Shop, eat and be entertained at Complexe Desjardins
This article was updated on June 12, 2019.
Defying the expectations of a shopping centre, Montréal's Complexe Desjardins is a year-round venue for festivals and special events, an airy place to have a meal, listen to live music or simply kick back and unwind in the middle of the day.
In the heart of downtown's Quartier des spectacles, Complexe Desjardins is a go-to spot for picking up whatever you may need on the go. Its 110 shops and restaurants range from fashion boutiques to shoe stores, cafés to steakhouses, plus a pharmacy, a grocery store and the complex's namesake bank. But what truly sets Complexe Desjardins apart? The wide open La Grande-Place square at its centre, boasting 24-metre-high ceilings and a fountain that often features colourful multimedia shows. An eco-friendly lighting canopy, trees and other greenery create a woodsy, open-air ambience indoors. Seating, free wi-fi, seasonal markets and events transform the complex into a year-round gathering place. This summer take advantage of major seasonal sales from June 25 to July 7, and even get your picture taken at the Complexe’s professional photo booth.
Events for all
With a prime location on Sainte-Catherine Street West across from major arts and culture hub Place des Arts, it's no surprise that Complexe Desjardins hosts hundreds of events year-round. Enjoy lunchtime concerts during music festival Les Francos from June 19 to 22. Student jazz ensembles and more musicians keep toes tapping during the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal from June 27 to July 6. Don’t miss awe-inspiring indoor circus acts by acrobats and jugglers during MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE from July 9 to 13. Laugh it up at free comedy shows at Just For Laughs Festival from July 17 to 20 and July 25 to 27. In mid-August, Complexe Desjardins hosts the Pride at Work event for Montréal Pride and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal presents classical music concerts during the OSM Classical Spree from August 9 to 11. Or if you're in Montréal for the winter holidays, step into a sparkling Magic Kingdom, complete with a mini train, Santa and his elves. Underground access to two metro stations (Place-des-Arts and Place d'Armes) and passageways into Place des Arts and the Montréal Convention Centre make Complexe Desjardins especially convenient for visitors on foot – no matter what the season.
Pools and patios
Music fills the Complexe Desjardins terraces at lunchtime during music festivals every Wednesday to Friday until the end of August, while the spacious SIX Resto Lounge features a large outdoor patio at the DoubleTree by Hilton Montreal – go for a drink or a meal overlooking Place des Festivals. Among the many hotel pools in Montréal, the hotel’s indoor pool, awash in natural light, feels like a resort-like escape in the midst of downtown. And if you're staying at the Double Tree or trying to situate yourself downtown at night, just look to the city skyline: the Desjardins towers light up entirely in green by nightfall.
Robyn Fadden, blogger
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.