory of the moment (masks) and some great think pieces about everything from grief to the restaurant industry to city life and the ramifications of the pandemic in the world of architecture, along with our regular columns.

Stay strong through May, Montreal. We’ll be back in print in June with the Best of MTL. ■

Read the May issue here.