Things to do in Montréal this July 2024

  • Old Port of Montréal
  • Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant

Summer reaches new heights this July in Montréal, with numerous festivals, outdoor family activities and fireworks too. Bask in the sounds of the Jazz Fest, discover culinary creations at First Fridays and experience Cirque du Soleil under the big top. Whether you’re joining the exuberant crowds, enjoying drinks on a terrasse, or spending a quiet day in the gardens, at the spa or on a boat, Montréal has it all this July.

Montréal has it all this July.

Villeray - Place de Castelnau pedestrianized

July festivals and unmissable events

Join the fun of Montréal’s famed summer festival season this month. Throughout the city, car-free pedestrian streets (like the PlazaPalooza 2024 on Plaza Saint-Hubert all day July 4) are the place to be for outdoor festivals, dining (keep your eye out for gourmet food trucks, especially at the First Fridays gathering at the Olympic Stadium every first Friday of the month!), shopping and socializing.

Join the fun of Montréal’s famed summer festival season this July! Throughout the city, car-free pedestrian streets are the place to be for outdoor festivals, dining (keep your eye out for gourmet food trucks!), shopping and socializing. Be sure to walk along Boulevard Saint-Laurent (between Sherbrooke and Mont-Royal) to spot new murals that were painted on building facades during MURAL Festival.

Now in its 44th edition, the infamous Festival International de Jazz de Montréal features nearly 1,000 concerts this year by musicians from around the world, on outdoor and indoor stages at Place des Arts and elsewhere, until July 6.

The night sky sparkles as L’International des Feux Loto-Québec fireworks competition returns from now to August 1. On July 1, celebrate Canada Day in Montréal with family activities, music, food and fireworks in the Old Port of Montréal. Meanwhile in the Village, celebrate the last day of the open-air art festival MTL en Arts, showcasing artwork for sale and art activities until July 1.

Expect the unexpected at circus festival MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE from July 4 to 14, featuring local and international circus shows of all kinds, with outdoor performances downtown including La GÉANTE, a 50-foot-tall acrobatic archway in the shape of a giant person located under massive art installation The Ring on Esplanade Place Ville Marie.

Festival International Nuits d’Afrique

Dance to the beat of Festival International Nuits d’Afrique from July 9 to 21, with dozens of incredible  indoor shows and free stages right downtown. Laugh with some of the best French-speaking comedians in the province at ComediHa!, celebrating its 25th anniversary at Place des Festivals, Espace Saint-Denis and at Théâtre du Vieux-Terrebonne from July 8 to 18. And a must for genre film fans, the Fantasia International Film Festival comes to big screens in the city from July 18 to August 4, 2024.

Fans and creators, actors and producers come together at Montréal Comiccon from July 5 to 7 at Palais des congrès de Montréal. Festival Haiti on Fire! presents live music, an arts fair and delicious food in Parc La Fontaine from July 24 to 28.

Electronic dance music takes over Parc Jean-Drapeau every weekend this summer at Piknic Éléctronik, when the whole family can spend the day dancing, eating from food trucks and generally basking in the sun. Speaking of family-friendly activities, head to SOS Labyrinthein the Old Port to swing from the rafters — literally! The adventure sports site also puts on special activities throughout the season, including the popular Blackout nights every Thursday, plus on July 24 and 25, they celebrate camper’s Christmas along the theme of Charles Dickens.

Downtown, take a pit stop at the Ruelle du Musée alongside the McCord Stewart Museum, where the design firm Kanva have set up a space that immerses the public in the imaginary world of the Montréal alley, inviting passers-by to sit, stroll, meet and chat, surrounded by clotheslines well-stocked with sheets and clothes. Watch for different programming all summer.

Montréal’s innovative chops will shine bright from July 10 to 12 during Startupfest, the world’s must-attend startup conference where entrepreneurs, investors, large enterprises, industry veterans and others participate in a variety of activities at the Tour of the Grand Quai de Montréal.

Parc La Fontaine turns into a hive of activity thanks to the Robin des Bois Chalet, where fun is available for the whole family — from dance classes to art lessons to yoga to a drag brunch.

