Things to do in March 2024

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. 

This article was updated on March 7, 2024.

In March, Montréal starts to switch from winter to spring, so there’s still time for snow sport events like APIK cozy food-and-fun festivals like MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and Happening Gourmand, but there’s also spring break fun, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and sugar shack events like Cabane Panache. Catch international film festivals, experience world-class culture and so much more as March brings its madness to Montréal. 

Unmissable March events

Throughout March, winter continues to shine bright in Montréal — especially thanks to the exciting APIK festival, which from March 1 to 3 features snowboard and ski tricks on a snowy ramp installed right in the heart of the Plateau. The winter food and culture festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE continues until March 10, presenting a lively outdoor site with culinary events, workshops, music performances and more. Ice skate on the raised loop above Place des Festivals, ride the Ferris wheel and play with light and sound art installations and more. Mark your calendars for March 2, too, when Nuit blanche brings all-night art, theatrical and musical performances downtown and in neighbourhoods across the city.

Before March 10 get a slide on at Glissades Gamelinin a fun setting where sports, music and good food come together. Whether you prefer snowskates or snow scooters, bring your friends and family for some fast-sliding fun every Friday evening and all weekend.

Also downtown, Esplanade Tranquille proves itself to be much more than a typical skating rink: expect lighting displays, live music, performances, storytelling and sports activities, along with ice skating for all ages and levels. Rent skates or bring your own, learn a few moves from instructors, and go “dancing” on DJ nights. Throughout the Quartiers des spectacles, experience illuminated artwork, activities and more. This year’s Luminothérapie outdoor exhibition, running until March 10, features illuminated interactive art that makes us all feel like kids again.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, along the theme of DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality — read up on game-changing Montréal women to celebrate, Montréal style. 



Wear green and cheer at the Montréal St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of the biggest in North America, this year making its grand return to de Maisonneuve Street (from du Fort to Jeanne-Mance) on March 17 starting at noon. Expect floats, marching bands, community groups and likely a few leprechauns along the way. 

From March 9 to 15, soak up the immersive festival of Nordic arts and culture, FIKA(S). It’s designed to expose visitors to the Scandinavian way of life through music, cinema, gastronomy and more at various locations, including a hygge hangout and market at the Monument National café.

From music to theatre to poetry and the digital arts, the Grand Éphémère festival will present it all at Perspective 235° and the Passerelle of the Old Port of Montréal from March 22 to 24 — including a show by Ariane Moffatt.

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.


Wintry attractions & tours

Stroll around the illuminated shopping mecca of Ste-Catherine Street and make a detour to see Claude Cormier et Associés’s massive The Ring installation aglow at Esplanade Place Ville Marie downtown. 

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

In the Old Port of Montréal, you can see incredible city and river views from the great Grande Roue de Montréal observation wheel, with its cozy heated cabins. Stroll along the glittering boardwalk to get a great view of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge aglow with colour-shifting light.

One of the best ways to discover the city is with expert guides on Montréal tours: in winter, you can dress warm and 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.

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 this year’s Mural Festival and others. 

March’s foodie musts

Start your exploration of Montréal’s renowned food scene at Full Pin, a Montréal-based online store specializing in mushrooms of all shapes and sizes, which you can get delivered lickety-split. Cultivated from an urban mushroom farm in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, there’s everything from phoenix Italian oyster mushrooms and shiitake to lion’s mane. 

From March 21 to 24, experience the Québécois tradition of sugar shack season, not only at restaurants and sugar shacks in and around Montréal, but at Cabane Panache: the mini-festival turns Wellington Street in Verdun into a winter lumberjack village full of family-friendly activities, live music and restaurant vendors dishing up maple-inspired creations. And for more maple madness a little way out of town, head to the Maple Food Fest in Kanawà:ke.

Buvette des Lumières is an extra reason to stop by Palais des congrès de Montréal for lunch or for an after-work drink, when this colourful enclave serves up a delightful selection of wines alongside fantastic snacks like fresh oysters on the half-shell, beef tartare, and green dip and chips.

Brunch is a rite you don’t want to miss in Montréal, and Restaurant Antipode serves up a mean one every day of the week. This Plateau tapas spot puts a spin on classics: consider the mushroom and truffle eggs Benedict or the shakshuka merguez. Or will you go for the stack of Black Forest pancakes?

Le Butterfly is a French bistro located in an 1855 Old Montréal building, so you can do some sightseeing before sitting down to a starter of escargots followed by a stellar filet mignon. As a side, try the roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, toasted almonds and a drizzle of honey.

