What's new in Montréal

Tourisme Montréal

Article updated on April 21, 2022.

In spring, Montréal steps out of the festive beauty of winter and into a true celebration of springtime. As April showers bring May flowers and spring-fever kicks into high gear, the season heralds the abundance of festivals and fair-weather fun to come.

Embrace YOLO while causing FOMO back home at these new Montréal hotels

Montréal’s hotel scene offers everything from unique boutique luxury experiences to the most trusted brands, and we’re welcoming some new heavy hitters to the city’s most desirable neighbourhoods.

At the bustling intersection between Saint-Denis Street and Sherbrooke Street and a mere stone’s throw away from one of Montréal’s most beautiful park spaces Square Saint-Louis, the L’Hôtel de l’ITHQ reveals its spring 2022 glow-up featuring top-tier renovations and Québec-made furnishings. 

 

The Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton Montréal Downtown combines two of Hilton’s most trusted brands under one roof in the city’s historic Chinatown. With over 150 rooms at the Hampton and 97 self-contained Homewood Suites, there’s the right home away from home here for everyone. 

 

Housed in the historic Place Gare Viger, the Hyatt Centric Old Montréal guarantees good views from its stately rooms and rooftop pool. And when it comes to location, location, location, it’s just mere steps away from both the buzzing Quartier des Spectacles and Old Montréal.

 

Built to house the crowds swarming to Montréal for Expo 67, the Marriott Château Champlain has long been a popular favourite of those in the know. Revealing a massive transformation and renovation, the Château is once again on the cutting edge of accommodation, with the same killer views guests have loved from the start.

 

Opening late-spring 2022 right in the beating heart of the urban action, the new Hyatt Place Montréal Downtown provides easy access to many of Montréal’s top attractions, including the Village and the Entertainment District. Offering upscale amenities at a reasonable price, it’s the latest addition to the “Hyatt Place” collection of Hyatt properties. 

 

The Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites Montréal Mid-Town brings a trusted brand to the effervescent Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood, with easy access to the airport, highways and the city’s iconic métro.  

 

Those looking for a bonafide 5-star experience need look no further than the Vogue Hotel Montréal Downtown, a new addition to the Curio Collection by Hilton. 

 

All-new awe-inspiring attractions

The McCord Museum welcomes Queer Photographs by Montréal-based photographer JJ Levine. A selection of portraits drawn from three different series, Queer Photographs is a moving tribute to the 2SLGBTQ+ community. 
 
Celebrating its 30th year, the Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex presents VIKINGS—Dragons of the Northern Seas. Dive in to the world of the vikings in an immersive and innovative look at their lives and times. 
 
The Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art brings two recent series by photographer Stan Douglas blending CG imagery and staged models with the Canadian premiere of Penn Station’s Half Century (2021) and the Québec premiere of Disco Angola (2012). 

Cirque Eloize’s latest circus and cabaret extravaganza Celeste continues exclusively at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth until June 4. Celebrating the mythical and mysterious world of the stars, Celeste plunges spectators into a bewitching atmosphere they won’t soon forget. 
 
Coming to the Big Top in Montréal’s Old Port, Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA runs throughout the summer from June 22 to August 14, 2022. Combining the artforms of clowning and acrobatics, KOOZA promises another eye-popping feast for the senses in true Cirque du Soleil style. 

 

Working in collaboration with MU and Chilean-born Montréal artist Rafael Sottolichio, Tourisme Montréal unveiled the epic mural Façades on Peel Street close to Dorchester Square, in tribute to the city we love to call home – and that tourists love to visit. Consider it our valentine to our hometown, its people and the ephemeral Montrealers that every visitor becomes once they arrive. 

 

Conductor Rafael Payare leads the Orchestra symphonique de Montréal, through another season of groundbreaking performances and repertoire at the stately Maison symphonique de Montréal. Payare’s first season behind the baton climaxes with unmissable performances of Beethoven’s triumphant Ninth Symphony on May 31-June 2, 2022.

 

The art of diversity at the MMFA

The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts presents five monographic exhibitions in 2022, devoted to 20th century icons Diane Arbus and Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as leading artists on the current art scene – Shary Boyle, Nicolas Party and Adam Pendleton – in a strong thematic program that highlights diversity and current social issues. 

 

Masterpieces by Van Gogh get a dazzling digital treatment in the brand-new immersive exhibition VAN GOGH-Distorsion at Canada’s largest indoor immersive attraction, OASIS immersion at the Palais des congrès de Montréal beginning April 28.

 

Highlighting original artworks by Canadian artists, Dazibao contemporary art centre presents proximity · pleasure · plasticity looking at performance April 21 to June 23, 2022, focusing on the digital image, the virtual self and how the two mirror and intersect. 