For a hit of light play, head to the Casino de Montréal to play on life-size arcade games at their ARcade by Moment Factory gaming experience: a fusion of multimedia and video game technology in two play areas that pits teams against each other in six interactive games. Each game combines motion-detection, projection technologies and videogame mechanics. 

Place d'Armes

Summer attractions & tours

We hope you make yourself at home in Montréal’s incredible hotels — there’s an accommodation option for everyone, from landmark hotels to family-friendly hotels and boutique hotels galore.

The easiest way to visit dozens of Montréal summertime attractions, museums and more at a discount is by getting your own key to the city: Passeport MTL, whose special summer edition will help you experience the best of the budding season.

In Old Montréal, walk the cobblestone streets to the St. Lawrence River and visit the iconic Notre-Dame Basilica — see the gorgeous multimedia Aura Experience, a wonderful way to feel the grandeur of this landmark.

Explore the neighbourhood’s historic sites, as well, including the Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site, the only Victorian interior open to the general public in Montréal, comprised of two neo-classical houses with an adjoining coachway. A little further afield, in Lachine, history awaits at the Fur Trade at Lachine National Historic Site of Canada, where interactive installations will inspire you to imagine the bales of pelts, the stacked crates of goods and the barrels full of provisions that would have populated the space at the height of the 19th century fur trade.

In the Old Port of Montréal, after shooting a selfie at the glimmering BONJOUR structure, see views of the city and the river from Montréal’s Grand Quay, where you’ll find a cruise ship dock, marine history displays, green spaces and a new attraction: the Port of Montreal Tower. Nearby, treat yourself to bird’s-eye views on La Grande Roue de Montréal Observation Wheel. Or boost your adrenaline while zipping over the water on the MTL Zipline.

Croisières AML

Explore the river on boat tours with NavarkCroisières AMLBateau-Mouche, and Petit Navire. For the adventurous, ride the river’s waves with Rafting Montréal, take jet-ski tours with Wet Set MTL or try jet boating on the Lachine Rapids!

Have a drink on the Esplanade Place Ville Marie, where the massive art installation The Ring glimmers above you. Or take a break for entertainment and a snack at Esplanade Tranquille at the corner of Clark and Sainte-Catherine Street and at Jardins Gamelin near Berri-UQÀM metro.

In the Village, come see the new Place du Village: located in the heart of the neighbourhood on rue Sainte-Catherine Est, between Atateken and Wolfe, this public space will feature an open-air café, as well as cultural and community programming starting at 11 am every day.

One of the best ways to discover the city is with expert guides on Montréal tours: set your own agenda with private walking tours at your own pace. See the city like a local with MTL Detours, take a day trip outside the city with N-Tours, call upon the experts at Guidatours, or take yourself on self-guided audio tours thanks to TourBird. To enjoy Montréal after dark, head out on the Montréal by Night Loop on GaryLine’s double decker bus! Enjoy the ambiance and watch as the city’s most vibrant districts come to life after dusk.

If you’re wondering why Montréal has so many colourful murals, hear more about them and their artists on a street art tour with Spade & Palacio, including new murals from the most recent MURAL Festival and others. For an electric bike tour of the murals and more, the first in Montréal, look to Fitz Montréal — their comfortable cycling tours cover anything from downtown Montréal to Jean-Talon Market.

Marché des Éclusiers

July’s foodie adventures

Spend warm July days and evenings at the city’s summer pop-up spaces, with urban oases like the Old Port’s Marché des Éclusiers restaurant and farmer’s market and major events like First Fridays, a food truck bonanza on July 5, 6 and 7 at the Esplanade at the Olympic Park, from 4 pm to 11 pm, adding a celebration of the Mediterranean to the menu this month. 

Montréal’s many food festivals happen throughout the year. From July 17 to 28, try a myriad chefs’ interpretations of poutine at the Great Montréal PoutineFest, in restaurants across the city. Quench your thirst at the Soif de cidre Montréal festival from July 26 to 28, when you can enjoy sparkling cider and cocktails crafted by mixologists within a festive atmosphere at Lachine Park.

