Here’s 17+ things to do in Montréal as the temperature rises this summer!
You’ve started checking the humidity index instead of the windchill factor. Your favourite part of the day is hopping on your bike. You’ve invested in some super-low ankle socks. You’ve even attended a BBQ or two… only one thing is possible: IT’S SUMMER!! Montrealers are a little bonkers for their 3 months of sun, which means the schedule is full of so many festivals, events, and activities. Where do you even begin? Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you’ll want to take advantage of this summer madness. Check out our list of the best things to do in Montreal this summer!
17. Check out Montreal’s wine bar scene
With a love of wine bars sweeping the city, locals’ palettes have become as refined as a sommelier’s… and here’s the intel: natural wines are the hot new thing. Check out these amazing bars and restaurants for plentiful wine options, including chemical-free indulgences, and delicious dinners to boot.
First of all, a new venture from the team behind Joe Beef, but without the attitude. The menu is modest and focuses on flavour instead of presentation, but the wine list, full of delicious natural wines, is really what has people’s hearts. The don’t take reservations so come early in the evening, and you’ll have the best chance of skipping the line. vinmonlapin.com
This wine bar is located in the heart of the Plateau, Montreal’s most party-friendly area. They have an expansive list of international wines as well as, beer, cocktails, and delicious food. There’s something for everyone at this vibrant joint. rougegorge.ca
Alma is a fresh new Outremont wine bar that’s destined to be a go-to for any occasion. Serving expertly selected Catalonian wines, seafood, local vegetables and fresh pasta, Alma’s terrace will surely be a hot spot this summer. instagram.com/alma.mtl
Immaculately designed and stylish, Bar St-Denis is a brand new venture that’s made its home in Petite Patrie. By combining the culinary finesse of a fine dining restaurant and the vibrant ambiance of a neighbourhood bar, it’s sure to be a staple of the wine scene for years to come. barstdenis.com
This vibrant and eclectic space is also located in the heart of the Plateau, right on its main artery – Saint Laurent Boulevard. Majestique is known for its seafood dishes, oysters, and a specialty hot dog that’s a foot long. Stop by any night of the week for a festive atmosphere and great wines. restobarmajestique.com
16. Discover the city and amuse your tastebuds on a food tour
Food tours are an increasingly popular way to get to know a city, and no one’s wondering why. In only 3 hours, a food tour goes all out, taking you to a variety of food stops and many historical landmarks, satisfying not only the foodies in your group but also the culture buffs. Discover the iconic neighbourhoods of Mile End and Old Montreal in the most delicious way, all while you meet new people. Food tours make a great day out in the summer for locals and tourists alike.
Have a quick look at our “Vlog” about Mile-End’s Best Restaurants and Things to do!
15. Experience something completely new at The PY1 Pyramid
There’s no shortage of creative potential in Montreal, and this project from Guy Laliberté, the man behind Cirque du Soleil, and his new multimedia company Lune Rouge Entertainment, has harnessed it to create an immersive venue and multimedia show Through the Echoes. The experience is undoubtedly like nothing you’ve seen before. Open on June 1, 2019 the PY1 Pyramid combines the illusory power of laser projectors, moving set pieces, LED light fixtures, a massive screen and surround-sound speakers to center the audience within a story that spans the creation of the universe to the present, and beyond. The multi-media sensations experienced in this entirely immersive show will shape how you think of art, music and technology forever. py1.co
14. Take it easy on a beautiful terrace
Summer in Montreal is not complete without a nice cold beer on a terrace. These are our top picks for summer 2019!
