Your summer-is-not-over-yet good times guide

Jamie O'Meara

It’s hot in the late-summer city, and nobody beats Montrealers when it comes to wringing every drop of fun out of our oh-so-precious summer months. Let the following be your guide to maxing out your Montréal-summer experiences and activities in the remaining beautiful days to come.

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Dance the afternoon away

Piknic Électronik is a must if you’re an electronic music fan, love to dance or simply want to decompress in the park with friendly Montrealers. For over 15 years, the weekly outdoor event has brought in some of the world’s biggest DJs, giving crowds all the right reasons to spend the afternoon smiling, dancing and stretching out under the sun. Find out more about this crazy popular party (which runs until September 30) here.

Food fest of the best

The YUL EAT culinary festival offers a delicious array of activities and events to savour from September 10 to 16. On the menu is a reinvented Parcours Gourmand at the Society for Arts and Technology, culinary masterclasses at some of the city’s finest restaurants, a broad spectrum of delectable offerings from local producers and artisans at YUL EAT Place, and a host of other special events. Read more about this remarkable celebration of Québec gastronomy.

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Chillin’ with a cuppa Joe

Whether you prefer a cold brew made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water overnight or a classic latte made by topping a freshly brewed espresso with cold milk and ice cubes, iced coffee drinks take over Montréal cafés come summertime. Go here to discover some of our favourite chilled coffee treats.

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On the market for a market?

During summer, seasonal outdoor markets and spaces pop up throughout the city. Artisans, producers and farmers offer local fresh produce and handmade creations to Montréal natives and visitors alike. It’s the perfect time to fill up your shopping basket, or your suitcase, with great finds. Find out more.

Montréal is full of art exhibitionists

Must-see museum exhibitions in Montréal this summer include 20th century artist icon Pablo Picasso, legendary Spanish haute couture fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga and the eternal Queens of Ancient Egypt. Learn more about these and many others here.

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Beach bumming around town

Montréal summers are filled with so much fun, dancing, sangria and humidity that it’s no wonder the locals like to flock to the water to cool down and splash around. Beaches and lakes abound both in and around the city, and with these come all sorts of organized aquatic fun, like places where you can rent or bring your own SUP, kayak or canoe, and enjoy sailing and water skiing. Put these spots on your (ice) bucket list.

Cool waterside hotspots

Parasols, beach bars, lounge chairs and the sound of waves gently lapping are beckoning. Here are our top spots for sunning and sipping cocktails in the heart of our urban scene. 

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No, they’re not mirages

On the hunt for Montréal’s amazing oases of escape? Here are 12 lovely terrasses that offer lush pockets of greenery in the heart of the city.

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Pssst… want some awesome hidden outdoor hangouts?

These terrasses may be tucked away, but they are worth the detour. Here are our top picks for the city’s prettiest hidden patios, neighbourhood by neighbourhood.

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Wicked water fun for all

From river cruises to paddleboats to jet boating to surfing, if you’re a water baby at heart, looking to just kick back or are thirsty for the thrill of rushing waters, dive right in with our guide to water fun in Montréal. Check it out here.

Have a ball – or 180,000 of them – in the Gay Village

Montréal’s famed 18 Shades of Gay installation covers the vibrant one-kilometre-long Aires Libres pedestrian mall on Sainte-Catherine Street in the Gay Village with no less than 180,000 brightly coloured balls. Designed by world-renowned landscape architect Claude Cormier, 18 Shades of Gay won a prestigious AZ Award of Merit in Temporary/Demonstration Architecture (People’s Choice) in 2018. Read more about this amazing installation.

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Park it in the park

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 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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It’s BYOB: bring your own blanket

As the weather remains warm, our collective thoughts are still on how we can spend the most time outside, and there are few better activities than eating en plein air. To help you capitalize on this favoured summer activity, here’s a quick guide on where to buy a picnic, and which nearby green space you can go enjoy it in.

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One last scream for ice cream

Even though school’s in, summer’s not quite out, and what could be better than lounging on one of these late-summer, sunny, hazy days with your favourite frozen treat? Here are some of the city’s coolest spots to grab a cone and beat the summer heat one last time.

Jamie O’Meara

Jamie O’Meara, blogger

Jamie O’Meara is a writer for The Montreal Gazette, C2 Montréal, Moment Factory and more. He also manages the PR Team at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and is the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.

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