Things to do in Montréal - July 2022

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

Montréal festival season runs non-stop this July, from the heart of downtown to neighbourhood parks and the Old Port of Montréal. Bask in the sweet sounds of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, laugh along with the crowds at Just For Laughs, gasp at circus feats at Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza and sing along with your faves at Osheaga. See Montréal’s sights at the top of Mount Royal or at street level on a walking or bike tour. Eat and drink your way through the city from brunch to patio lunch to late-night poutine. By day, visit museums and galleries, take a boat ride, hit the spa, and when night falls see a show and go dancing!

July festivals and major events

July is action-packed with fabulous Montréal summer festivals. The always incredible Festival International de Jazz de Montréal returns in fine form this year to Place des Festivals and several other venues from June 30 to July 9, boasting a program of free outdoor shows and incredible indoor performances, including artists such as Jean-Michel Blais, Woodkid, Bebel Gilberto, Gregory Porter, Jesse Cook, Ôlafur Arnalds and many more. Celebrate Canada Day on July 1 with family activities, entertainment and fireworks in the Old Port of Montréal. Also in the Old Port of Montréal in the blue-and-yellow circus tent, Cirque du Soleil unveils a fantastical and awe-inspiring new creation, Kooza, on throughout the summer – get your tickets now!

Circus performances of all kinds make MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE a must from from July 7 to 17, featuring circus shows of all kinds, with outdoor performances downtown and 3GIANTS: three 50-foot-tall acrobatic archways in the shape of giant people! Just For Laughs puts a smile on everyone’s face with comedians from Canada, the US and around the world, including Kevin Hart, Bill Burr, Hannah Gadsby, Chelsea Handler, Patton Oswalt and Russell Peters, and also turns Place des Festivals into a fun(ny) zone for all ages from July 13 to 31. For comic and pop-culture fans of every age, Comiccon thrills from July 8 to 10. Groove to the sound of Festival International Nuits d’Afrique on indoor stages (including Ivorian roots reggae superstar Tiken Jah Fakoly at MTELUS on July 13) and outdoors in the Quartier des spectacles, from July 12 to 24. Festival Haiti en Folie presents concerts and culture from July 25 to 31 in Jardins Gamelin and Parc Lafontaine.



Osheaga Music and Arts Festival rocks Parc Jean-Drapeau with three full days of music, including Dua Lipa, Arcade Fire, Future and dozens more artists, from July 29 to 31. Montreal’s summer night sky glows again this year as the incredible L'International des Feux Loto-Québec fireworks competition returns on Wednesday and Saturday nights from June 25 to August 6 at La Ronde Six Flags theme park ‒ watch from the La Ronde waterfront stands, from the Old Port and Clock Tower Beach or on a rooftop patio.

Famed outdoor electronic dance party Piknic Électronik continues every Sunday at Parc Jean-Drapeau from May 22 to October 2, featuring Ukrainian techno producer Nastia on July 3, DJ Rebekah and Leo Pol on July 10, Australia's Mall Grab on July 17, dance floor icon Ellen Allien on July 24 and many more producers. And Arsenal Contemporary Art immerses guests in The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience, a social event and performance combining theatre, dance, live music, acrobatic performances, cocktails and more, until July 23. And on Saturday, July 2, the colourful and joyous Carifiesta parade rolls down René Lévesque Boulevard downtown.


July outdoor activities

Downtown, the Jardins Gamelin outside Berri-UQAM metro station entertains with free outdoor performances, music, karaoke, yoga, festival shows, Sunday morning family matinées, dance lessons, and more along with great food and drink. Nearby, stroll along Ste-Catherine Street in the The Village – if you’re there from June 29 to July 3 you might just find a piece of art to bring home at open-air art gallery Mtl en Arts. Visit other pedestrian-only avenues throughout the city too this summer, from Wellington St. in Verdun to Saint-Laurent Blvd. and Mont-Royal Ave. Among the city’s other entertaining seasonal spaces and farmers markets, go to the Marché des Possibles events at L'ENTREPÔT 77 every weekend with music, films, children’s activities, a biergarten and more.

Spending time in Montréal's parks and cultivated gardens is a highlight of summer. See incredible city views from Mount Royal Park: take 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, go to St-Michel’s Frédéric-Back Park to ride bikes or learn to fly big kites! Or cross the river to Parc Jean-Drapeau for long riverside walks and a different view of the city – while there why not visit the Biosphère Environment Museum too! May is also a wonderful time to see the city from two wheels, whether on your own bike, a rental bike, with a bike tour, or on a BIXI shared bike.