This month is indeed all about outdoor dining, be it on a sidewalk terrasse (aka prime people-watching spots), a rooftop terrasse, a hidden terrasse or a green terrasse. We challenge you to compare-and-contrast them all.

Explore the city’s beautiful public markets, including Jean-Talon Market in Little Italy and Atwater Market in Saint-Henri, for a food-filled trek. Montréal’s smallest market, the Public Market of Lachine in the southwest, offers a scrumptious selection of products year-round.

Atwater Market - Place du marché
Atwater Market
First Fridays - The Montreal street food
First Fridays
Soif de cidre Montréal
Soif de cidre Montréal
Buvette chez Simone

Check out Montréal’s newest restaurants and “buvettes” and don’t miss a classic Montréal brunch. Also try some of Montréalers’ favourite lunch restaurants, from Old Montréal and downtown to Villeray or the South-West, and favourite French restaurants.

Explore more of Montréal’s renowned food scene at the legendary Eaton’s 9th floor restaurant, freshly reopened as Île de France.

From some crowdsourced favourites, try Montréalers’ favourite lunch restaurants, from Old Montréal and downtown to Villeray or the South-West. Get a taste of long-time Québec classics like smoked meatpoutine and Montréal bagels and keep on ticking the boxes on your must-eat list with these other musts for foodies in Montréal. Explore more of Montréal’s newest restaurants and buvettes, and don’t miss a classic Montréal brunch, whether you’re looking for elegance or comfort food. 

July is also an excellent month to have dinner and see a show at the Casino de Montréal: live music and cabaret shows will entertain you and your date while you enjoy incredible seafood and more on the grill at Le Montréal, a gourmet buffet at Pavillon 67, and quick delicious eats at L’Instant.

Downtown, explore the wide variety of excellent meals at gourmet food halls  including Time Out MarketMarché ArtisansLe Cathcart and Le Central. Get your caffeine fix at Montréal’s indie coffee shops — and fresh-baked doughnuts to go with it! Add more sweetness to your life at Montréal’s best bakeries and pastry shopsbest chocolate shops and candy shops.

Eat plant-based with our ultimate guide to vegan eating in Montréal or join the debate over who makes the best pizza in Montréal — or the best tacos. Warm up with authentic Japanese ramen and Vietnamese pho. By night, discover the city’s 30 top cocktail barsinventive Montréal microbreweries and late-night eats

The Olympic Stadium and The Montréal Tower (Montréal Olympic Park)

Summer sports and relaxation

Cheer on the CF Montréal team at home at the Saputo Stadium throughout the month, and the Montréal Alouettes at the Percival Molson Memorial Stadium. If you can’t make the games in person, watch all the soccer, football, basketball, MMA and more at Montréal’s sports bars.

Wanna play? Head to the Eaton Centre downtown where the Playbox Centre has a game for everyone, from internationally renowned crane games to arcade games, skill games and VR attractions. If you’re feeling more artsy, Art Chaos is a fantastic family- or group-friendly activity in Mile Ex, where you can paint crazy creations on rapidly spinning canvases, for a truly interactive experience. And while you’re in the neighbourhood, stop into Boutique des 3 Sorciers on Avenue du Parc — it offers an immersive foray into the magical world of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts sagas, with a selection of official products. You can take your quidditch to the next level.

As summer blooms, visit Montréal’s parks to take in all the flora. At the Space for Life museums, stroll the Montréal Botanical Garden grounds and sprawling tropical greenhouse, experience several wild ecosystems at the Biodôme (there are penguins, otters, monkeys and more), explore the mysteries of the universe at the Planétarium, and learn about the thousands of butterflies, moths and other insects at the newly renovated Insectarium.

The West Island’s Ecomuseum Zoo is a wonderful place to glimpse local wildlife in their natural outdoor habitats and even have breakfast with some of them throughout July.

Among the many free things to do this summersee incredible city views from Mount Royal Park: head for a walk through the park and up the stairs to the lookout or bus or drive up to Beaver Lake. Stroll around Parc La Fontaine, cross the river to Parc Jean-Drapeau for a riverside walk and a different view of the city. (While there visit the Biosphère too for environment-focused exhibitions and more.)

