Fun downtown this Labour Day weekend

Jani Pronovost

Jani relishes life’s little pleasures, especially those she can share with others. She and her trusty runners regularly take to the city’s streets in search of new things to see, eat and tell stories about! Between film sessions, she channels her creative energy into the written word. 

This September long weekend, indulge in all the art, music and strolling you’ve been craving for so long. Choose from an outstanding program of family activities, artistic performances and music under the open sky in a downtown that has never felt more dynamic. Where better to make summer last even longer than here?

Let your hair down on Friday

We are absolutely loving that Montréal gives us lots to choose from this September long weekend. Kick it off with Sandy Duperval, renowned DJ and Montréal singer, as she takes it to the streets with her mobile cabaret and invites everyone to get down and boogie. Drop by XP_MTL‘s Musical platform to watch Mike Clay, frontman of the group Clay and Friends, play his trumpet from west to east on Sainte-Catherine Street. A rising star on the electronic scene, Joumana will be dropping beats in the Quartier des spectacles come evening, while rapper Michel Michel will be wowing the downtown crowds on Sainte-Catherine Street West. Shimmying and shaking, guaranteed!

Move to the beat

Make that sweet summer vibe last a little longer with travelling shows starting late afternoon on Saturday, September 5. Qualité Motel promises to wow the crowd in summer 2020’s Cabaret vitré. The duo TŌKI, composed of Kilojules and Tō from the group Valaire, will be cranking up the fun on Sainte-Catherine Street as part of the XP_MTL musical platform.

Be sure to stop by the Shā Tān public place, which harks of traditional Chinese indoor courtyards and the nighttime ambiance of Asian markets. How about checking out the TULIP Prenez Place and sharing a 100-metre socially distanced meal with others? Then again, you’d be remiss to miss out on a stroll through the Place des Festivals or the Jardins Gamelin. Montréal always has a hotspot or two to check out, and this Saturday they’ll become totally danceable thanks to the music of various artists such as Shaydakiss, Nicola Cancino (alias Okin) and A-Rock.

Joyful times and good vibes to get you dancing

Starting brunchtime Sunday, renowned DJ Donald Lauture will be spinning tunes on Peel Street. Come afternoon, you can soak up the sultry sounds of jazz by Fanfare 2 m 6 pieds throughout downtown’s streets. Or get the whole family grooving to outdoor electronic beats at the Terrain de jeux public space, where you can enjoy Petit Piknic interactive workshops in a unique setting at Place d’Youville, created by Multicolore.

Behold the bounty of performing arts

What’s better than a show? An outdoor show! Watch as downtown’s streets become the stage for the Ballets Jazz de Montréal with the exclusive performance of PROXIMITÉ. Or how about treating your tympans to some opera? On Saturday, September 5, in the Quartier des spectacles, Roulotte lyrique will perform an off-the-wall ballet repertoire for free, a sure-fire way to draw any ballet skeptics. Cap it off with Les secours arrivent bientôt, an interactive play by playwright Olivier Choinière at the Place des Festivals late afternoon on September 4 and 5.

Exhibitions and activities galore

While you’re out soaking up all this fun, you can also take advantage of a series of outdoor activities and exhibitions.

  • Urban Tours: available with the McCord Museum app, enjoy Montréal’s history at your fingertips. Learn more about the history of numerous locations throughout the city.
  • The collection of archival images from the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ): delve into the history of the Jardins Gamelin, all along Sainte-Catherine Street.
  • Le Parcours 30 murales in the Quartier latin, by Portrait Sonore: Hear that? The walls are talking. Take a fascinating two-hour audio stroll and rediscover the neighbourhood and its contemporary murals.
  • Podcasts on the Radio-Canada OHdio platform: enjoy a unique cultural and sensory experience when you listen to this series of free podcasts. Montrealers can stroll the Safe active transportation circuits (VAS, in French) and rediscover their city through soundscapes, history tours, social chronicles and interviews.
  • TULIP (urban patios), Public spaces and Placott’arts: chill out on downtown’s many terrasses and urban design spaces. These inspiring public spaces, which are dotted throughout the city centre, are a great spot to have a snack, sip a drink or do some safe people-watching.

To stretch summer to the absolute max, don’t forget that an array of outdoor spaces and pop-up shows will be yours to enjoy in our much-cherished Montréal until October.  

Easy downtown access

Montrealers have tons of options to choose from to make getting downtown easier. Hop on your bike or use XP_MTL's Rally bike stations, BIXI, Pousse-Pousse Sainte-Catherine (rickshaws), the STM’s different bus and metro lines and enjoy reduced parking (40% to 50% off) at Complexe Desjardins, Palais des congrès de Montréal, the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), UQAM and Théâtre St-Denis.

Jani Pronovost

Jani relishes life’s little pleasures, especially those she can share with others. She and her trusty runners regularly take to the city’s streets in search of new things to see, eat and tell stories about! Between film sessions, she channels her creative energy into the written word. 

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