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Things to do in Montréal: July 1 to 7

Music and more at Jazz Fest The Montréal International Jazz Festival takes over the Quartier des Spectacles in downtown Montréal with hundreds of outdoor and indoor shows, numerous food and drink options, a kids’ activity zone and more to July 9 – let our Survival Guide to the Jazz Fest and our list of must-see concerts lead the way through the fest’s packed program. This week’s music spans from legends Taj Mahal, Brian Wilson, Kool & The Gang and Oliver Jones to Rufus Wainwright’s operatic show, the incomparable Lauryn Hill, folk hero Ian Kelly,  Jireh Gospel Choir, blues guitarist David Gogo, Jamie Cullum, Orlando Julius & The Afrosoundz, Big Bad VooDoo Daddy and so many more. On top of all that, take a jazz-focused tour on foot or by boat during the festival, including a walking tour on the city’s history of jazz from the 1920s to present day, July 1-3 and 9-10 starting at noon. See even more of the city sights on a guided tour, public art tours and guided bike tours. For the full Montréal festivals scoop, see our 2016 summer festival guide and list of summer music festivals. Bright and beautiful Celebrate Canada Day on July 1… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 24 to 30

The city heats up with a bang at the massive Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations this Friday and Saturday, keeps sizzling with great food and drink at outdoor markets everywhere, and stays hot as the Montréal International Jazz Festival opens on Thursday. Outdoor celebrations The whole city celebrates Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, also known as Fête National, on June 24 – and on June 23 too! Find live music, food and general festivities at Place des Festivals, Jardins Gamelin and along St-Denis Street in the Quartier des Spectacles, at the Olympic Park and in every neighbourhood including at the Marché des Possibles in Mile End – plus the annual parade along Sainte-Catherine Street downtown starting at 1 pm on June 24. In the Old Port of Montréal, ride the zipline, climb on the rope structures of Voiles en Voiles, and find your way through the SOS Labyrinthe. At the foot of the Jacques-Cartier bridge you’ll find Marché du Village au Pied-du-Courant, featuring free music events, an outdoor bar, food trucks and more all summer. The Botanical Garden continues its outdoor arts series with live music on the weekend, this Sunday with Ingrid St-Pierre. When night falls in Old Montréal, the building’s facades light up with the 20… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 17 to 23

The warm days and nights of Montréal’s festival season are upon us – hear a world of music for free downtown, in the Old Port and by the Lachine Canal, visit outdoor markets in happening neighbourhoods, see murals as they’re being painted, and as always, eat great food. Festivals for all From pop to hip hop, folk to rock, music from Québec, France, Belgium, Mali and more French-speaking countries lights up the stages of Les FrancoFolies to June 18 – catch free outdoor shows, events for kids, and more at Place des Festivals. See some of best street art  in the county at MURAL Festival, closing St-Laurent Boulevard to traffic from Sherbrooke to Mont Royal to June 19 for live painting, music and awesome parties – plus some fascinating talks with entrepreneurs and artists. You won’t go hungry on St-Laurent Boulevard either – not only do restaurant terraces stretch out into the road, but BBQ festival  Grill St-Laurent pairs with MURAL on June 17.Have a fun, family-friendly time at the Montréal Folk Festival on the Canal – it starts June 15 with indoor shows by John McEuen and more artists, including a tribute to the Grateful Dead on June 16, followed… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 10 to 16

Fast cars, fun parties, great music, excellent food: it’s June in Montréal, that’s for sure. Music festivals dominate the entertainment field this week, from French pop to classical Baroque, loudly rivalled by F1 Grand Prix events plus a beer festival, a science fest, a celebration of street art, and more. Start your engines Fast, flashy and over the top, the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada returns this weekend with a race at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve near Parc Jean-Drapeau, plus meet-ups with star drivers, outdoor entertainment and too many parties to count in downtown Montréal. The biggest parties happen outdoors: at the Crescent Street Canadian Grand Prix Festival, the Peel Formula event a couple of blocks over, F1 Old Montréal activities and  Little Italy Racing Weekend celebrations, late-night electro dance parties at New City Gas  and more – cars, drivers, beautiful people, music, food and drink, what else could an F1 fan ask for? Outdoor entertainment for all ages All those outdoor stages at Place des Festivals downtown light up with new and legendary music stars from Québec, France, Belgium, Mali and other French-speaking countries for the Les FrancoFolies festival, ongoing to June 18 – plus there’s food and drink,… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 3 to 9

The start of June in Montréal means the streets and parks are officially filled with festival music and performances of all kinds – plus a city-wide family-friendly bike ride this weekend –  while public urban gardens bloom and chefs serve up dishes fit for hot days. Outdoor entertainment Walk the length of Sainte-Catherine Street from designer and brand name retail shopping downtown all the way to the redesigned Jardins Gamelin near Berri-UQAM metro station in the Quartier des Spectacles, where food, drink and entertainment awaits – on June 6, hear the Montréal Gospel Choir sing at 7 pm. Walk a little further and you’ll find yourself under a pink canopy in the Gay Village. The Montréal Botanical Garden is in full bloom this week – walk its paths to discover a variety of indigenous, foreign and rare plants, flowers and trees. The annual Mont-Royal Avenue street fair, June 2-5 in the Plateau neighbourhood, closes part of bustling Mont-Royal Avenue to traffic and fills the street with music, art, food, pop-up shopping, mini golf, a giant slide and more. Dance and lounge to electronic music, with food and drink in hand, at MUTEK’s outdoor stage at Place des Festivals – on… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 20 to 26