 

AURA at the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal is back in a new, revamped edition. A marvel of video mapping, light and sound, AURA remains a must-see to any visit to Old Montréal, that transforms the Basilica into a living, breathing environment you won’t soon forget. 

 

The newly renovated Space for Life – Biodôme de Montréal in the iconic Olympic Park gives guests of all ages a newly-revamped and unforgettable opportunity to experience five of the Americas’ most diverse ecosystems up close. Don’t feed the wildlife!

And after a major renovation of its own, the Insectarium reopens its doors on April 13, 2022! Filled with the most beautiful bugs and the creepiest crawlies, the Insectarium is the perfect spot for an unforgettable first date or a thrilling family day out! (In either case, we’d suggest exclaiming, “there’s a spider in your hair!” or “OMG the scorpions are loose!” and watch the fun ensue!)

 

Spring has sprung!

As the winter snows turn to springtime blossoms, Montréal takes off its cross-country skis and slips into its hippest footwear, ready to walk, run and bike to the nearest outdoor hot spot. And as the temperature rises, so do the variety of springtime activities from park hangs and shopping outings to night markets and open-air performances.  
 

Spring also brings the annual favourite family activity of the Sugar Shack, in which the latest batch of Québec’s iconic maple syrup makes its way into a full feast of traditional eats in the most charming of settings. Every Montrealer has a favourite spot nestled in the forested areas around the city—here’s a few of ours

 

Just as awaited as the opening of new growth flowers is the annual springtime re-opening of Montréal’s terrasses. More than just an outdoor patio, terrasses are gathering places where locals while away the hours enjoying fine drinks, tasty snacks and animated conversation. 

While Montréal’s parks stay bustling all year long, springtime is a special time when Montrealers embrace the greenery and decompress in their preferred leafy havens. The city’s urban public spaces also convert into open-air cinemas and pop-up markets and the Marché de Nuit Asian Market re-opens, offering delicacies late into the night. 

 

Springtime also brings the lineup announcements from the year’s biggest festivals including Osheaga, ÎleSoniq and the Francos, getting locals and visitors alike ready for another packed summer of #mtlmoments to remember for a lifetime. 

A city of culinary delights

It’s no empty brag when we say Montréal is home to one of North America’s most vibrant culinary scenes, and the list of must-eats grows with every season. Check out these recent openings in the city, and trust us when we tell you you’ll want to leave space for dessert. Bon appetit!

  • From the creators of Bouillon Bilk and Cadet, Place Carmin flips expectations on their head with bold choices like sweet potato schnitzel, sweetbread in crust and blood pudding tatin. There’s also fresh seafood selections sure to keep any catch of the day fan happy – and pleasantly stuffed.
  • Housed in an old flower and gift shop, Fleurs et Cadeaux kept the earlier tenants’ somewhat nondescript sign, but transformed the interior into one of Montréal’s most exciting Japanese hot spots. Wrap up your own sushi rolls right at the table, and sample their expertly curated sake list alongside the city’s hippest gourmandes. Fleurs et Cadeaux is the kind of place that if you know, you know. And now you know!
  • Buvette Pastek's menus change with every meal, featuring a weekend brunch selection with something for everyone from sinful sweets to healthy salads.
  • Verdun’s Beba offers an ever-changing daily menu with an expert wine list that will have you asking for a refill.
  • Under the covered awnings of Plaza Saint-Hubert, Le Brouillon is more than just a café and restaurant, it’s also a self-described creative space you won’t want to leave.
  • Featuring the tastes of the Middle East, Babacool also features unique cocktails and a choice natural wines list.
  • Bazart breaks the mould as not just a culinary hot spot offering multi-course reserved seating brunches in an old industrial warehouse, but an artisanal marketplace, NFT gallery and open air gallery housed in the outer yard.
  • Pincette Lobster Bar brings the flavours and charm of an East Coast lobster shack to Old Montréal, right next to Place Jacques-Cartier.
  • Knuckles brings comfort foods like panzarotti and expertly grilled vegetables to an all-new level, and also offers some stylish t-shirts to take home with you too – surely, there won’t be any leftovers here!
  • Microbrewery fans won’t want to miss Projet Pilote a stone’s throw from Parc La Fontaine, featuring in-house brews and an on-site distillery.
  • Specializing in pasta (including a special kids-only portion) and conserves, Bar Bara doubles as an Italian wine bar and café.
  • Housed in Parc La Fontaine’s chalet, Robin des Bois continues their non-profit social activities in Montréal with Drag Brunches and teambuilding culinary workshops. and pop-up public market stands throughout the city. 
  • Located in the Wilder Building, within The Grands Ballets Canadiens’ headquarters, Café Constance was beautifully designed by none other than Zébulon Perron. The stunning décor includes lamps that look like floating ballet skirts.  