La SAT Terrasse
La Société des Arts Technologiques is always hosting innovative and exciting events and workshops on art and technology. Their in-house restaurant Foodlab also boasts unique food, great music and a rooftop terrace near the Quartier des Specacles. sat.qc.ca
A great place if you like craft beer and good food, they import a wide selection of bottled beers that you can’t find anywhere else in the city that you can order from their incredibly extensive Beer Bible, or pick from one of the 40+ beers they have on tap. saintbock.com
This place is a classic! The rooftop terrace offers the best view of the Old Montreal, putting you eye-to-eye with architectural icons such as the Notre-Dame Basilica as well as some delicious summery drinks and dishes. terrassenelligan.com
For the younger crowd who enjoy “off the beaten path” venues, Alexandraplatz is a summer exclusive. It’s a backyard beer garden in Mile-Ex, named after a Berlin experiment in socialist urban aesthetics – and that’s all you need to know. alexandraplatzbar.com
13. Celebrate your Sunday morning with brunch
Sure, you can brunch during winter. But can you head to the park after to spend your food coma in the grass? Can you request a seat on the terrace? Nope and nope. Enjoy your summer Sundays brunching with your favourite people at one (or all?) of these brunch spots.
Everyone is raving about the brewpub, restaurant, and hot weekend brunch spot, all in one. You can chill on their patio, or escape the busy streets in their newly renovated interior, while sampling some delicious creations. reservoirbrasseur.com
Un Po’ Di Piu
Somewhere between a cafe and a fine dining restaurant, Un Po’ Di Piu crafts Italian bistro-inspired fare with an attention to detail that is carried throughout the entire immaculately styled space. As a place to slow down and savour, it’s the perfect new compliment to its Old Port waterfront location. caffeunpodipiu.com
Another stunning space adorning the streets of Old Montreal, Dandy is a restaurant with and old-school name that is undeniably of the moment. Operated by industry insiders behind other famed Montreal restaurants, this daytime-oriented spot expertly delivers on flavour, style, and above all, experience. dandymtl.com
12. See the world in a new way at Montreal’s art galleries
Montreal is known for it’s vibrant arts scene, so these internationally renowned museums at the top of their game are a true feast for the eyes.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The museum’s a stunning permanent collection of classic and modern visual art is free for everyone under 30, but their temporary exhibitions are also a spectacle to behold. Open this summer until Sept 8, 2019, Thierry Mugler: Couturissime is a world-first showcase of Mugler’s work as a couturier, director, photographer and perfume, known most recently as the artist behind Kim Kardashian’s met gala dress, and other iconic celebrity fashions. See his dazzling and inventive world of alien glamour in person and captured by some of the globe’s most renowned photographers. mbam.qc.ca/en
Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal
Montreal’s biggest contemporary art museum, the MAC, has quite the reputation for engaging and exciting work from today’s artists, which involves many interactive and immersive exhibits. This summer, Rebecca Belmore’s Facing the Monumental will be her biggest retrospective yet, spanning the prominent Canadian artist’s 30 year career. Open June 20, 2019, Belmore’s work uses interdisciplinary approaches to sculpture, performance, photography and video to engage viewers with an Indigenous perspective on questions and conflicts that affect Canada today. macm.org/en
11. Discover Montreal’s craft beer scene
What better way to get to know a neighbourhood and taste the city’s amazing brews, than to take a beer tour? You’ll get to try a selection of some of the most creative and delicious beers out there, sample food pairings at 3 unique brewpubs, and laugh heartily with both old friends and new acquaintances. Let the tour be your guide to the ins and outs of local beer on a walking tour of the area. As you discover the Quartier Latin’s best brews, which you’ll find it’s much more fun than it is Latin.
Learn more about the Montreal Brewpub Experience Craft Beer Tour
10. Grab lunch at the new Crew Café inside a former 1920’s bank
When Crew was looking for a new office space, they probably didn’t plan on A) opening up one of the city’s most stunning cafés, and B) taking over an old 1920’s bank. But they did, and Old Montreal now has a force to be reckoned with. Not only is its design haunting and antique, but the minds behind the menu are ex-Pied de Cochon chefs, making for some seriously delicious nosh. Come take advantage of this freelancer’s haven (coffee, wifi, and outlets) or make it your next impress-a-date-spot. Pro tip: meeting rooms and various seating options are available with a coworking space membership. crewcollectivecafe.com
9. Tourist it up at these outdoor attractions
Being a tourist might not be the coolest thing, but there’s a reason visitors flock to these destinations, so whether you’re really a visitor doing a “best-of” tour of the city, a local trying to get out of your bubble, or looking for a fun summer activity for the whole family, these spots won’t let you down. For more recommendations here’s 20+ Amazing Montreal Tourist Attractions that Aren’t Just for Tourists!
