Montréal’s car-free streets return

Blair Dohey

Blair Dohey is a Canadian writer and blogger who relentlessly tracks down the coolest things to do and see in Montréal and loves discovering amazing restaurants and bars in the city. When he’s not writing about his travels through Montréal, you’ll probably find him sitting at a bar, chatting with friends and laughing at his own jokes.

This article was updated on May 25, 2023.

As Montréal’s warm summer season is almost upon us, check out these not-to-be-missed festive streets, in neighbourhoods across the city, that will be closed to vehicle traffic all summer long. With all the fun activities still to be announced, some details are still under wraps for now. Stay tuned for more on these pedestrian streets.

Extended strides in Plateau-Mont-Royal

The pedestrian take over along both du Mont-Royal Avenue will extend May 20 to September 5, allowing for even more fun in the sun (at 107 days total, it’s almost a third of the year!)

For the last few years, du Mont-Royal Avenue has been closed to traffic and this spring and summer will be no different. From Saint-Laurent Boulevard to Fullum Street, hundreds of bars, restaurants and shops will spill out onto the sidewalks, creating an outdoor space, colourful restaurant terrasses and much more.

Duluth will also be closed to traffic for a grand total of 79 days. Often easily mistaken for a garden with a street running through it, Duluth is one of the city’s most eclectic streets with quaint trinket shops, popular restaurants, hair salons and more. Expect food scents of all kinds wafting from terrasses and lots of chatter as you walk by. There will be three trade fairs from June 21 to 25, from August 2 to 6 and from August 30 to September 3. The avenue will be closed between St-Laurent and St-Hubert, and on June 24, come celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste at Place Duluth/Laval. Check out their programming here!

As if we won’t have enough space to wander around the Plateau, Saint-Laurent Boulevard is also expected to be partially closed to traffic. From outdoor dining to one-of-a-kind shops, delectable cafes and great places to enjoy a break in the shade, the Main is a must for locals and visitors alike.


Taking it all in on Bernard Avenue

From May 18 to October 9, the beautifully tree-lined Bernard Avenue will once again be close to traffic from Wiseman Avenue to Bloomfield Avenue. With Outremont’s busiest street open to pedestrians, the colourful restaurants and eclectic shops will once again spill out onto the sidewalk, tantalizing you as you make your way along the street. Passersby will discover a multitude of attractions including plenty of places to sit and take a break.


The ongoing appeal of Ontario Street

The highly anticipated spring and summer seasons in Montréal are especially welcomed along Ontario Street with the zone for foot traffic once again extended from Pie-IX Boulevard to Darling Street, from June 19 to September 9. Visit the area and check out the almost endless variety of cafes, gourmet bakeries, candy stores and great antique shopping that makes this street so unique. One of the most diverse streets in the city, the strip that courses through Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is teeming with pubs and restaurants of all sorts, most with welcoming terrasses that are perfect for lunch, dinner, drinks and more.


A swell stroll along Wellington

Wellington Street in Verdun is another of the city’s busiest streets that will once again be closed off to automobile traffic again this year. Whether there to enjoy a fresh brewed cup of coffee while strolling and shopping or to take in one of the many terrasses, you’ll be ecstatic to see the greenery, enjoy the warm breeze under the tree’s canopy and see all the sights that the area has to offer. The street is closed to motor traffic from June 5 to September 8.


To market, to market we go

Only steps away from the magnificent Jarry Park and walking distance from the Jean-Talon Market and Little Italy, de Castelnau Street is an excellent place to stop, relax and collect your thoughts after you’ve finished shopping or eating at one of the many excellent restaurants and cafes in the area. The street will be closed from Saint-Denis Street to De Gaspé Avenue from May 8 to October 10. Added to the fun, this coming summer, place du Marché-du-Nord, from Casgrain Avenue to Henri-Julien Avenue will welcome foot traffic from June 1 to October 15, inviting pedestrians to explore the vibrant ambiance of the Jean-Talon Market and the surrounding area.


Let’s hear it for downtown Montréal!

Sainte-Catherine Street West, between De Bleury Street and Saint-Laurent Boulevard, including parts of Balmoral Street and Clark Street, has plenty of surprises in store as visitors and locals alike gather to enjoy the one-of-a-kind nightlife, the excellent restaurants and bars and of course, the shopping. From May 1 to October 31, the area becomes especially fun as the it transforms into an exciting and exuberant oasis of colour and delight. Be sure to check out all the installations, art and much more.

Fun in the sun in The Village

The Saint-Catherine Street East pedestrian street in The Village remains a welcome sign of summer and expect more of the great sights and sounds as the street is expected to close to traffic again this year from May 19 to October 16. With more than 50 inviting terrasses (many open late) to satiate our thirst and appetite, plenty of colourful characters to distract our attention, extravagant drag queens (of course) and more, a day in The Village is like escaping into a different world where inclusion is everything.


Quartier latin

Montréal’s Quartier Latin has always been an epicentre of culture in the city and summer 2023 promises to be bigger and even better with Saint-Denis Street closed from Sherbrooke Street to de Maisonneuve Street from June 1 to September 30. Populated with more restaurants, shops and bars than almost anywhere else in the city, this neighbourhood is synonymous with good times. This year, the terrasses have already started to open along the street with plenty of outdoor seating, decorations and much more.

Émery Street in the Quartier latin, will also be closed again this year from June 1 to September 30. This offshoot of Saint-Denis has a quiet character but for its size, packs a delicious punch with a delightful tea room, cafes and restaurants on one side and a giant movie theatre on the other. A calming antidote to the bustle of the surrounding area.


The many attractions of Old Montréal

Old Montréal is one of the city’s greatest neighbourhoods to wander on foot. With Saint-Paul closed to traffic, that means more outdoor cafes, more live music on the street, more space to safely keep your distance and more time to spend admiring the European flair that attracts thousands of people from around the world every year.

One street south of Saint-Paul you’ll find the bustling de la Commune Street with curious shops, cozy cafes, stunning architecture, street level and rooftop terrasses that provide a stunning view of the Saint-Laurent River. Traffic is closed off between Saint-Gabriel Street and Bonsecour Street allowing pedestrians and cyclists to carefully share the space freely.

As you make your way west on de la Commune Street, you’ll no doubt be tempted by the picnic tables and adirondack chairs at Place D’Youville that provide relief after hours of walking in Old Montréal and plenty of shade to eat lunch with friends and family. Take in a visit at one of the many museums near this quaint pedestrian walkway.

Blair Dohey

Blair Dohey is a Canadian writer and blogger who relentlessly tracks down the coolest things to do and see in Montréal and loves discovering amazing restaurants and bars in the city. When he’s not writing about his travels through Montréal, you’ll probably find him sitting at a bar, chatting with friends and laughing at his own jokes.

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