     

A constantly changing cityscape

Montréal is on the move, with a roster of major enhancement projects changing the face of the city – and we’re ready for our close-up!  

The Quartier des Spectacles’ Esplanade Tranquille (named for bookstore owner Henri Tranquille whose Librairie Tranquille played a part in the writing of the Refus Global Manifesto and Québec’s Quiet Revolution) is the perfect spot for a restful recharge and some people watching. A 5,000 square metre ice rink throughout the winter months, the Esplanade Tranquille at the corner of Clark and Sainte-Catherine Streets will transform into a festival hub throughout the spring and summer months.

 

While the Centre des Mémoires Montréalaises won’t open its newly-constructed doors until autumn 2022, the MEM is already offering intriguing programming throughout the city and online. Aiming at sharing the voice of Montréalers with locals and tourists alike, the MEM promises to be a civic memory space unlike any other.

Also under construction is the epic new home of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (or MAC for short, set for opening in 2025), but that doesn’t mean the museum’s programming has stopped for the duration. Returning to the site of their first exhibition in 1965 in the Place Ville Marie, the MAC’s temporary home’s spring programming continues with Mika Rottenberg (May 21 to October 9, 2022), which brings together the artist’s videos, installations, and sculptures in an immersive exhibition. filmmaker Laura Poitras’ Terror Contagion featuring narration from Edward Snowdon and sound by Brian Eno until April 18, 2022. 

And set to open in 2022, the ultramodern glass and steel marvel the Port of Montréal Tower at the newly re-developed Grand Quay will offer visitors thrilling views over Old Montréal, Downtown and the Saint Lawrence River.  

 

The island oasis Parc Jean-Drapeau is undergoing a transformation featuring a re-greening of park space including spaces dedicated to wetlands, a riverside promenade, ferry access, waterfront public squares and a High Line-inspired bridge linking the park’s two islands. Skating fans won’t want to miss the Radio-Canada Skaters’ Trail, a great spot for a romantic evening or some exercise with family and friends.  And embracing the park’s legendary Expo 67 history, the Place des Nations is also on the receiving end of a unique glow-up, restoring its exposition-heights grandeur as an open-air performance space and gathering point at the west end of Île Sainte-Hélène. 

 

The light-rail REM (Réseau express métropolitain) system will directly connect Montréal’s North Shore, South Shore, West Island and YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, with the first trains scheduled to run in Summer 2022. 

 

The Royalmount project promises an eco-innovative neighbourhood that’s more than just an upcoming must-have address, but also a leafy oasis well-stocked with shops, theatres, hotels and park spaces with phase 1 scheduled for August 2023. 

Greatest Hits and Icons galore

  • The epic views from the La Grande Roue de Montréal cover the flowing waters of the Saint-Lawrence River on one side, and Old Montréal and the Old Port on the other. An iconic must-do for any visitor. 

  • For those who want a little more adrenaline in their vistas, the MTL Zipline extends from Old Montréal to the waters’ edge delivering a high speed rush. 

  • There’s a plethora of activities and adventures awaiting in the Old Port, ranging from the brain-tickling SOS Labyrinth, the stately Marguerite Bourgeoys Historic Site, the outdoor fun zone Ecorecreo, the pleasure boats of AML Cruises and Bateau Mouche, boat rentals from H20 Adventures, the sandy Clock Tower Beach, the epic pirate playground of Voiles en Voiles and many more. There’s something for everyone! 

  • When it comes to Montréalers, when the sun’s out, we’re out, and the city’s vibrant parks are the perfect spot for summer picnics. We’ve even made a list of picnic and park pairings, guaranteed to create gourmet summer memories. 

  • There’s few better ways to see Montréal than atop two wheels, and the city’s bike tour providers offer the gamut from mountain biking excursions to urban adventuring on electric scooters. 

  • Montréal’s glowing history comes to life with the light and sound experiences of Cité Mémoire, throughout Old Montréal and the Old Port. Triggered by the Montréal en Histories app, the city’s ghosts are projected throughout the neighbourhood to tell their own stories after dark. 

     

  • Bask in the blooms at the Botanical Garden, featuring thousands of species of plantlife throughout its outdoor gardens and indoor greenhouses. The Chinese and Japanese gardens offer unforgettable spots to refresh and reflect. 

  • The Ecomuseum Zoo is home to a wide-ranging collection of native animals, including woodland caribous, eagles, reptiles and even black bears. It’s the perfect way to connect up close with Québec’s unique fauna for a deeper link with the province’s natural world. 

  • Are there any two things more relaxing than boats and spas? The Bota Bota spa-sur-l’eau combines the two in an old ferryboat and outdoor pool area. And did we mention that view over the water?  

You have questions about COVID-19-related health measures in Montréal? Consult this page

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