For the ultimate relaxation session after a day of trekking (or just because you deserve it!), visit Bota Bota, spa sur l’eau, a spa in a moored boat on the St. Lawrence River, and other world-class spas like Scandinave Spa Vieux-MontréalAvie Spa & CoiffureRainspa and Strøm Nordic Spa.

Boutique Ruby Mardi

Summer in the shops

Shop for some new summer wardrobe staples in Old Montréal’s boutiques, downtown along Sainte-Catherine Street and in the underground city malls. Discover the latest styles at Montréal Eaton Centrand Place Montréal Trust, including Uniqlo, Nike, Aritzia, Décathlon and many more boutiques (and remember to ask for a VIP Visitor Card at Guest Services for exclusive discounts only for tourists).

Keep your eye out for items made by Montréal designers and relaxing self-care staples and plenty of sparkly goods from the coolest Montréal jewellery stores

Shop local and eco-friendly at the most fabulous vintage boutiques in the city. Pick out the perfect new books for friends and family from Montréal’s bookstores, and dive into a wide world of music at Montréal’s excellent vinyl stores.

The Horizon of Khufu

July art and exhibitions

Summertime is in hyperdrive in museums and galleries around town, so get the full low-down in our overview.

The Horizon of Khufu is an immersive journey into Ancient Egypt on the Old Port of Montréal. Throughout July you can explore the archaeological treasure of the Giza Pyramid, constructed over 4,500 years ago. The experience allows players to physically move and interact within a shared virtual reality space.

Visit the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts to see the contemporary exhibition Wanda Koop: Who Owns the Moon, Tōkaidō: Dreamscapes by Andō Hiroshige (a magical journey through historic Japan), and Saints, Sinners, Lovers and Fools: Three Hundred Years of Flemish Masterworks.

At the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, femmes volcans forêts torrents features nine women artists, currently living in Québec, whose works explore the natural elements before their eyes and the living communities with which they interact, from the waters of the St. Lawrence River to the soils of the tundra.

Enjoy the monthly offerings of performance art in the Embodied Space series at the PHI Foundation, inspired by the intimacy, vulnerability and a moment of contemplation that live performance has the capacity to deliver in facing the void of our impermanence.

Among the Montréal museum exhibitions this season, go to Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex in Old Montréal to learn about the Olmecs and the Civilizations of the Gulf of Mexico, throughout the month. You’ll also be near the kid-friendly Montréal Science Centre, where you can explore interactive exhibitions that investigate the scientific world.

The McCord Stewart Museum bridges past and present in its exhibitions, which throughout July includes a spotlight on fashion photograph, Norman Parkinson: Always in Fashion, as well as Portraits and Fashion – Quebec Photographers Beyond Borders, which brings together prints by 17 photographers who are shining a spotlight on Quebec talent on the international stage. For its first collaboration with the Contemporary Native Art Biennial, the McCord Stewart is also hosting Kanien’kehà:ka artist MC Snow, who explores the messages and emotions conveyed by the Kanien’kehá:ka objects in the Museum’s Indigenous Cultures collection in two original works.

Planétarium – Space for Life - Rouge 2100 - A Martian Adventure imagined by Cirque Éloize

At the Montréal Planétarium, tickets to any of the shows gets you access to Rouge 2100: A Martian Adventure, an exhibition that offers a journey in five chapters and as many rooms, where we realistically imagine the first steps of a rare humans in 2100 on the fascinating red planet. A fantastic world that also questions the place of humans in our universe and the fragile balance that must be maintained if all species are to prosper.

Visit MEM – Centre des mémoires montréalaises, a cutting-edge museum dedicated to the voices of Montrealers presiding over the corner of Boulevard Saint-Laurent and Rue Sainte-Catherine.

Travel back in time as you tour the rooms of Château Ramezay and visit historical site Chateau Dufresne near the Olympic Stadium. The Musée des Hospitalières de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal marks the bicentennial of Mount Royal Park’s creator, architect Frederick Law Olmsted with exhibition Our Mountain: Memories of Mount Royal.

Not far from the city, climb aboard railway cars, learn about the history of the railroad and explore miniature railways at the Exporail the Canadian Railway Museum.