Montreal Botanical Garden
Besides the mountain, which you should definitely climb for a stunning view over the city, the Botanical Garden is one of the biggest parks on the island, full of specialty gardens and greenhouses. Make sure you don’t miss the enchanting Bonsai garden and come face-to-face with some creepy-crawlies at the Insectarium. espacepourlavie.ca/jardin-botanique
This is so much more than a park – spanning two islands it’s packed full of adventure at every turn. Jean-Drapeau is home to La Ronde amusement park, an abundance of water sports, a large aquatic complex and swimming pool, the Biosphere (not to be confused with the Biodome), and Montreal’s notorious Osheaga music festival, which runs from Aug 2nd to 4th this summer. parcjeandrapeau.com
8. Make the most of festival season
Montreal is known for its vast and varied festival scene, and in the summer it practically feels a new one is popping up every weekend. No matter what kind of programming you’re interested in, there’s sure to be a festival in town that inspires you.
Francos de Montreal
Running from June 14th to 22nd, The Francos de Montreal are always an exciting kickoff to the summer. The schedule boasts over 250 shows including 180 free outdoor concerts, making this the biggest music festival in the French-speaking world. It features over 1,000 French-language musicians from all over the world who perform a wide variety of musical genres such as rock, pop, hip-hop, folk, punk, and many others. francosmontreal.com
International Jazz Festival
From June 27 to July 6, Montreal becomes a jazz lover’s paradise as it hosts a huge range of Jazz artists from popular veterans to budding musicians. A major part of Montreal’s downtown core is closed to traffic for ten days, making it the perfect time to explore the city, its venues and take advantage of free outdoor shows, too. montrealjazzfest.com
Montreal Complètement Cirque
A completely unique festival experience, Montreal Complètement Cirque is a North American first. The festival takes the city’s streets, parks and venues, infusing them with striking circus performances for 11 mind-bending days. From July 4th to 14th, Montrealers and visitors alike will be dazzled by colourful, limit-defying acts, and be transported to surreal worlds as they enjoy the artistry of the top circus performers from around the globe. montrealcompletementcirque.com
Use promocode TOHUCORPO19 to get 20% off any shows when you book on their website.
Just for Laughs
Each summer, Montreal hosts the largest international comedy festival in the world. Founded in 1983, the Just For Laughs lineup always showcases the who’s who of stand-up. While tickets to the major galas can be more expensive, there are many more affordable shows that are sure to make you laugh about even the edgiest of subjects. hahaha.com/en/montreal-festival
7. Get moving on a bike ride along the canal
With Bixi bike stands all over, it’s never been easier to tour the city on two wheels. Montreal has a good network of bike lanes running through downtown and plenty of cyclists to use them. A favourite route for a casual cycle, away from cars, is the boardwalk along the water down by the Lachine Canal. The route runs from Old Port to the Atwater Market and beyond all the way to Parc René-Lévesque. Along the way it passes some public art and of the city’s iconic industrial architecture.
6. Rock out to some local musical talent
The indie music scene in this city is insane! From college kids experimenting with their sound to established artists with an international reputation, from jazz to punk, you’ll be sure to find some local talent to fall in love with at these venues any night of the week.