In Old Montréal, walk the cobblestone streets to the Saint-Lawrence River to visit the peacefully illuminated square outside Notre-Dame Basilica – inside, see gorgeous multimedia show AURA. In the Old Port of Montréal, see incredible city and river views from the Observation Wheel, climb high at Voiles en Voiles adventure park, ride the new mini-train, find your way through the SOS Labyrinthe, explore the scientific world with kids at the Montréal Science Centre (currently hosting The Science of Guinness World Records Exhibition and Beyond Human Limits), and even fly high on the MTL Zipline! Take a boat ride with Croisières AML, Bateau-Mouche and Petit Navire, or go jet boating, spin boating and jet skiing. Stop by Marché des Éclusiers for a bite and a drink. By night, look for the history-illuminating tableaux projections of Cité Mémoire

Summer comes into full bloom at the Space for Life's Montréal Botanical Garden, both in the expansive outdoor gardens and in the tropical greenhouses. A very peculiar research French team, L'Expédition végétale, will conduct research on the site of the Jardin botanique this summer! Experience the amazing ecosystems of the Biodôme and the mysteries of the universe at the Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan. Outside Olympic Stadium, Îlots76 is a blast for kids, with bouncy castles, a play area, snacks and more, or try bouldering at Nomad Bloc, an outdoor climbing area. See butterflies, moths and other insects at the newly renovated Insectarium. Or head to the West Island’s Ecomuseum Zoo to see local wildlife in their natural outdoor habitats.

Indoors, catch major league soccer team CF Montréal on the Stade Saputo pitch on July 9, 16 and 30. For hockey fans, the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft is open to the public on July 7 and 8. Relax in the warmth of world-class spas, including Bota Bota, spa sur l’eau (their outdoor pools are open year-round), Strøm Nordic Spa (also with amazing outdoor pools), Scandinave Spa Vieux-Montréal and Spa William Gray. Or hit Montréal’s pools and beaches on a hot day in July!


Seasonal food and drink

Montréal’s terrasses are open all summer for social lunch gatherings, dinner and drinks, quiet coffee breaks and late-night parties: choose from our list of Montréal’s plentiful outdoor terrasses, surround yourself with greenery at Montréal’s lushest garden patios and celebrate summer while seeing the city from above on Montréal’s amazing rooftop patios. Also outdoors, Montreal’s gourmet food trucks return to the Olympic Park for the First Fridays food truck event on July 1, a “Brazil Special” edition with all kinds of incredible food and drink, live music and family-friendly activities.

In the Old Port of Montréal, don’t miss Festival Streetfood Montréal 2022 featuring 30 local restaurants and chefs from July 7 to 11, and the delicious Le Grand PoutineFest from July 13 to 31. If you’re looking for a new lunch place, try some of Montrealers’ favourite lunch restaurants, from Old Montreal and downtown to Villeray or the South-West. Take a seat at the city’s newest restaurants and “buvettes." On a patio or inside, summer brunch is a must in Montréal! Dig into long-time classics like smoked meat, poutine and Montréal bagels. If you’re craving pizza, join the debate over who makes the best pizza in Montréal or the best tacos. And it’s a great time to have dinner and see a show at the Casino de Montréal, where live music and cabaret shows are back, along with 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 Market, Marché Artisans, Le Cathcart Restaurants et Biergarten and Le Central - Manger Montréal. Get your caffeine fix at Montréal's indie coffee shops – and fresh-baked doughnuts to go with it! Add sweetness to your life with creations from Montréal's best bakeries and pastry shopsbest chocolate shops and local candy shops – and of course, now that it’s summer, Montréal’s best ice cream! And check all the boxes on your “must-eat list” with these musts for foodies in Montréal. By night, discover the city’s best cocktail bars, inventive Montréal microbreweries and late-night eats. Or mix Montréalesque cocktails at home with gin, vodka, rum and more specialty spirits from these Montréal specialty alcohol and spirit makers.


Summer shopping

Find a fresh summer look in Montréal, whether for your wardrobe, your home or even your bookshelf! Go shopping in Old Montréal’s boutiques, downtown along Sainte-Catherine Street and in the underground city malls, or head to the Plateau and Mile End for unique finds. Keep your eye out for items made by Montréal designers, relaxing self-care staples and plenty of home decor. Add sparkle to your life at the coolest Montréal jewelry 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 a wide world of music from Montréal's excellent vinyl stores.


