9 things to do in Montréal during Pride!
This article was updated on July 17, 2019.
The 2019 edition of Pride in Montréal is a celebration of coming together and rejoicing in the LGBTQ+ community. From Old Montréal to Mile End and everywhere in between, Montréal offers exceptional activities and attractions that are guaranteed to keep you busy while you’re here. These nine activities are just a taste of what our city has to offer. Take in as much as you can but be warned: you may not want to leave!
PY1 Nights - Candyland
The mastermind behind Cirque du Soleil has branched off with an out-of-this-world, fully immersive experience with PY1, an audiovisual marvel that takes you away to places only your imagination can whip up. This year PY1 has teamed up with Montréal Pride, offering visitors to the PY1 pyramids in Old Montréal a real gay old time. It will host this year’s house-infused Drama Queen, an LBGTQ+ institution since 2007. Blending this with Candy World, a convection created just for PY1 Nights, this is sure to be a sweet tumble down the rabbit hole.
Visit the Olympic Park
Montréal’s most well-known landmark has to be the Olympic Stadium, which was erected for the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. Now it attracts thousands of tourists every year and has become the focal point for food and music festivals alike. Take a trip to the top of the tallest inclined tower in the world for a spectacular, panoramic view of Montréal.
See the world at Space for Life
Take a trip around the stars at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium and complete your experience with a trip to the neighbouring Montréal Botanical Garden. Immerse yourself in the calm and beauty of forests and gardens cultivated from around the globe. You can spend hours exploring life like you’ve never seen it.
Explore the terrasses of the Village
From late April to well into September, Sainte-Catherine Street in the Village is transformed into a pedestrian paradise. The street is closed off to traffic and the bars and restaurants that dot the street spill out onto the sidewalk, creating a gastronomic delight with tastes for everyone. Grab a bite at one of the street’s dozens of restaurants and stick around for a pint or a cocktail at one of the many bars and pubs. You’ll want to be there for the nightlife. Drag queens perform shows at various venues nightly. As we all know, there’s nothing more fun than a gaggle of drag queens.
Make it a spa day
While we Montrealers are known for showing our guests a good time, we also know when it’s time to take a break and relax. Old Montréal features a number of spas, such as Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau and Scandinave Spa, where you can let the night before evaporate away while you soak in a whirlpool or catch a few rays.
A day (or night) at the museum
A trip to Montréal wouldn’t be complete without dropping into one of our many museums. Explore our city’s colourful history at Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, in Old Montréal and enjoy a campy visit to Grévin MONTRÉAL, a wax museum at the Eaton Centre. The outstanding Thierry Mugler exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will blow your mind.
Boozy brunch at Méchant Bœuf Bar-Brasserie
Méchant Bœuf Bar-Brasserie is a mainstay of Old Montréal’s vast culinary scene and, during Pride, it is doing something very special. Each month it features a music themed boozy brunch and, on August 11, the theme will be “Drag Queens”. With very successful ‘80s, ‘90s and Disney themed brunches under its belt, “Drag Queens” are bound to set the bar very high.
Exploring Mile End and the Plateau
The Plateau and Mile End are two of Montréal’s most popular neighbourhoods. A day spent exploring their storied streets, grabbing bagels and cream cheese for a snack, shopping for something truly unique to our city, eating at some of the best restaurants we have to offer, lounging in a park under the warm summer sun. I could go on and on, but you need to see these hoods for yourself. You may not want to leave.
A cruise along the St. Lawrence River
There are many vantage points in Montréal that give amazing views of the St. Lawrence River but there’s nothing like cruising on the water, seeing the sights and sounds of the city as you quietly float by, drink in hand and a smile on your face. Croisières AML offers a series of different packages for different times of day. Gather your friends for brunch or lunch on the river or watch the sunset over dinner and see the lights of the city come to life.
Blair Dohey, writer
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.