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Free things to do in Montréal this spring

There’s always something going on in Montréal whether the snow is falling or melting, and while many of those things come with a cost, all kinds of them don’t! We’ve got you covered for things to do in Montréal for free with friends, kids or on your own – from the first day of spring to the last. Free for the family Energetic kids can swing and make music at the same time on the 21 Swings art installation right downtown on De Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts starting April 11, and if you’re here on May 20 skip over to Parc Hydro-Québec for the Grand Pique-nique Urbain for parents-and-kids yoga and more free activities. Curious kids will love the hands-on Eurêka Festival, featuring over 100 thought-provoking demonstrations, workshops, performances, magic shows and more, outdoors in the Old Port, June 10 to 12. Delve into Québec’s varied history, art and culture with a museums pass, taking advantage of the fact that kids 12 and under have free admission at many of the city’s major museums and galleries, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (which hosts several workshops and tours for kids and where admission to the permanent collections… / Read More →

Four seasons on Montréal’s Lachine Canal

Find abundant nature, local history and physical activity all year along Montréal’s scenic Lachine Canal. From the Old Port to its western edge along the Saint-Lawrence River, the Lachine Canal travels across the city for 14.5-kilometres – walk, run, bike or ski along the once-industrial canal’s green banks or drive to festival sites, historical destinations and excellent restaurants to glimpse yet another side of Montréal. Winter While the canal’s path isn’t maintained from November 1 to mid-April, Montrealers make their own cross-country skiing and snowshoeing routes alongside the frozen waters. Bring your own gear or rent snowshoes and sleds at Fitz & Follwell near the foot of Mont-Royal Park, and skis and snowshoes at La Cordée in the Village and in Mile End, MEC or Poubelle du Ski. If you prefer your sports indoors, try rock climbing at one of the biggest and best climbing gym’s in Canada: Allez Up, canal-side on St-Patrick Street in Pointe-St-Charles. Last but not least, let’s eat: restaurants, cafés and bars proliferate in the blocks surrounding the canal in the neighbourhoods of Old Montréal, St-Henri, Griffintown, Little Burgundy, Pointe-St-Charles, Ville-Émard, Côte-St-Paul, LaSalle and Lachine. The bountiful Atwater Market is a must in St-Henri as are… / Read More →

Weekend at the Peel Basin: the boffo back-to-school event on the Lachine Canal

From September 12 to 13, under the glow of the Farine Five Roses sign, the Lachine Canal will host the second edition of a one-of-a-kind cultural event: the Weekend at the Peel Basin. Set against a backdrop that’s a combination urban, industrial and symbolic, this project by MASSIVart features music shows by up-and-coming artists and many outdoor activities. It’s for anyone and everyone, night owls, outdoor adventure seekers, creative types, foodies and young families. Here’s the lowdown on two days of intense entertainment. The Weekend at Peel Basin kicks off at 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 12, with a festive culinary get-together where hundreds of flavours will be featured—that’s right, street trucks! The menu for the evening looks something like this: sample delicious fare as you stroll the wharf, hang out and chill. Next, with the passing trains providing background acoustics, the Peel Basin will become an open-air club with High Klassified, The Posterz, KILOJULES and Clay and friends, that will have everyone dancing until 10:30 p.m. ($10 entry fee). You can buy a ticket at half-price on the presale ticket counter here. On Sunday, September 13, go kayaking on the canal, get out your fishing rod, try an urban… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Nick Farkas

As cofounder of festivals Osheaga, Ile Soniq, Heavy MTL and, starting this September, YUL EAT, Nick Farkas never stops. The only downside to his culturally immersed life is that sometimes, he’s too busy to enjoy other people’s events, like Just For Laughs and the Rogers Cup! This is how he experiences Montréal. Job: Vice President, Concert and Events, Evenko. Favourite pastime: Listening to music. How long have you been a Montrealer? Since 1970, when I was 5 years old. My parents came from Hamilton. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? Osheaga this weekend! The next three weekends of festivals, with Osheaga followed by Heavy Montréal and then Ile Soniq, are our busiest time in the year. What’s the next big thing you’re planning? We’re doing a new festival called YUL EAT in Old Montreal, near the Clock Tower, in the beginning of September, over Labour Day weekend. In the midst of doing our other three festivals and the 13,000 shows we do a year, the team decided it was time to do another festival. Tons of chefs, cooking classes, brunches, dinners, free concerts and more. What’s your favourite thing about organizing events? Definitely seeing the reaction… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: July 24 to 30

