Things to do in Montréal - June 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.

Celebration is in the air this June in Montréal, as summer festival season kicks off and the city brims with new things to do, people to see and places to go. Whether you’re in Montréal for the Jazz Fest, Grand Prix or the new Cirque du Soleil show, take time to experience the early-summer city life, from the Old Port to the top of Mount Royal. Take a bike tour, walking tour or a bus tour, visit a history museum or art gallery, indulge at Montréal’s excellent restaurants, sit back with dinner and drinks on a terrasse in the sun, and when night falls, catch a show, a concert or go out dancing!

June festivals and major events

June is action-packed with Montréal summer festivals. Catch incredible performances by international dancers and performance artists at Festival TransAmériques and OFFTA from May 25 to June 9. Montréal’s famed outdoor electronic dance party Piknic Électronik continues every Sunday at Parc Jean-Drapeau from May 22 to October 2, featuring Claude Vonstroke on June 5, Anetha on June 12 and many more producers. Or hop on a bike to join Festival Go Vélo’s annual Tour la Nuit night bike ride on June 3 and 36-kilometre daytime ride Tour de l’Île de Montréal on June 5.

In the Old Port of Montréal, under the blue-and-yellow circus tent, Cirque du Soleil unveils their newest show: the fantastical new creation Kooza runs throughout the summer – get your tickets early! See surprising theatre, dance, comedy and circus at the St-Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival in multiple venues and outdoors at the Fringe Tent on Saint-Laurent Boulevard from May 30 to June 19. And MURAL FESTIVAL returns with live mural painting, high-energy live music and more outdoor events from June 9 to 19, featuring artists such as Shepard Fairey and major block parties on Saint-Laurent Boulevard and on Peel Street in Griffintown.

Downtown gets into the Formula 1 - Grand Prix mood with free events and music to dance to from June 17 to 19. Discover a wide world of francophone music at Les Francos de Montréal in the Quartier des spectacles from June 10 to 18, with artists such as Pierre Lapointe, Damien Robitaille, Rymz and more. Kids who love science will love the Eureka! Festival, packed with free science-focused activities from June 10 to 12, this year in a new location outside the Biosphère in Parc Jean-Drapeau. And for classical music lovers, the 2022 Montréal Chamber Music Festival presents concerts at Salle Bourgie from June 12 to 19. And for National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, POP Montreal presents a free concert with performances by Elisapie, Buffalo Hat Singers and more artists at Square Cabot at 3 p.m.

Montréal’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. Get ready for La Fête Nationale, also known as the Saint-Jean Baptiste long weekend, from June 23 to 26, arguably the biggest summer celebration in Quebec: enjoy barbeques, free entertainment at Place des Festivals on June 23, a Piknic Electronik celebration under the sun at Parc Jean-Drapeau on June 26, and more.

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. 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.


June outdoor activities

Downtown, the Jardins Gamelin outside Berri-UQAM metro station entertains with outdoor performances, music, karaoke, yoga 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 – don’t miss Yatai MTL’s celebration of Japanese street food on the weekend of June 10 to 12, in conjunction with Japan Week from June 6 to 12.

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 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! June is also a perfect time for bus and walking tours or to see the city from two wheels, whether on a bike tour, a rental bike, 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 historic Old Port of Montréal, see incredible city and river views from the Observation Wheel, climb high at Voiles en Voiles adventure park, explore the world of science with kids at the Montréal Science Centre, and even ride the MTL Zipline! Or stop 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. 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. 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 CF Montréal on the Stade Saputo pitch on June 18 and 25. Or you could relax in the warmth of world-class spas, including Bota Bota, spa sur leau (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 June!


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 spring while seeing the city from above on Montréal’s amazing rooftop patios. Also outdoors, Montréal’s gourmet food trucks return to the Olympic Park for the First Fridays food truck event on June 3, with all kinds of incredible food and drink, live music and family-friendly activities.

If you’re looking for a new lunch place, try some of Montrealers’ favourite lunch restaurants, from Old Montréal 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. And it’s a great time to have dinner and see a show at the Casino de Montréal, where live music is back along with incredible seafood and more on the grill at Le Montréal restaurant.

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.


Spring-summer shopping

Find a fresh spring 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.


June exhibitions and experiences

Montréal’s museums and art galleries inspire all year – and there’s always something new to see in spring. 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: June 8’s theme is pink), 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.

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. 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, the Phi Centre showcases techno’s musical sub-culture history in Techno Worlds (also at the Goethe-Institut and SAT) and more.

Explore Montréal's underground pedestrian network to discover new artwork by over 50 artists at Festival Art Souterrain – roam on your own or take a guided tour to June 30. A massive immersive 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 major immersive exhibition Frida Kahlo, The Life of an Icon, from June 10 to 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.

Galerie de l'UQAM presents group exhibition Zerynthia. Metamorphosis, focused on listening and shifting, and Memorias de Azúcar by Maria Hoyos, focused on sugar from a decolonial perspective until June 23. 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 artefacts 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. 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, opening June 10, and free outdoor exhibition Eating Local, opening June 17 on McGill College Avenue.

