Things to do in Montréal this June 2021

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.

As spring turns to summer in Montréal this June, the city bursts with activity. Warm days call for long walks in Old Montréal, bike rides along the Lachine Canal, meals on a terrasse, and picnics in the park, any park! Discover what’s new in different neighbourhoods and what’s in bloom at the Botanical Garden. Have weekend – or Father’s Day – brunch on a patio or order in. Book a long-weekend staycation at a hotel. Explore art and history at museums and galleries, attend a performance online or in person (don’t miss the Festival TransAmériques), and more this June in Montréal.

June activities

Warm June days in Montréal call for exploring the city: before June turns to summer, catch the last of the spring blossoms in bloom at Saint Joseph’s Oratory, in the parks and in every neighbourhood. Expect fun and surprises downtown and in the Quartier des spectacles all summer with Le Coeur de l’Ile activities. Take yourself on a tour of the city’s murals and even see seasonally apropos murals full of colourful flowers on the sides of buildings, in parks and every neighbourhood thanks to MURAL Festival, LNDMRK, MU and expert Montréal mural artists and collectives. Learn more about the Montréal’s unique history and culture on private walking tours with knowledgeable local companies. Go on a Portrait Sonore sound walk downtown and on the Mountain. And hunt for more public art everywhere in the city.

June is also the perfect time for outdoor activities in Montréal's many parks and green spaces. See incredible city views in Mount Royal Park and even take a stroll through Mount Royal Cemetery, especially picturesque at this time of year. Another amazing place to see spring flowers and reconnect with nature is the Montréal Botanical Garden. Nearby, kids of all ages can see penguins, lynx and more in the Space for Life Biodôme's five ecosystems or explore the universe in the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium’s immersive films and exhibitions (purchase fixed-time tickets online ahead of time). And add some adventure and a bit of adrenaline to your month at La Ronde amusement park.

The esplanade of Olympic Park is the place to be for skateboarding at Vans Skatepark and rock climbing on two giant granite blocks with routes for all levels. And throughout the city, new pedestrian-only avenues begin to open this month: take a walk down the middle of Wellington St. in Verdun, Masson Street in Rosemont, Place du Marché-du-Nord in Jean-Talon Market, Ontario St. E., Mont-Royal Ave. and more. Watch for pedestrian corridors along Ste-Catherine Street in the Village and further west downtown as well as Saint-Laurent Blvd. by July.

Food and drink

As the weather warms, everyone heads to newly opened restaurant and bar terraces or to the parks with their picnics – try something different with these picnic and park pairings. And don’t forget to stop for ice cream! From classic gelato to vegan-friendly cones, the best ice cream shops in Montréal have the sweet treats you’ve been dreaming of all winter. Meanwhile, Montréal’s food trucks bring local treats to the streets! Throughout the spring and summer, you’ll see food trucks in parks, on downtown streets, Old Montréal squares and neighbourhood corners serving up restaurant-quality dishes.

Montréal’s many restaurants and cafés are set to satisfy all springtime cravings with special Montréal take-out and delivery offers – browse our updated list of Montréal restaurants open for take-out and delivery for the latest, including the best new restaurants in the city and some of the best Chinese food in Montréal. Wander through the Jean-Talon Market and Atwater Market to find ready-to-eat dishes and all the ingredients to make your own feasts. And enjoy the many flavours of the street food of Japan at the YATAI MTL festival from June 7 to 13, with over 30 participating restaurants and other venues, offering everything from bubble tea to yakisoba and more.

For Father’s Day, a special birthday or any celebratory weekend in June, order a fabulous brunch for pick up or delivery from these great brunch restaurants. Order a mouth-watering Father’s Day BBQ Meal Kit from the Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth and Marché Artisans from June 17 to 21, or plan lunch in the park with their Picnic Meals to Go. or book a springtime staycation with restaurant meals to match. Get your caffeine fix at Montréal's indie coffee shops or embrace summer with the best iced coffee in Montréal. Get a pastry to go with it at Montréal's best bakeries and pastry shops or get fresh-baked doughnuts! Sample chocolate creations at the best chocolate shops, indulge your sweet tooth at local candy shops or pick up other musts for foodies visiting Montréal. By night, mix cocktails at home with gin, vodka, rum and more specialty spirits from these Montréal specialty alcohol and spirit makers. Or for the beer lovers, pick up these Montréal beers to drink this summer or a unique six pack from inventive Montréal microbreweries