Fantasia Film Festival sets the tone this week, with cool and captivating screenings that provide the perfect interlude to long days in the sun. There’s also great art to be seen, hilarious comedy, and live music galore – this is Montréal, after all. Festival offerings MEG Montréal lights up our days and nights with hip hop, electro and indie rock at venues along the Main, on outdoor stages and on the infamous MEG Boat in the Old Port, all until August 2. For more inspiration, check out our great guide to the summer’s music festivals. The Just for Laughs comedy fest continues too until July 28, with chuckles courtesy of Dave Chappelle, Howie Mandel, Norm Macdonald, Neil Patrick Harris and Kevin Hart (for the first time in Montréal!) still to be had. Get your survival guide here. For more local comedy year-round, our guide to English comedy clubs is your starting point. Until August 1, Zoofest offers a counterpoint to Just For Laughs with a focus on Canadian comedians and some saucy burlesque in the mix. Fresh-air fun There’s no doubt, Montréal’s green spaces are an amazing place to park it. Catch the last couple of days of Twelfth Night… / Read More →

Montréal’s most scenic bike paths

[Updated on June 23, 2016] Rated “North America’s premiere biking city” by the Copenhagenize Report (2013), Montréal boasts 730 kilometres of bike paths. Itching to explore the city on two wheels? Here are our picks for Montréal’s prettiest urban routes, pedaled carefree and car-free. The Lachine Canal bike path Ranked third on Time magazine’s Top 10 Urban Biking Trips in 2009, the nearly 15-kilometre-long Lachine Canal bike whisks cyclists alongside a canal that is operated by modern locks, open to small pleasure craft and bordered by old 19th-century factories. Starting from the Old Port, up to the Atwater Market, until the Chemin du Musée, in Lachine, where a stop-off at Parc René-Lévesque is recommended, this pretty circuit winds you through natural spaces and industrial parks alike. On the way back, follow the Berges Ouest bike path along the St. Lawrence River to Verdun and LaSalle, where you can watch surfers or kayakers navigating the rapids. De Maisonneuve Boulevard bike path Ideal for exploring downtown by bike! If you start from the Grande Bibliothèque (near the Berri-UQAM métro station), you can ride past skyscrapers right up to the sweet boutiques and museums of downtown Montréal, and get a glimpse of Place des… / Read More →

On the run! Great jogging trails from amazing Montréal hotels

If your starting line is: The Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth Few hotels around the world can boast a Running Concierge, but then again, few hotel chains dedicate as much thought to fitness as Fairmont does. (Try their fitness-gear rental program – it’s so handy!) At the Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth in the heart of downtown Montréal, every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6:30 am between May and late September, the lobby fills with avid runners led by Vicki Findley, Convention & Catering Services Manager in addition to being the Running Concierge. She and her colleagues – all marathoners or triathletes – combine the best of both worlds: fitness and exploration of this gorgeous city and its assets. “As we run, we give information about the hotel and the city,” explains Findley. “It starts out chatty, but as we go and the breathing gets heavier, it tends to get a bit more quiet!” Among the three jogging routes offered, the most popular is the 7 km downtown/Plateau run. The group goes up McGill, then runs into the McGill University campus to the exit on Milton. They continue east on Milton, until St-Laurent; then go north up to Prince Arthur. From there,… / Read More →

Out and about with the family this spring and summer

Montreal in the hot months feels like the reason the sun exists – the city shines like a mirage full or music festivals, lively parks and revelers everywhere you turn. You don’t have to ask us twice to stay out of doors, and with these great activities, even the kids will agree. No TV show in the world compares to the fun to be had in the great outdoors…

H2O ADVENTURES ON THE LACHINE CANAL

In years past, when considering their options for a nautical experience, it would have been fairly safe to wager that most Montrealers wouldn’t have chosen a mostly landlocked, formerly industrial area of town at one time best known for its crumbling factories. But now, courtesy of H2O Adventures, situated on the tree-lined shore of the historic Lachine Canal, the safe bet for waterborne fun is indeed just west of Old Montreal and mere steps south of the bustling Atwater Market…

MONTREAL FOLK FESTIVAL ON THE CANAL 2012

The Montreal Folk Festival on the Canal is all about beautiful weather, beautiful tunes and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere – all of that is in full effect from June 14-17 as the Folk Fest celebrates its fifth year with an intimate show from folk legend Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) and plenty of bands on the free-admission, Lachine canal-side outdoor stage too.