At Seasalt you’ll find all the seafood of your dreams, from the raw bar to the sesame crusted salmon and the sea scallops braised in miso butter. They’ve got a generous selection of mezzes too, to share with a group after a day in Old Montréal.



Set in the lovely neighbourhood of LaSalle, Kyomi is a vast Asian cuisine resto that’s great for parties because it’s got something for everyone, from tataki to General Tao chicken to crispy noodle nests topped with shrimp, chicken and veggies. 

Next-level vegan gastronomy in a stylish setting is what you’ll find at Tendresse, in the Village. Pair your squash burger (or your five-course tasting menu!) with a signature cocktail like the Fushia, a pink delight featuring vodka, orgeat syrup, lime, beet, tabasco and angostura.

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. 

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

Get an incredible bird’s eye view on Place des Festivals from within the clear geodesic domes on the terrasse of Bivouac, where you can taste the best of the terroir, or from the Terrasse William Gray in Old Montréal, whose clear domes give onto the Grande Roue de Montréal.

March 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


Wintry sports & relaxation

From March 6 to 10, more than 1,300 athletes (including some Olympians) from 15 countries around the world participate in L’international Gymnix, a women’s artistic gymnastics happening at Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard.

Figure skating fans know how important this is: the ISU World Figure Skating Championships is happening in our very city this year. Be among the thousands set to gather at the Bell Centre from March 18 to 24 to witness jaw-dropping feats by international champions from the front row, at the most important annual figure skating event outside of the Olympics.

As the snow falls, visit Montréal’s parks for a natural winter wonderland experience. 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 March.

For some fresh air, take the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal down to the Old Port of Montréal ice skating rink, where you can rent skates and glide next to the St. Lawrence River under twinkling lights. There are more great ice skating options in city parks throughout the city, and even indoors at Atrium Le 1000 downtown.

Among the many free things to do this wintersee incredible city views from Mount Royal Park: bundle up for a walk through the park and up the stairs to the lookout or bus or drive up to Beaver Lake. Stroll (or cross-country ski) around Parc La Fontaine, go to St-Michel’s Parc Frédéric-Back, or 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.) And on snowy days, the list of outdoor winter activities is endless.

Meanwhile, in pro sports: cheer on the Montréal Canadiens at home at the Bell Centre throughout the month. If you’re not at the game, watch hockey, football, basketball, fight nights and other sports at Montréal’s sports bars.

For ultimate relaxation after a day of winter sports (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.


March to the shops

Shop for some new spring 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, Decathlon 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.


March art and exhibitions

Until March 10, the PHI Foundation presents JOUEZ/PLAY, a solo exhibition by Argentinian-born artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, whose work combines traditional object making with public and private performances, teaching and other forms of public service and social action. 

The Horizon of Khufu is an immersive journey into Ancient Egypt on the Old Port of Montréal. Throughout March and into April 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 Canadian premiere of O’Keeffe and Moore: Giants of Modern Art, a large-scale exhibition that comingles 120 of the two great artists’ works, as well as recreating their studios. Runs throughout March and beyond.

Among the Montréal museum exhibitions this season, go to Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex in Old Montréal to learn about why Montréal’s river-based location was so important in St. Lawrence River, Echoes from the Shores, among other exhibitions on show. 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 until March 10 include Wampum: Beads Of Diplomacy, featuring over 40 wampum belts that have traded hands for over two centuries, and Becoming Montreal: The 1800s Painted by Duncan, artist James Duncan’s documentation of the city’s development from 1830 to 1880 alongside artist Iregular’s AI-powered digital reinterpretation of the paintings.



For an outdoor arts experience, Polar Circle illuminates Esplanade PVM at Place Ville Marie. This gigantic work, a collaboration between M.A.D. Collectif and Cree artist Jason Carter, invites you to discover the beauty and richness of our environment, as well as Aboriginal cultures.

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. At the Canadian Centre for Architecture, catch Domestic Monument, which will remain in the Octagonal gallery throughout the month. 

Travel back in time as you tour the rooms of Château Ramezay and visit historical site Chateau Dufresne near the Olympic Stadium, currently featuring works by artist Guido Nincheri. 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.

Catch the last days of Back River at the Museum of Jewish Montréal, until March 3. Enjoy a multimedia exhibition on throughout the month by Montréal-based artist Sonia Bazar that reveals the history and legacy of Ahuntsic’s Back River Cemetery — one of the city’s oldest Jewish cemeteries that has been largely forgotten. 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 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.


