10 new city attractions to discover in Montréal

Alexandra Gauthier

Alexandra Gauthier is a young Montrealer who loves to eat, drink and be merry with friends in neighbourhoods all over the city.

To some, August can feel like the Sunday of summer. We prefer the more optimistic framing: there's still a full month of Montréal's most treasured season left to enjoy. Whether you relish the outdoor heat or prefer the cool comfort of air conditioning, there's a little something for everyone to be discovered amid these lively city streets. Here are 10 new activities to add to the to-do list while sunny days still reign supreme.

Marché de Nuit Asiatique

Place des Souhaits, corner Saint-Laurent Boulevard and René-Lévesque Boulevard East

Calling all street food enthusiasts, gastronomes, and lovers of things deep-fried and served on a stick: Marché de Nuit and La Pépinière invite you to check out their newest collaboration, Marché de Nuit Asiatique. Make your way down to Chinatown's Place des Souhaits to discover a vibrant night market featuring cuisine from all over the Asian continent in a magical evening atmosphere. Stalls open at 5 p.m. and serve til 11 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday until the 8-week project wraps on October 3. Note most vendors can't accept payments by card, so be sure to arrive with both cash in hand and an empty stomach.

Bassin des Merveilles

3933 Parc Lafontaine Avenue

The creative minds at La Pépinière have even more to offer this summer with the launch of le Bassin des Merveilles in Parc Lafontaine, a multi-functional outdoor space on the edge of the park's central pond. Featuring a refreshments kiosk, a parasol-dotted terrace, and a small stage to showcase local talent, this revitalized part of the park is free to access and enjoy year-round. The site—in its heyday called Jardins des Merveilles—was formerly a children's zoo and even had boats on the water; a dream that La Pépinière hopes to realize again someday soon.

Oases and Sentier du Cœur de l'île

various locations

On the topic of outdoor spaces to enjoy this summer, there's still plenty of time to check out any (or all) of Montréal's 11 Oasis locations, each offering a different colourful architectural component and thematic vibe. Use them as you see fit, whether that's to dine al fresco, recline in the shade, catch some live entertainment, or simply people-watch. The oases, as well as a new 15-kilometre discovery walking path called the Sentier du Coeur de l’Île, are part of the city's Les aventures du cœur de l’île summer roster. Scan QR codes located at various sites to use as a compass along your walk along this unique circuit that will lead you to cultural centres, theatres, museums, and Montréal heritage locations.

Adrift

corner of Sherbrooke Street West and Du Musée Avenue

While you're out exploring, be sure to pass by some of the city's public art installations, such the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (MBAM)'s Adrift, by Collectif Incognito, that invites passersby to "float" down a glacial stream and reflect on the natural world's paradoxical sublimity and precarity. Visitors are invited to scan a QR code located throughout the installation to hear the poem composed for Adrift by celebrated Innu poet and storyteller, Joséphine Bacon.

Urban Forest

corner of Sherbrooke Street West and Victoria Street

Walk a little further East and find yourself in the McCord Museum's Urban Forest, back for its 11th summer in a row, where you can take a seat on the colourful outdoor furniture and enjoy the curiously Dr. Seuss-like tree sculptures that run down Victoria Street.

CRÉER DES PONTS

various locations

Should you pass by a vacant commercial space on your walk around town, be sure to pause and check if its one of the thirty empty storefronts transformed for CRÉER DES PONTS. Until October 15, the formerly unused spaces find themselves reconfigured into artist ateliers, where artists-in-residence can be found creating works for later public display. The rare, intimate glimpse into the creative process is meant to inspire both artist and viewer alike.

Le Germain Hotel

2050 Mansfield Street

Another truly impressive artistic feat worth checking out is Le Germain Hotel's chic new makeover, which has turned the building's formerly grey façade in to a riotous, multistoried mosaic of colour. The piece is part of the city's Mural Arts Program which aims to revitalize Montréal neighbourhoods through public art. Canadian artist Michelle Hoogveld's impressive 171 ft tall piece on the hotel's exterior is aptly titled Dazzle My Heart—as dazzle hearts it certainly does.

Terrasse W Montréal

901 Square-Victoria Street

It's crucial to remember that summer is first and foremost terrasse season for Montrealers. As such, it is our sworn duty (and joy) to let you know that the Terrasse W Montréal is the place to be in Victoria Square. Featuring a cocktail menu inspired by 10 international destinations, you can indulge your jet set fantasy with frosty drinks that take you from Aspen to Bangkok. Built from recycled materials and surrounded by the square's softly rustling greenery, the Terrasse W MTL is a perfect place to simultaneously take refuge from and indulge in the bustling urban environment that surrounds it.

MTLàTABLE

various locations

Back and better than ever, MTLàTABLE is back in full swing for its 2021 return. Until October 11, participating Montréal restaurants all over the city are offering sumptuous table d’hôte menus at flexible price points to accommodate any budget. Three-course prix fixe meals can be found in the following price ranges: $20 to $35, $36 to $45, $46 to $60 or $61+. Don't know where to start? Just head over to the MTLàTABLE website and select a neighbourhood that interests you, the price limit of your preference, and a menu that piques your interest. It's that easy. Dine-in, take-out, or get it delivered right to your door. Supporting local business never tasted so good.

The Infinite

Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal: 2020, William Street

Here's a thought: why not beat the terrestrial heat by cooling off in the vacuum of space? Okay, technically you'll still be earth-bound, but your brain may be fooled as you experience The Infinite: an immersive VR experience that allows you to explore the International Space Station. Located at Arsenal Contemporary Art Montréal and using a truly impressive 12,500ft² of its space, this 60 minutes, interactive, multisensory journey is, quite literally, out of this world.

Tickets are not available at the door, as time slots are booked in advance. The installation will be running until November 7, 2021, but ticket sales end September 5. Note that the VR experience is offered to those aged 13 and up, while children 8-12 can follow along on a tablet. No admission to children under 8 years old.

Alexandra Gauthier

Alexandra Gauthier is a young Montrealer who loves to eat, drink and be merry with friends in neighbourhoods all over the city.

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