Explore the Afromuseum, representing the contributions of Afro-Canadians to the cultural landscape of Canada. Discover the vivid history and present of Québec ceramics at the Musée des métiers d’arts du Québec. And for another slice of Québec history, visit Montréal’s stunning churches and sacred sites.

Experience a massive immersive art experience in surround-sound and laser light at Oasis Immersion, where Root for Nature extrapolates on biodiversity in all its splendour and  Dreaming Asia explores Chinese and Japanese cultures in a big way.

And don’t forget Montréal’s plethora of small, independent art galleries, from Bradley Ertaskiran to Hugues CharbonneauGalerie B-312SBC Gallery and Ellephant downtown, Oboro and MAI in the Plateau, Centre Clark and Dazibao in Mile End, Galerie d’Outremont in Outremont and many, many others in every neighbourhood.

KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities

Onstage in July

Among the world-class theatre, dance, opera, circus and more gracing the city’s stages throughout July, catch the iconic KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities by the Cirque du Soleil in the big top on the Old Port throughout the month. 

There’s also Cirque Éloize’s latest show, on until August 12: Bon Voyage is an immersive 60-minute family-friendly show that combines live arts, acrobatics and 360-degree projection mapping for a journey into a whimsical world inspired by Montréal’s past.

At Espace Saint-Denis this month, Barbu by Cirque Alphonse from July 3 to 14 is set in a fairground where the spectator is plunged into a universe of curiosity and eccentricity. In a series of tableaux where music, video, circus and other skids collide, each artist demonstrates his or her know-how. Le Bibliothécaire, on view from July 5 to 14, is a family-friendly show that mixes acrobatics with absurdist storytelling. Star Paul-Émile Dumoulin performs physical feats of balancing, juggling, break dancing and beatboxing. Dirty Laundry by Briefs Factory, with special guest Barbada, is a night of intoxifying physicality, gob-smacking comedy, unapologetic truths and ridiculous showmanship. Turn your cycle to HOT as you watch these Briefs boys tumble dry. From July 3 to 14.

Espace St-Denis - New Orleans Blues - Musical, Historical and Gastronomic Journey

In a Mardi Gras-style carnival atmosphere, New Orleans Blues is a multi-sensorial musical, historical and gourmet experience featuring an all-you-can-eat Cajun meal concocted by top chef Paul Toussaint and a live show featuring 12 musicians and singers, directed by Normand Brathwaite. Catch it at Espace Saint-Denis throughout the summer.

On Monday, July 15, Montréal’s Got Jokes is back at McKibbin’s Comedy Club. Join in the jokes at 8 pm for a side-splitting evening of stand-up comedy, a full bar menu and kitchen offerings to keep your energy up throughout the show.

Dance-wise, Les Grands Ballets de Montréal take the Amphithéatre Fernand-Lindsay stage in Lanaudière on July 26 (worth the drive from Montréal) to regale audiences with an evening of exquisite emotion and stunning choreographic mastery. See Beethoven’s Fifth, a work on themes of freedom, destiny’s tragic force, and the world’s ceaseless transformation, performed alongside a selection of some of the most celebrated excerpts from the repertoire for ballet.

Starting on July 30 at Théâtre Maisonneuve in Place des Arts, catch the Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Misérables, set against the backdrop of 19th century France: it’s an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption.

The Campbell Concerts in Montreal offer free shows in the city's parks from late June to August. Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the event includes a double program with performances by brass bands like La Fanfare de l’Île and the Burning Brass Band, followed by artists such as Michel Rivard, Orchestre Métropolitain, and others. The concerts, funded by an endowment from Charles S. Campbell, started in 1924 and have evolved to reflect Montreal's diverse musical tastes.

Society for Arts and Technology [SAT] - Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon

Onscreen in July

Enjoy a larger-than-life (or certainly larger-than-screen) experience with the immersive Pink Floyd: The Dark side of the Moon, an overall-multisensory performance set in the SAT’s impressive Satosphere, until August 8.

The unmissable film festival for all genre film fans, the Fantasia International Film Festival, kicks off the month of July in force with showings on big screens throughout the city core from July 18 to August 4, 2024.

