What’s New in Old Montréal This Summer

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal's ecclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.

This article was updated on May 31, 2022.

Summer strolling in Old Montréal? Can’t be beat. But it CAN be levelled up: This summer, Old Montréal has enhanced its outdoor offerings by creating a series of alluring ephemeral spaces, including chatting zones (i.e. placottoirs), urban oases, wireless work spaces, live performance spots, exterior photo exhibitions, and a refresh of their beloved bocce grounds. And did we mention there’s about a gazillion imminent club and restaurant openings?

Any stroll in Old Montréal promises an eyeful of natural beauty thanks to the hundreds of floral installations dotting main arteries, squares and street corners, the perfect counterpoint to the arresting architecture or this storied part of the city. Make sure you make a detour to the Saint-Amable Lane on your journey for its photo-ready flower arches.

Urban escapes

Follow all that greenery with a stop at one of the placottoirs, outdoor seating installations designed to encourage chatting, chilling and general life-loving in the sun. There are two, one on St-Jacques Street and the other on Notre-Dame Street, with a third urban oasis at Cité Multimedia designed as an open-air work zone, lunch spot or general kick back zone more to the west, at the corners of Queen and Wellington Streets.

All fun and games

Lovers of bocce will be thrilled to hear the 8 professional grade courts located in the tree-lined space behind Marché Bonsecours are up and running again. No reservations are necessary—just show up with your kit and it’s first come, first serve. (If those are full, head back to the Cité Multimédia urban oasis—there’s a court there too!) On your way, stop by one of the free photo exhibitions: one is a historical photo exhibition located at Royer and Saint-Claude Streets, the other features contemporary photography on De la Commune just west of McGill.

 

Live, from a street near you

We’re so excited to enjoy the free live music again at Zone Musique Place d’Armes, presented on every sunny weekday between noon and 1 in the heart of Place d’Armes. You can look forward to 12 weeks of fresh performances by up-and-coming musicians starting mid-June. Make it your summer lunchtime ritual, picnic in hand! And during the Grand Prix Formula One weekend, June 17 to 19, 2022, come see the street decorations; they promise to set your heart racing.

And so many exciting openings

For some indoor fun to follow up all that fresh air, you’re in luck: Old Montréal is chock-a-block with newsworthy restaurants, clubs and cafés, with even more on the way. Brand new or slated to open this summer are Baratartar, Pizzeria Zapoli, Marcella Dinette Italienne, Acqua & Farina and Pinsa Romana within Mercato Comunale. Watch this space for more on those.

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal's ecclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.

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