Summer jump starts in downtown Montréal

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. 

Please note that, due to the heightening of sanitary measures, entertainment activities, including ambulatory activities, in downtown Montréal will be put on hold as of Monday, September 21. Pop-up events and performances, particularly the “Cabaret ambulant” (roving cabaret), are therefore postponed to later dates.

All week long, there are tons of fun installations and activities happening right in the heart of downtown. Montrealers are having a different kind of summer, but their optimism and spirit of discovery are still calling them to come out to play – respecting health and safety measures at all times, of course.  

Terrasses and urban installations: green oases to kick back and relax

Several outdoor areas are set up for you to kick back and relax – safely – with family or friends. You’ll also want to check out the TULIP spaces, urban terrasses open to the public. Specially designed and adapted for the current context, the Place des Festivals is more colourful and greener than ever.

Sainte-Catherine Street is full of life and also has TULIP spaces, like at the corner of Jeanne-Mance, Bishop and Clark Streets. Or stroll east to the beautiful Jardins Gamelin, at the corner of Berri Street. As you explore Sainte-Catherine Street, stop for a break at one of the five HUBs set up by XP_MTL in the downtown area. Radio_XP sets the mood with a soundtrack of 100% Québec music, created especially for the project by local artists.

You can add a real vacation vibe to your day by heading over to the Clock Tower Beach at the Old Port of Montréal, open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Bring your own chairs and your summer go-to bag and soak up a little sun with beautiful views of the city.

Installations and visual arts: the city becomes a work of art

To help you rediscover some of downtown’s iconic places, rest stops have been designed by artists, designers or local collectives to welcome you in style. They are called “Placott’Arts” (“placottoir”, public spaces usually set up in streets or parking spaces for people to relax + “art”) presented in collaboration with MASSIVart, and they are true open-air works of art. You can find them at the following places:

  • Place Jean-Paul Riopelle: Ça va bien aller! and Waxhead’s home for bird friends (Artists: Judith Portier and Waxhead)
  • Place de la Paix: Cartes Monumentales: Rocher Percé (Artist: HUB Studio)
  • Old Montréal (across from Place Jacques-Cartier): Los Trompos (Artists: Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena)
  • Old Port (in front of the Montréal Science Centre): La Vague (Artist: 2x4 and Lucas Tisné)
  • The Village (on Sainte-Catherine Street East, between Saint-Timothée and Montcalm Streets): ÇA VA BIEN – Artist: Dix 2
  • Quartier latin (Saint-Denis Street): Oscillations (Artist: The Urban Conga)

The iconic 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) are back in the Quartier des Spectacles for a 10th edition. This is your last chance to see this installation (until August 9).

Hop over to Saint-Denis Street in the Quartier latin, where artwork designed by MU greets you on the streets and adds a little spring to your step.

It’s showtime in downtown Montréal

Be on the lookout for musical and theatrical performances, along with circus acts and the Roving Cabaret, which will be rolling through the streets of downtown at various times all summer long. On weekends, the city becomes a giant stage where cultural events, ambient music and surprise performances bring the downtown area to life. It’s a great opportunity to see our local artists at work.

Attractions: See Montréal from above

Enjoy breathtaking views of Montréal from the top of the Grande Roue de Montréal, the tallest observation wheel in Canada. Its 42 cabins with ultra-clear tempered glass windows are open every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Getting around safely and easily – for a good cause

Want to try a fun and eco-friendly way to get around? As part of the Run for Your Cause program, which allows local athletes to raise funds for causes close to their hearts, free rickshaw rides are available to visitors. You’ll find them on Sainte-Catherine Street, between Atwater Avenue and De Bleury Street, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and they’ll take you to your favorite places.

If you’re cycling into downtown, there’s no need to search for a place to park your bike. Look for the new Rally stations, free and always accessible parking stations for bikes. Four Rally stations have been installed: Rally Guy, Rally Place des Arts, Rally Peel and Rally Bishop. And don’t worry, they are thoroughly cleaned regularly by a cleaning brigade, plus they are monitored and equipped with hydroalcoholic gel.

Downtown Montréal is served by numerous bus routes and more than 10 STM metro stations, on the green and orange lines, serve the territory. Remember to bring and wear your colourful masks to keep travelling safely.

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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