St. Boniface is hosting it's Marché de Noël this weekend.
I was there early in the afternoon so things hadn't quite kicked off yet but some of the stands were open selling everything from food to crafts. Inside, in empty retail on the main floor of Place Joseph Royal, there was free hot chocolate and the stage was being set up for entertainment later in the day. There were also sleigh rides to The Forks (which continue throughout December).
Old St. B. is odd in that, unlike many retail avenues like Corydon that use the summer to survive a lean winter, Old St. B does the opposite. Earlier in the year there were a few places closed on Provencher and things looked a bit uncertain. It was, however, just taking a breather for the winter and everything is now open again. I know someone who owns a business there and he, at first, thought that walk in traffic was going to be low given his experience over the summer but, as the cold weather started, the foot traffic has increased a great deal.
Good on Old St. B. to add the market and even further embrace winter as it's season. With the Festival du Voyageur, Journée Louis Riel being the only winter holiday weekend, and the geographic tie-in to The Forks and all of it's winter activities, it's really the place to be when the temperature dips.
This is St. Boniface's 100th year, which is the reason so much has been happening there this year. I hope that the market idea continues on as a December tradition.