Bar Le “Ritz” PDB
PDB stands for “punks don’t bend,” and they don’t settle for sub par venues either. After taking over from another business, the space was re-done a few years back and is now a go-to venue for both local and visiting acts of all genres. Although there’s almost always a show at the Mile-Ex romp, if there isn’t one it functions as a regular bar any night of the week. barleritzpdb.com
Casa del Popolo
A cafe, gallery, bar and venue all in one. With the front room dedicated to chilling and drinking, a door in the back takes you through a wavy black and white striped hallway to the concert space, equipped with it own bar. It features some of the coolest bands Montreal has to offer along with its sister venues La Salla Rossa and La Vitrola. casadelpopolo.com/en
L’Esco is a Saint Denis hotspot to catch an underground show and see musical acts beyond the pop culture radar. It’s a go-to destination for any lover of eclectic sounds, oldies that blast from the past and rock n’ roll. This cozy venue will keep the drinks flowing and your feet swinging as you dance all night long. facebook.com/lescomontreal
5. Make the most of these pop up coworking spaces
Over the last few summers, Aire Commune has made a splash in the Mile End community. During the day, the carefully designed pop up space is the perfect place to get some work done or network in the fresh air, complete with outlets, free wi-fi, coffee and food. As soon as 5 p.m. hits, though, it’s all about the festive atmosphere of post-work drinks. Now, from the team behind Aire Commune is Nouvelle Vague, Old Montreal’s very own fresh air coworking space with its own unique atmosphere and schedule of programming and events.
4. Explore all the facets of Mount Royal
Take a hike up wooded paths, enjoy a picnic next to Beaver Lake, and take in the views from the top, Mount Royal is the perfect place to explore on a warm summer day. If you’re looking to just chill out instead, Tams Tams might be the thing. The free drumming festival that pops up every Sunday at Jeanne-Mance Park has become a bit of a Montreal cliche, but it makes for a nice sunny day spent in the grass. If you really want to see something new, check out the Medieval (foam) sword fighting going on in the forest just behind the pasture.
3. Savour some Ice Cream
You’ll recognize Kem CoBa by the long lineup that wraps the corner around Fairmont and St-Laurent. Trust me and pencil in an extra 15 minutes to your ice cream excursion – it will be worth the trip to this artisanal ice cream shop. You can the sit and indulge on the colourful benches right out front, along with other ice cream lovers. Unique flavours are chosen seasonally, making sure your experience is always fresh. What combination will you choose? kemcoba.com
A brand new ice cream spot is opening this June on Rachel… and it’s Swirl! The shop is sure to beckon in many visitors with its stylish, minimalist design, dairy-free soft serve ice cream, and cookies and tea that are made in house. Sweet! swirlmtl.com
Confetti Café & Glaces
This cafe is also a fresh new Plateau hotspot for 2019. They’re serving up unique gelato flavours in a lively and eclectic space full of vintage furnishings and decorations. Their offerings include, espresso, hot chocolate, lemonade cold brew and a whole range of desserts beyond ice cream. facebook.com/confetti.mtl
2. Explore all the culture of Mile-Ex
Everyone’s been talking about the growth of Mile-Ex, what could’ve been a casualty of urban sprawl, is now a creative hub. It’s just sprouting with fun new experiences… Depanneur le Pick Up doubles as a restaurant and a modern but cozy fine food experience awaits at Le Mile Ex Restaurant (which the area is named after). In addition, there’s always fun at backyard-party style ‘biergarten’ Alexandraplatz, and something for third wave coffee fanatics at Dispatch Coffee. Full of artists that were priced out of mile end, even the streets are something to behold, and the area is speckled with hidden treasures behind garage doors. Take a look at our article on the neighbourhood to find out why a walk around the Mile Ex is a surefire way to impress a date, a new friend, or a someone from out of town.
1. Take the Mile End Evening Tour
Montreal’s Mile End becomes a magical place in the evening. The locals are out, enjoying a summer evening with ice cream in hand or biting into a fresh Montreal-made bagel. The Evening Mile End tour invites participants to explore the neighbourhood’s vibrant scene by learning about the multicultural history of the area and digging into the best food it has to offer. Try all the area’s culinary staples: an iconic Saint-Viateur bagel dipped in cream cheese, some authentic Italian tomato sauce on some yummy gnocchi from La Drogheria Fine, and Montreal’s best soft-serve ice cream, all in one fantastic tour!