A guide to Montréal's squares

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

This article was udpdated on March 9, 2020.

A thriving metropolis with a heart of green, Montréal balances big-city comforts and culture with an abundance of sublime parkland. Picnic with locals by a fountain or read a book – whatever the season, Montréal's squares are essential to city life.

Square Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier

If you're headed to one of the many popular restaurants, cafés or bars along Notre-Dame Street West in the neighbourhood of Saint-Henri, stop by this green space for a relaxing break by the fountain or go for a swim in the city pool. (Not to be confused with the also visit-worthy Sir George-Etienne Cartier National Historic Site in Old Montréal.)

Place Émilie Gamelin

Right next to Berri-UQAM metro station in the Quartier des Spectacles, this grassy square turns into the Jardins Gamelin come spring, with an open-air bar and café, food trucks, urban gardens, live music and performances, activities for kids and more.

Place de la Paix

Located next door to digital-culture hub Society for Arts and Technology [SAT] in the Quartier des spectacles, this small square hosts open-air film screenings, skate jams, afternoons of electronic music and more all summer.

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Phillips Square

Sit on the steps of the monument to King Edward VII at this square on shopping-centric Sainte-Catherine Street next to Birks flagship store and across from The Bay department store downtown, one of the many entrances to the Underground Pedestrian Network.

Square Saint-Louis

At the foot of restaurant-rich pedestrian corridor Prince-Arthur Street, you'll find this Parisian-style square surrounded by quaint turn-of-the-century houses. It's also along shopping district Saint-Denis Street and up the hill from the youthful Latin Quarter.

Square Victoria

Take a break from meetings or sight-seeing in Old Montréal at this 19th-century square right above Square-Victoria-OACI metro station, outfitted with Art Nouveau signage, across from the World Trade Centre Montréal and the W Montréal hotel's Italian-inspired Tbsp. restaurant and intimate Bartizen.

Dorchester Square – Place du Canada

One of the most picturesque spots in downtown Montréal, this recently restored square was once known as Dominion Square – hence the name of the Dominion Square Tavern on its eastern edge next to the impressive Sun Life Building. Cross René-Lévesque Boulevard and you'll find the John A. Macdonald Monument and, across de la Cathédrale Street, the Mary Queen of the World Cathedral. Dorchester Square is also where you can hop on a double-decker bus city tour or take a day trip out to a nature park with La Navette Nature.

Place d'Armes

In the heart of Old Montréal, facing the exquisite Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal on one side and the lavish architecture of the Bank of Montréal and museum on another, you'll often hear live music in this tree-lined square originally built at the end of the 17th century.

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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