Experience family-friendly cinematic shows on the domed screens of the Planétarium, including Celestial Chronicles, an immersive experience whisking you through time and space featuring stars, planets, the moon, constellations and the latest astronomy news, and Total Eclipse, a show that has you follow Kentucky — an insomniac hen and social media star who lives on the moon — in her adventures to demystify solar eclipses. It’s wacky and fun. 

The Montréal Science Centre’s IMAX cinema puts nature on the giant screen in all its glory — you can see the incredible Wings Over Water and Animal Kingdom until July 5, and the brand new Australia 3D: The Wild Continent, where throughout the month you can discover flora and fauna that have evolved in splendid isolation, explore ancient landscapes sculpted by great geological forces, and learn from traditional custodians of the land.

See independent features, family films, documentaries and more at Montréal’s indie cinemas including Cinéma ModerneCinéma du Parc (including late-night cult classics at Parc at Midnight screenings), Cinéma du Musée at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, and the iconic Cinémathèque québécoise in the Quartier des spectacles.

Explore the city through cinema in these Hollywood movies made in Montréal

Orchestre Métropolitain - The OM Alfresco

Live music in July

It comes as no surprise that Montréal’s famed summer festival season is cause for celebration. Celebrate the best of classical music in the open air with OM Prend l’Air, a series of outdoor concerts throughout the city starring the excellent Orchestre Métropolitain. In continues all month and into August. 

Speaking of classical music, Orchestre de la francophonie offers you a unique experience, Beethoven’s 9 symphonies in chronological order during The Complete Beethoven Symphonies, 5 consecutive concerts between July 24 and 28, at La Salle Pierre-Mercure or La Maison symphonique de Montréal. 

At Place des Arts, there’s Marcus Milleron July 1, Norah Jones on July  2, trumpetist Erik Truffazon July 3, saxophonist Kenny Garrett on July 4, Ichiko Aoba with a String Quintet at the beautiful Maison Symphonique on July 6, the same night as Oliver Jones at 90: A Celebration with Friends. See the complete programming here.

You’ll find all sorts of fun music shows at MTELUS including Geoffrey on July 1, Killer Mike on July 3, Ziggy Alberts on July 4, Berlioz on July 5, Future Islands on July 6, Mt. Joy on July 9, Steve Earle on July 11, Ben Howard on July 13 and L’Entourloop x Queen Omega and The Royal Souls on July 13.

At Théâtre Fairmount in Mile End, catch Of Virtue on July 6, Bïa & Maracujá on July 11, Youba Adjrad on July 12, Wand on July 16, The Crane Wives on July 17, Ibibio Sound Machine on July 18, Club Sagacité on July 19, Cola on July 20, The Ocean on July 23, Flowdan on July 26 and Caspian & Asiwyfa on July 30.

Groove to live soul, disco, jazz, funk, salsa, Cuban music Fridays and more at Le Balcon, where you can have dinner with a show, go dancing, and enjoy a gospel brunch on weekends. Hear live jazz nightly at Montréal’s amazing jazz and blues clubs, like Diese Onze and Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill. And go out dancing late into the night at Montréal's dance clubs.

Indie venues Casa del Popolo and Sala Rossa have chock-a-block full monthly programs featuring both local and visiting bands, which you can find here. Look here for the many live events at hole-in-the-wall Barfly. Same for Bar Le Ritz PDB, where there’s a show nearly every night. Explore the lineup at Le Ministère, and follow L’Escogriffe on Facebook to stay on top of all their upcoming shows. L’Hémisphère Gauche, up in Little Italy, is packed with music lovers for their nightly shows, as is Quai des Brumes on the Plateau — it never has a night off.

TO GET AROUND TOWN

To get where you’re going hassle-free, public transportation is the way to go. The STM has special offers on fares and a handy tool to plan your trip quickly and efficiently. You can also download the Transit and Chrono apps for up-to-the minute bus schedules. 

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant is a Montréal-based editor and storyteller with a curiosity that runs deeper than most. She has chatted life philosophies with celebrity chefs, gemologists, arena rockers and furries. (All were transformative.) Her free time is spent designing jewellery and laughing at her husband’s jokes.

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