Outdoor life in Montréal heats up this week with the arrival of festivals and more activities – many of them free! – from multimedia projections on Old Montréal buildings to urban art by the river and live music and dance downtown. Sunny days, bright nights A new urban multimedia experience awaits visitors in Old Montréal and the Old Port: the 20 poetic and playful tableaux of Cité Mémoire are projected on the walls, in the alleys, on the ground and in the trees of the historic quarter, featuring images, dialogue and music that reveal some of the city’s most fascinating history. Also in the Old Port, the must-see Chromatic festival of urban art and music rocks under the high ceilings of Hangar 16, May 20-22, with free art exhibitions, interactive installations and live music during the day – the space transforms into a club at night. Under the big top nearby, Cirque du Soleil’s newest artistic and acrobatic LUZIA, inspired by the culture of Mexico, thrills to July 17. In Griffintown/Little Burgundy, one-of-a-kind creative business event C2 Montréal takes over the Arsenal gallery space May 24-26. Over in the Quartier des Spectacles, go on a guided walking tour of public… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal May 13 to 19

We’re already feeling the summer hype here in Montréal this week, with cutting-edge outdoor entertainment, farmers’ markets, walking tours and more fun under the sun, while our indoor venues light up with fabulous food and fashion, dynamic circus and drama, inspiring art and live music. Open-air entertainment The Quartier des Spectacles’ Jardins Gamelin officially opens for the season, offering a park-like atmosphere, delicious food (some from gourmet food trucks) and free entertainment in the heart of downtown near Berri-UQAM metro station. Take a picturesque guided walking tour of the Quartier des Spectacles – see public art, learn some of the city’s history, and stroll by and take a swing on interactive musical art installation 21 Swings, located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts. Walk around the city’s public markets, full of colourful fruits and veg, local meats and cheeses, full meals and delicious desserts. One step away from being outdoors, the must-see Chromatic festival of urban art and music kicks off on May 19 under the high ceilings of Hangar 16 in the Old Port, with art exhibitions, interactive installations and Afrobeat electro music by Pierre Kwenders. And under the big top nearby, see Cirque du Soleil’s newest… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 6 to 12

Mothers make the world go ‘round, and Montréal knows it – the city is set to celebrate all moms this weekend, whether at brunch or the spa, the garden or craft fairs, cocktail bars or the beer fest. There’s also Cirque du Soleil’s newest show for the whole family, a big food truck event, and evening entertainment, from symphony orchestras and ballet to musicals and  electro dance nights. Mothers’ Day Treat Moms to something special in Montréal this weekend. Numerous restaurants offer a Mother’s Day special Sunday brunch menus: the Ritz-Carlton hosts brunch and a live jazz band, while 400 Coups, Restaurant Tandem, Restaurant Helena, Les Cavistes, Chez Alexandre and Industria Brasserie Italienne celebrate mothers with multi-course prix-fixe meals. Brunch favourites Tapas 24, Mercuri, Nolana and Madre also celebrate the day with great food and service, as do many more restaurants around the city. Our guide to living in the lap of luxury in Montréal details where to shop for locally designed and internationally desired fashion, and find high-class food and drink to go with it – plus the most relaxing spas around. If you’re coming to the city with kids, look into staying at a family-friendly hotel and wonder… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 29 to May 5

Montréal puts some spring in everyone’s step this week with Cirque du Soleil’s newest show in the Old Port, food trucks out and about, spring fashions for sale, and nighttime entertainment from ballet and contemporary dance to film and theatre, classical music, indie rock and metal. Walk and roam See the springtime sights at a slower pace by taking a walk: take the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal past museums, restaurants and shops; head downtown to try your hand at making music on art installation 21 Swings, located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts; or take the metro east to the Space for Life to walk around the blooming Botanical Garden or the Biodôme, currently celebrating Bird Fest. Indoors, there’s plenty of ground to cover at the Montréal Science Centre and Pointe-à-Callière archaeology museum. See Minor League Soccer team the Montréal Impact on the pitch with the Colorado Rapids at Saputo Stadium on April 30. And find more places to go in our free things to do in Montréal guide, whether this is your first time here or your tenth. Spring shopping Find fashion, beauty and health products, food items, travel ideas and more at over 300 exhibitors… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 22 to 28

The snow is gone and the sun is out – it’s perfect walking weather! Explore all kinds of art in the Old Port and downtown, make your way to the Cirque du Soleil big top, hunt down the city’s most legendary restaurants, and spend a night on the town with theatre, dance and live music shows. Get outside  The spring weather calls out for outdoor time: Take a sight-seeing stroll with our guide to walks in Old Montréal to see all the sights and historical locales of the old city and find the best restaurants and cafés. Or head downtown for a musical ride on 21 Swings, an interactive and community-minded musical instrument, art installation and colourful swing set all in one, located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts. After dark, the building facades in the Quartier des Spectacles see 9x [MTL] Video Projections, colourful photomontages of iconic people, places and events in Montréal. Duck inside the Botanical Garden’s main exhibition greenhouse at the Space for Life, where the Butterflies Go Free event has local butterflies venturing outdoors and tropical butterflies and caterpillars inside until April 24. Even if you’re indoors, kids can play and learn at the… / Read More →