July exhibitions and experiences

Montréal’s museums and art galleries inspire all year – and there’s always something new to see in summer. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts features a diversity of programming for 2022: this month, see L’heure mauve, an exhibition of work by Swiss-born artist Nicolas Party (plus the monthly evening Monochrome Party: July _’s theme is ___), Adam Pendleton, These Things We’ve Done Together, and two other new exhibitions Views of Within: Picturing the Spaces We Inhabit  and Museum of the Art of Today / Department of the Invisible by Montréal-based artist Stanley Février, along with more to see throughout the museum. Outside the museum, see animated digital artwork Contre-espace by Sabrina Ratté, projected on the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion from sunset until 11 p.m. and walk along the brightly painted Musée Avenue all summer ‒ even attend a fabulous Drag Brunch on July 30!

The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal presents colourful and surprising video installation and sculptural work by NYC-based Argentine artist Mika Rottenberg. At home, explore immersive online exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, a recreation of the MAC’s monumental show, and comprehensive new digital platform MACrépertoire. The Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art celebrates its 15-year anniversary this summer, so watch for exhibition announcements and how to see Yayoi Kusama’s DANCING LIGHTS THAT FLEW UP TO THE UNIVERSE, starting July 6. Meanwhile, experience award-winning virtual reality at the Phi Centre in Horizons VR, as well as Marco Brambilla: Heaven’s Gate Renaissance tableaux, experimental documentary exhibit Inverse by Nicolas Jenkins, and more.

A massive immersive art experience in surround sound and laser light, Oasis Immersion takes over the ground floor of Palais des congrès – don’t miss its newest creation, VAN GOGH-Distorsion, a 360° experience with surround sound, featuring 225 paintings, drawings and sketches by the Dutch-born painter. Arsenal Contemporary presents new immersive exhibition Frida Kahlo, The Life of an Icon until July 24. Music fans will love Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition, exploring the Australian singer-songwriter’s creative world at Galerie de la Maison du Festival.

See new exhibitions at Bradley Ertaskiran in St. Henri, Darling Foundry in Old Montréal, Hugues Charbonneau, Galerie B-312 and Ellephant downtown, at Oboro and MAI in the Plateau, Centre Clark in Mile End and many, many other amazing art galleries in every neighbourhood – find out more in our Montréal guide to gallery hopping and these affordable places to buy contemporary art. Take a Portrait Sonore sound walk downtown and on the Mountain to discover Montréal art and culture. And hunt for more public art everywhere in the city.


History past and present

History buffs of all ages will love Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex in Old Montréal: see Vikings– Dragons of the Northern Seas with 650 objects and artifacts from the collections of the National Museum of Denmark, environmentally themed exhibition Frédéric Back: A Passion for the Planet, and kid-friendly interactive display Come Aboard! Pirates or Privateers? and more. Right outside the museum, enjoy Musical Middays every Thursday at noon, programmed by POP Montreal. Go to the McCord Museum to discover the portrait work of JJ Levine: Queer Photographs, exhibition Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience, new exhibition Piqutiapiit by multidisciplinary Inuit artist Niap, photography exhibition Alexander Henderson: Art and Nature, free outdoor exhibition Eating Local, on McGill College Avenue, and stop by the Urban Forest outside the museum too!

At the Canadian Centre for Architecture, see Retail Apocalypse, examining the entangled worlds of architecture, fashion, business, and art, and new exhibition ᐊᖏᕐᕋᒧᑦ / Ruovttu Guvlui / Towards Home, an Indigenous-led exhibition and publication project exploring Arctic spaces. Or go back in time in Old Montréal as you tour the rooms of Château Ramezay and historical site Chateau Dufresne. Climb aboard railway cars and learn about the history of the railroad at the Exporail the Canadian Railway Museum. Take a historic walking tour of Jewish Montréal, with the Museum of Jewish Montreal, newly relocated to 4281 Saint-Laurent Blvd. And discover the vivid history and present of Québec ceramics at the Musée des métiers d'arts du Québec.

Make the most of summer and save big on museums and other attractions with the Passeport MTL city pass: discover 5 Montréal attractions for one low price, and get discounts at many more!