Local retail therapy

Springtime calls for sprucing up your wardrobe and your home with some quality Montréal shopping for all styles tastes. Relax and recentre with these self-care staples or redecorate with these home decor musts. Buy that perfect piece of jewelry for your loved one – or yourself! – at the coolest Montréal jewelry stores. Shop local and eco-friendly at the most fabulous vintage boutiques in the city. Go shopping for clothing, specialty food and more in the boutiques along Mont Royal Avenue or shop at the new Holt Renfrew downtown and in the underground city. And fill your home with Montréal-focused books from Montréal’s bookstores and music from Montréal's excellent vinyl stores.

June city sights

Montréal celebrates the beginning of summer with all kinds of activities and events. The sights in Old Montréal and the Old Port of Montréal always shine, where you can see the city from above on La Grande rose Observation Wheel, relax with a massage and a water circuit experience at Bota Bota, spa sur l’eau and other world-class spas. Climb high in the Voiles en Voiles adventure park, find your way through the SOS Labyrinthe, explore the river by peddle boat, and even zip over the the port on the Tyrolienne MTL Zipline on Saturdays and Sundays! While there, have a meal or a drink on the terrace of Scena, along the riverside at Marché des Éclusiers and at Terrasses Bonsecours. Even take to the water on a Petit Navire eco-friendly daytime cruise!

Take a springtime walk through downtown – especially along the pedestrian-only zone of Sainte-Catherine Street in the Village – and explore some of Montréal’s distinct neighbourhoods, from Hochelega and Rosemont in the east to Outremont and Westmount in the west. When the weather’s right, see the city from two wheels, whether on your own bike, a rental bike, with a bike tour, or on a BIXI shared bike – the BIXI network features 725 new electric BIXIs and 83 new electric stations, as well as a new variable pricing model. Explore Montréal on these bucket-list bike rides. Bike over to Parc Jean-Drapeau to ride around the 4,361-metre Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve bike path and the Route Verte. Or visit downtown’s Quartier des spectacles to see new interactive art and multimedia projections.

June art exhibitions

Museums and many art galleries have officially reopened this month with world-class winter exhibitions! Visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to see special exhibition Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures, collections exhibitions Ecologies: A Song for Our Planet and GRAFIK! Five Centuries of German and Austrian Graphics, as well as new contemporary exhibitions Yann Pocreau: Impermanencies and Caroline Monnet: Ninga Mìnèh, while online join art workshopsvirtual tours and webinars – the museum also hosts outdoor family workshops this month and guided tours. At the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal see recent acquisitions in exhibition Des horizons d’attente, video works exhibition Fischli & Weiss, Isaac Julien and Simon Starling, Margaret Haines’ film The Stars Down to Earth starting June 27, and immerse yourself in virtual exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, an incredible recreation of the MAC’s 2017 monumental show.

The Contemporary Art Galleries Association launches Gallery Weekend Montréal from June 10 to 13 and numerous Montréal galleries, including Art Mûr, Ellephant, Bradley Ertaskiran and many many more! Visit the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art in Old Montréal to see the Canadian premier of solo exhibition Lee Bae: UNION or go online for a guided visit, virtual workshops, and a video program. Walk over to the Phi Centre to experience the multidimensional and mysterious worlds of Three Movements in Virtual Reality and installation. PHI also presents a unique immersive experience: Alejandro G. Iñárritu's Oscar® award-winning virtual reality installation CARNE y ARENA (Virtually present, Physically invisible) at Arsenal Contemporary Art gallery, exploring the human condition of immigrants and refugees. Explore more of Montréal’s amazing art galleries in our Montréal guide to gallery hopping and these affordable places to buy contemporary art – many galleries have reopened and are welcoming visitors in limited numbers to see new exhibitions.

History past and present

Montréal's history museums reopen their doors and continue with online activities this month! 