Onstage in March

Montréal’s cultural calendar is packed this season, with entertainment for everyone on the city’s many stages. 

On March 31 starts the run of Fifteen Dogs at the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts, a captivating stage adaptation inspired by the Giller Prize-winning novel of the same name that explores the limits of power, the intricacies of identity and the unbreakable bonds of loyalty. 

Among the world-class theatre, dance, opera, circus and more gracing the city’s stages throughout March, you’ll find Pretty Woman: The Musical at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, from March 6 to 10. Let the rags-to-riches romance dazzle you!

See puppetry come to life at Festival international de Casteliers, from March 6 to 10 at the Maison internationale des arts de la marionette in Outremont. This one-of-a-kind art happening showcases artists from around the world in a dozen shows and exhibitions that will captivate young and old alike.

Among the shows in Montréal’s vibrant English theatre scene, catch GUILT (a love story) from March 12 to 30 at Centaur Theatre, a one-woman-show by Diane Flacks from the perspective of a self-sacrificing Jewish mother who is an instigator of family dissolution. 



Danse Danse presents three shows at Théâtre Maisonneuve. In Message in a Bottle, presented from March 12 to 16, Kate Prince draws on some of legendary vocalist and bass player Sting’s best-known songs to weave a perilous human adventure inspired by the drama of migrants. Also from March 12 to 16, there’s a new star shining in Italian dance firmament: Sofia Nappi offers us a soulful and healing quintet in Komoco, an enticement to drop the masks and embrace the present moment. From March 20 to 23, the Nederland Dans Theater will display their impressive skills in a stunning triptych of choreographies.

Riopelle Grandeur Nature is a show that celebrates famous Québécois artist Jean-Paul Riopelle’s centenary. Presented by The 7 Fingers until March 10, the show will take you on journey through the artist’s work thanks to 360° projections, infrared motion capture and a state-of-the-art spatialized sound system.


Onscreen in March

Currently in its 42nd edition, FIFA — aka Festival des films sur l’art — runs from March 14 to 24 and celebrates films about arts, culture and new media in a multi-tiered program of shorts an feature films, both local and international.

Film festival Les Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma celebrates Québec cinema until March 3: see feature films, shorts, documentaries and more, as well as talks and special events.

Get an eyeful (and then some!) at the grandiose Lasting Impressions experience at Espace Saint-Denis, a voyage inside the painting by Renoir, Degas, Monet, Seurat, Van Gogh and many others, presented in 3D on a gigantic ultra-high definition screen. Live among the brushstrokes and be part of the paintings, transported by a perfectly choreographed soundtrack, extended until March 31.

Experience family-friendly cinematic shows on the domed screens of the Planétarium, including Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon, until March 30 — a show combining breathtaking views of the solar system and beyond, played out to 42 minutes of album in surround sound. The Montréal Science Centre’s IMAX cinema puts nature on the giant screen in all its glory — you can see the incredible Animal Kingdom 3D: A Tale of Six Families, among others, until March 22.

On March 26, explore Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant at Maison Symphonique de Montréal with Thomas Ospital, an organist who specializes in accompanying silent films. This cinematic concert also features the pictorial world of Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren.

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

Live music in March

From March 11 to 13, don’t miss Francouvertes, an amazing showcase for emerging French-Canadian artists and groups of all musical genres.

Until March 3 you can catch Kid Koala’s The Storyville Mosquito at Place des Arts’s Cinquième Sallean immersive live show expressing his unique form of storytelling with music, animation, film and interactive entertainment.

Rafael Payare and Shostakovich’s Awe-Inspiring Symphony No. 8 will fill the Maison Symphonique de Montréal with glorious drama from March 6 to 10. Described as brutal, dreadful and ruthless, this striking work summons the devastation of wartime.

At the Bell Centre (between all the hockey games) catch Jo Koy on March 7, and Olivia Rodrigo either on March 26 or 27.

You’ll find all sorts of fun music shows at MTELUS including The Kooks on March 5, Jon Batiste on March 13, Ministry on March 17, Damian and Stephen Marley on March 26 and The Last Dinner Party on March 29.

At Théâtre Fairmount in Mile End, catch Austin Millzon March 7, Em Beihold on March 8, Octave One on March 16, Comeback Kid on March 23 and Rêve on March 28, among others. And don’t miss their famous dance parties!

At Beanfield Theatre, you can catch a whole bunch of shows over the month including Aaron Pritchet on March 2, Bas on March 26 and Fatoumata Diawara on March 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 February 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.

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. 

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