Things to do over the Labour Day long weekend
This long weekend offers a full range of fun activities, including art exhibitions, international cinema, a brand new outdoor music festival, a massive gathering of food trucks, a food festival featuring Quebec cuisine, family outings and nightlife.
For great outdoor activities in the city, check out our guide to Montréal's seasonal outdoor markets and attractions. You’ll discover a multitude of gardens, markets and urban beaches where you can unwind, go bargain hunting for local treasures and celebrate the long weekend. While you're at it, why not explore Aires Libres, an annual public art festival where you can stroll under a canopy of balls — painted in the colours of the rainbow in honour of this year's inaugural Canada Pride event — located between Saint-Hubert St. and Papineau Ave. Next, stop by the Quartier des Spectacles arts and entertainment district and visit Les Jardins Gamelin, or take a break in the McCord Museum's Urban Forest. For a different option, head to Mount Royal Park for a guided hike (September 2) or attend a remote-controlled sailboat regatta (September 3). See the full events list from local organization Amis de la montagne here.
Also check out: Free things to do this summer in Montréal.
Meet local producers and taste culinary creations by renowned Québec chefs at the YUL EAT Festival, which takes place on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in the Old Port (September 2 to 4). Make your way to Esplanade Financière Sun Life in the Montréal Olympic Park for the latest edition of First Fridays, the largest gathering of food trucks in Canada (September 1) and a true Montréal summer tradition. Oh, and don't forget to check out Le Burger Week at participating restaurants throughout the city (September 1 to 7). For more culinary discoveries, have a look through our Food page.
Exhibitions and cultural events
Excellent programming is on offer at Montréal's museums and art galleries. Exhibitions include Revolution and Love is Love at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, Multiple Shadow House by Olafur Eliasson and In Search of Expo 67 at the MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art), Illusions: The Art of Magic and Fashioning Expo 67 at the McCord Museum, Established in Montréal at the Fashion Museum, Expo 67 – A World of Dreams at the Stewart Museum, CSI: The Experience at the Montréal Science Centre (until September 4), Montréal, City of Baseball at Grévin Montréal and Hello, Montréal! Bell's Historical Collections at the Pointe-à-Callière museum of archaeology and history.
Visit Marché Bonsecours for the World Press Photo event, which showcases the winners of this prestigious professional photography competition. There's also plenty to see in Montréal’s art galleries, including Lucid Realities, the third instalment of the Sensory Stories exhibition, at the Phi Centre, Modern Piano Music by Ed Atkins at the DHC/ART gallery (until September 3) and the latest exhibitions at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Never Apart, Art Gallery 175B and the Belgo Building.
For family outings, a trip to the Space for Life museum district is always a good idea. A highlight is the Montréal Botanical Garden, where you can marvel at monumental land art pieces created by Patrick Dougherty (until September 4). You can also visit the Maison Saint-Gabriel historic site, which will be holding its very first agricultural market with vegetables and herbs from its garden on September 2. For more ideas, check out our guides to things to do in Montréal in the summer and indoor family activities in Montréal.
Finally, get inspired to travel the world at the Montréal World Film Festival (until September 4).
Happy 375th birthday, Montréal!
Celebrate Montréal's 375th birthday like a local with La Grande Tournée, a series of celebrations across the city's boroughs organized by contemporary circus troupe Cirque Éloize. This long weekend, the party's coming to Saint-Léonard (September 1 to 3). Head to the Entertainment District for the KM3 art walk, which features more than 20 visual works composed of both temporary and permanent installations. Meanwhile, Sherbrooke St. between the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and the McCord Museum will be the site of an open-air museum devoted to peace, with 67 works embodying the values of Expo 67. You can also visit the Churches of Mile End (September 3), join the massive Électro Parade street party (September 2) and immerse yourself in the luminous journey of the AURA light show at Montréal's Notre-Dame Basilica. See all the events here.
Festivals and nightlife
Looking for an unforgettable evening under the stars? Pulsate to the beat of the first edition of Mile Ex End Musique Montréal. The two-day music festival (September 2 and 3) will be held under the Van Horne overpass with a lineup that includes Patrick Watson and Charlotte Cardin. On until September 3, the MEG Montréal Festival will showcase talent from emerging rock, indie, hip hop and electronic scenes. Celebrate the 15th edition of Piknic Électronik at Parc Jean-Drapeau, with three night of festivities on September 1, 3 and 4. Join the drum circle at the Tam-Tams festival in Mount Royal Park or enjoy a themed party at event spaces Village au Pied-du-Courant and Les Jardineries. La Fonderie Darling and Exposé Noir invite you to the Warehøuse Art Experience on September 2 for a night of aural and visual artistry. Finally, fans of kinky costumes will be treated to six days and nights of festivities at Montréal Fetish Weekend, held in the Gay Village from August 30 to September 4.
Montréal is a musical place, with concerts always happening all around the city. Check out the latest indie listings for Casa del Popolo, La Sala Rossa (Betty Who, Sept. 4), La Vitrola, Divan Orange, Petit Campus/Café Campus, the Phi Centre (Allie X, Sept. 2), Le National/La Tulipe and Le Ritz PDB (Pallbearer and Kayo Dot, Sept. 2). For a cross between Parisian dinner-theatre and New York cabaret, head to the Balcon Cabaret Music Hall, Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill and Casino de Montréal (Labour Day Weekend Classic Rock, September 1 and 2). For big names in music, get your tickets to the Théâtre Fairmount (CRi, Sept. 1), the Bell Centre (Nicky Jam, Sept. 1; Lady Gaga, Sept. 4), Métropolis (Epica, Sept. 1), Le Belmont, the Corona Theatre (The Minimalists, Sept. 2) or Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier (k. d. lang, Sept. 2). If you prefer a more classical sound, plan an evening out to the Maison Symphonique de Montréal. Finally, party all night long at some of Montréal's hottest nightclubs, like New City Gas, Newspeak, Circus Afterhours, StereoBar, Stereo, Datcha, Salon Daomé, Unity, École Privée, La Voûte and Velvet.
Laure Juilliard, blogger
Laure is a writer, community manager and the founder of the blog Une Parisienne à Montréal. She’s also an epicurean globetrotter who’s always on the hunt for innovative concepts and must-try restaurants. In 2016, she co-founded Slow Journeys, a webzine that focuses on ecotourism and design.