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, opening June 11. 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. And discover the vivid history and present of Québec ceramics at the Musée des métiers d'arts du Québec.

Make the most of spring 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 June

Montréal’s cultural calendar is packed this spring, with performance festivals like Festival TransAmériques and OFFTA, and new theatre, dance, music and all kinds of entertainment for everyone. If you’ve got tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza, why not also see Cirque Éloize’s Celeste, a cabaret circus show at Fairmont all spring. And experience dozens of off-the-beaten-path theatre, dance, comedy and circus performances at St-Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival from May 30 to June 19, in several venues and at an outdoor stage in the Plateau. Comedian Bill Maher performs at Place des Arts on June 19. And Festival Bloomsday Montréal celebrates James Joyce’s Ulysses and Irish- Montréal heritage, culture and literature with events from June 11 to 16

If classical ballet lifts your spirits, see Les Grands Ballets’ The Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Brazilian choreographer Marcia Haydée and set to Tchaikovsky’s music, from June 1 to 5 at Place des Arts. The Segal Centre presents musical The Sages of Chelm from June 19 to July 3, this year’s Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre Production, a tribute to Eastern European Jewish folklore. At LaChapelle, see Naishi Wang’s movement work Face to Face from June 5 to 8. Teesri Duniya Theatre presents Psycho 6, meshing theatre, physical movement, dance and rap into riveting storytelling at MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) from June 10 to 23. And see more contemporary dance at Agora de la danse and at Tangente, like neo-burlesque contemporary dance event Cabaret Tangente – La Grande Messe from June 15 to 18.

On screen in June

See independent features, family films, documentaries and more at Cinéma Moderne in person and online. 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 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.


Classical concerts in June

The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal with Maestro Rafael Payare performs Beethoven’s Triumphant Ninth Symphony from May 31 to June 3 at Maison symphonique, while at the end of the month, the OSM opens the Festival de Lanaudière in Joliette. Nathalie Stutzmann conducts the Orchestre Métropolitain in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”  and more at Maison symphonique on June 4, while Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the OM’s closing concert on June 18, and online hear Yannick Nézet-Séguin conduct Brahms: A German Requiem from June 10 to 19. Also at Maison symphonique this month, Choeur classique de Montréal performs Stabat Mater de Dvorak on June 11.

Relaxed and acoustically refined, the Salle Bourgie concert hall at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts is a wonderful place to be for intimate classical concerts, including chamber music performed by members of the OSM, the Orchestre Métropolitain, I Musici de Montréal, and many other talented musicians – this month, its also host to the 2022 Montréal Chamber Music Festival from June 12 to 19. And La Chapelle’s Beethoven Mystique concert series focuses on Beethoven’s last five string quartets, performed by the Warhol Dervish String Quartet and pop artists: on June 22 hear Quartet No 13 et 17, Op. 130/133 with Thanya Iyer.



More live music in June

Along with Les Francos and Jazz Fest music festival performances (like Wynton Marsalis on June 30), live music rocks Montréal’s many venues this month too! At Place des Arts this month, see Kraftwerk 3-D on June 8, Sigur Rós on June 10, a maestro of Afghan music Farhad Darya on June 24, Bollywood singer Neha Kakkar on June 26, and Canadian alt-rock band Our Lady Peace on June 28. Phoebe Bridgers plays a huge outdoor show at Parc Jean-Drapeau on June 8. At MTELUS this month, see Modest Mouse on June 1, Leif Vollebekk on June 3, Yann Tiersen on June 18, and Charlotte Cardin from June 20 to 26.

The ever-enlightening Suoni Per Il Popolo festival showcases experimental jazz and other musical forms from June 3 to 29 at Casa del Popolo, La Sala Rossa and other venues. POP Montréal presents Aldous Harding and H.Hawkline on June 6 at Théâtre Rialto. Catch Les Salons Acoustiques at LaChapelle with Cédric Dind-Lavoie and Plants and Animals and on June 21. Blue Skies Turn Black presents Jonathan Richman on June 6 at Le National, Purity Ring at Corona Theatre on June 21, and all kinds of shows at Bar Le Ritz PDB and L’Escogriffe. Spend an evening with Henry Rollins at Corona Theatre on June 4, while Charlotte Day Wilson plays Corona Theatre on June 16, followed by WAXAHATCHEE on June 25.

Electronic music goes big at the Society for Art and Technology downtown, with Christian Löffler on June 3, Lee Burridge on June 4, Rone on June 19, and more, plus the SAT’s 25th Anniversary parties on June 3 and 4, and the Dômesicle party in the Satosphere dome on June 11, with DJs and VJs curated by Shift Radio. Chicago experimental house producer Jana Rush performs at the Phi Centre on June 4, while Circuit des Yeux debuts new songs on June 10.

Groove to live soul, disco, jazz, funk, salsa and more at Le Balcon, where you can have dinner with a show, go dancing, and even 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. Sing along with Montréal’s fabulous queens at a drag show. 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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