Why Montréal’s parks and public spaces are a great place to park it

Rebecca Sellers

Because many Montrealers don’t have backyards, green and public spaces are a big deal here, especially in the long, languid days of summer. They offer excellent spots to chill, converge, and often take in some fun extras like music, markets and theatre. Read on for where to get more of a Montréal summer’s one-of-a-kind al fresco entertainment.

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Shakespeare in the Park

Just bring a lawn chair or blanket and soak up the beautiful language of the Bard. For the past 26 years, Repercussion Theatre has been staging Shakespeare’s plays for free in parks across the city. Each year, they inspire a love of the language of Shakespeare, through sonnets, speeches, soliloquies and solid acting. Yours to enjoy, under the twinkling firmament.


McCord Museum Urban Forest

Say what? You read that right: urban forest. And what you’ll wander through is a flora and fauna of food trucks, pianos picnic tables and, of course, people, all downtown, on Victoria Street, between Sherbrooke Street West and President-Kennedy Avenue by the McCord Museum. You can sample delectable dishes from food trucks during the week. Concerts by up-and-coming groups are also featured. A great place to hang out and chill, for both locals and visitors. For the full schedule, click here


Outdoor pianos

First introduced in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood in 2012, outdoor pianos soon caught on like wildfire and spread to a number of neighbourhoods around the city. Lovingly painted by local artists, these moveable music boxes change places each year to give as many people as possible access to them. This year, in particular, you can tickle the ivories on top of the mountain, at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, the McCord Museum, at the Canadian Centre for Architecture and an array of parks throughout Montréal’s many neighbourhoods. Whether playing Chopin or just plain old “Chopsticks”, in a solo performance, or with a captive audience, Montréal’s pianos have become a fun form of musical freestyling.

Dancing under the stars

For dance lovers, especially of the more structured dance variety, there are a few places to loosen up your limbs and let the music flow through your body. Every Monday evening from 6:30 to 9:30 pm., June 6 to August 8, Tango in the Park takes over Parc Notre-Dame-de Grâce. And though a little more out of the way, the Verdun Greenhouses offer a beautiful riverside setting for you to move to the beat of tango, salsa, country, line dancing, swing and social dancing throughout the week and on the weekend.

Rebecca Sellers

Rebecca Sellers, blogger

Hailing originally from the big country skies of Manitoba, Rebecca adopted Montréal over 20 years ago after living in Québec City and France as a student. When she is not writing, translating or teaching English, she can be found pedaling the city’s bike paths, strolling the streets in search of hidden gems, and striking up conversations with local merchants, creators and folks in the neighbourhood.

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