History buffs of all ages will love Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex whether in person or online: see new exhibitions A Railroad to Dreams and Italian Montréal, tracing the journey of Italo-Montrealers from the early 20th century, interactive display Come Aboard! Pirates or Privateers? and more. At the McCord Museum don’t miss Christian Dior featuring over 50 classic designs as well as Chapleau and online urban tours of Montréal.

See new exhibition The Things Around Us: 51N4E and Rural Urban Framework and more at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Step into the neon glow and cabarets of virtual exhibition Scandal! Vice, crime and morality in Montréal, 1940-1960. Or go back in time with the Château Ramezay exhibition 1812: Objects to Discover. Known for historic walking tours, the Museum of Jewish Montreal launches live-on-Zoom virtual tour Making Their Mark: A Virtual Tour of Historic Jewish Montreal, guiding visitors through the city’s historic Jewish quarter – also check out the museum’s first-ever Instagram exhibition To build tiny monuments is to gather what’s there with artist Lauren Prousky.

Montréal music

The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal presents unique drive-in concert event OSM Classical Flight benefit concert at YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport on June 5 (places are limited to 400 vehicles), as well as June webcasts of The OSM and James Ehnes: From Darkness to Light, Otto Tausk conducting Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’étéVoices of Women: An Ode to Life directed by Dina Gilbert, and more. Watch the Orchestre Métropolitain on the Maison symphonique stage on June 12 and 13 performing Local Colours: From Sibelius to Boudreau and a webcast of Mozart, Bourget, Marsolais: The Soulful French Horn from June 11 to 22.

Music festival Suoni Per Il Popolo returns from June 3 to 21 with a series of free online concerts and conversation by local, national and international experimental and jazz artists, including Sun Ra Arkestra, Quatuor Bozzini, Damo Suzuki, Backxwash, Elle Barbara and many more artists. Quebec pop star and musical theatre sensation, Geneviève Leclerc performs at the Segal Centre on June 13 and 20.

The Orchestre Philharmonique and the Choeur des Mélomanes presents Brahms’ great German Requiem at Place des Arts on June 5. Hear incredible chamber music all month in person at Bourgie Hall and online in their virtual classical concerts, as well as in Pro Musica’s presentation of the latest Les Mélodînes concert, featuring pianist Viktor Lazarov. Watch more live music with Suoni per il Popolo’s online concerts. And read all about Montréal’s own queens of jazz, soul and blues.

On stage

While many performance venues reopen their doors for live performances in April, with physical distancing, masks and other safety measures in place, many productions can be watched from home.The incomparable Festival TransAmériques returns to stages and screens from May 26 to June 12, featuring new works by Québec artists Louise Lecavalier, Marie Brassard, Mélanie Demers, 2Fik and Rhodnie Désir, as well as Lara Kramer’s Them Voices and more. Meanwhile there are even more cutting-edge performances to see at parallel festival OFFTA from May 28 to June 6.

Watch new theatre, dance and comedy that's off the beaten path at the Festival St-Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival from June 1 to 20, with online and in-person performances celebrating the festival’s 30th anniversary. See some of those intriguing performances on stage at La ChapelleTableau D’Hôte Theatre presents the world premiere of Mishka Lavigne’s Shorelines, a near-future vision of a flooded city and social inequalities, performed outdoors at Espace Éthel parking garage in Verdun. Johanna Nutter and Nadia Myre present hybrid, interdisciplinary, participatory show STRIKE/THRU + A Casual Reconstruction at MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) from June 3 to 5. And Jardins Royalmount transforms from drive-in to open-air event space for live music, comedy, theatre performances and family-friendly activities this summer.

On screen

Immerse yourself in new digital worlds at the Society for Art and Technology’s SAT Fest 2021, screening eight new films by local and international artists in the SAT’s 360-degree dome from April 27 to June 19. Cinéma Moderne launches Cinéma Public, a new online program of feature films, family-friendly animated features, documentaries and more. And 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, including in-person and virtual screenings from Cinéma du ParcCinéma du Musée and Cinémathèque québécoise. Watch cinematic nature documentaries for the whole family thanks to the Montréal Science Centre’s online programming. Explore the city from a cinematic distance in these Hollywood movies made in Montréal. And the PHI Centre's VR TO GO delivers world-class VR content (and headsets) to your door.

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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