On stage in July

Montréal’s cultural calendar is packed this season, with music and performance festivals like the Jazz Fest and MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE and even more entertainment for everyone on the city’s many stages. If you’re going to see Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza, why not also see Cirque Éloize’s Celeste, a cabaret circus show at Fairmont, as well as L'Autre Cirque: The Chita Project at La Chappelle from July 11 to 14, and Pique-niques au Cirque! circus performances in the garden of Monastère downtown. For comedy fans who are booked for JFL, why not also get tickets to OFF-JFL and Zoofest shows on the smaller stages, including the Alternative Show, DeAnne Smith, Midnight Surprise and more from July 13 to 31.

Catch performances, orchestras, film screenings and more outdoors in Parc La Fontaine at newly reopened Théâtre de Verdure, from June 29 to August 26. See multi-sensorial experience Camille: The Story at the Segal Centre from June 21 to July 3. The Segal Centre presents musical The Sages of Chelm, a tribute to Eastern European Jewish folklore, from June 19 to July 3. And on the occasion of the 24th International AIDS Conference, Montréal Pride presents Rapture, a choreographic tribute by Dave St-Pierre and 10 creators-performers at Le Monastère from July 27 to August 6.


On screen in July

Montréal’s Fantasia International Film Festival is famed for screening an incredible program of new and classic international genre cinema (including horror, action, speculative and uncategorizable creations) ‒ film fans won’t want to miss the 26th edition from July 14 to August 3. See classic and new films outdoors at Film Noir au Canal, opening its 6th edition with Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window on July 17 and running on Sunday nights until August 21. Cinéma sous les étoiles screens films outdoors in neighbourhood parks throughout the month, and so does French-language film festival CINEMANIA (with English subtitles). Cinema Public presents outdoor screenings, indoor screenings at Casa d’Italia, and online films.

The SAT, Cinémathèque québécoise and Quartier des spectacles present CINÉ-CONCERTS, films set to live music: The Limits of Control on July 14, Level 5 on July 15, It Follows on July 21 and L'homme à la caméra by Dziga Vertov on July 22 at Parc de la Paix. Indoors, the SAT presents winning immersive creations from SAT Fest 2022 in the Satosphere dome until the end of July.

See independent features, family films, documentaries and more at Cinéma Moderne in person and online. See the art world in a whole new light thanks to the International Festival of Films on Art year-round ART FILM program. Discover new art house films and more from Montréal indie cinemas' programming at Cinéma du Parc (stay up late for their Parc at Midnight series), Cinéma du Musée at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, and Cinémathèque québécoise in the Quartier des spectacles. The Montréal Science Centre’s IMAX cinema puts nature on the giant screen in all its glory. And explore the city through cinema in these Hollywood movies made in Montréal.


Live music in July

Along with Jazz Fest performances on indoor stages at Place des Arts and beyond and several outdoor stages (check out Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Manhattan Transfer, The Psychedelic Furs, Lee Fields, Gregory Porter, Meshell Ndegeocello, Corinne Bailey Rae, and many more, plus a free outdoor closing show by The Roots), live music rocks Montréal’s many venues this month too!

In classical music, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal with Maestro Rafael Payare moves from Maison symphonique to perform at the annual Festival de Lanaudière in Joliette, featuring several other orchestras, ensembles, choirs and soloists in concert from June 30 to August 7. Electronic and pop music goes big at the Society for Art and Technology downtown, with Lebanon Hangover on July 2, Boy Harsher on July 17, and the DROP [05] industrial techno showcase on July 23. Immerse yourself in experimental, spatialized sound at SUBSTRAT 2022 in the Satosphere dome downtown, featuring artists Erin Gee, Debbie Doe, Red Spills and other creative forces, from July 5 to 7.

At the Bell Centre, sing along with Alanis Morissette on July 12, British rock royalty Roger Waters on July 15, and Dua Lipa (just ahead of her Osheaga performance) on July 25. MTELUS hosts Jazz Fest shows as well as Alexisonfire on July 14 and 15, Beach House on July 16 and Bikini Kill on July 18. Blue Skies Turn Black also co-presents Jazz Fest shows including Arooj Aftab at Club Soda on July 5, Japanese Breakfast at Corona Theatre on July 20, Eivor at La Tulipe on July 26, and all kinds of shows at Bar Le Ritz PDB and L’Escogriffe. While Greenland presents The Tea Party on July 8 and 9 at Corona Theatre, Chase Atlantic on July 23 and 24 at Corona Theater, Koffee at L’Olympia on July 26, and more.

On Friday, July 15, don't miss this rare opportunity to experience the oud (Arabic lute) music of the Trio Joubran at l'Olympia.

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 ‒ or have meal and drinks on Le Balcon’s new terrasse right on Sainte-Catherine Street downtown. 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.



Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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