Thelong weekend is just around the corner, so it’s time to start planning how you want to spend your Canada Day weekend.
Given that it’s our country’s 150th anniversary, you can bet there is a lot going on in Montreal. Plus, in addition to the annual events like the Canada Day Parade, International Fireworks Competition, and massive free concert in Old Port, Canada Day in Montreal also happens to coincide with the International Jazz Festival, Mtl en Arts, and much more!
For a complete list of activities happening over the long weekend, check out 22 things to do on Canada Day weekend in Montreal.
The International Jazz Festival returns to our fair city this June. Taking place over the course of two weeks, hundreds of jazz musicians will flock to Montreal to perform in both outdoor and indoor venues across the city. 2017 headliners include Squarepusher, Matt Holubowski, Bob Dylan, Her, and Andrea Lindsay.
When: June 28-July 8, 2017
Where: Various locations
The music legend returns to Montreal on June 30th. Bob Dylan himself has decided to stop at the Bell Centre on his Never Ending Tour. Dylan will be promoting his 38th studio album, Triplicate, set to be released on March 31st. Triplicate features covers of classic American songs, and includes thirty songs in total spread over three discs. The North American leg of Dylan’s 2017 tour will have him playing eight shows in the United States, before making his way up north and finishing off his tour on July 27th in Victoria, BC.
When: June 30, 7 pm
Where: Bell Centre
Voiles en Voiles has returned to Old Port once again! Open all summer long, this attraction encourages both children and adults to “live a memorable adventure.” This family park features 61 activities and will have Montrealers exploring a giant pirate ship by way of climbing, sliding, aerial adventure courses, and inflatable games. Whether you want to soar 20 feet high in the air, conquer a built-in rock climbing wall, or play in a bouncy castle, there is something for everyone. Rates vary depending on which activities you want to do aboard the ship. For example, access to the inflatable games is just $12, while access to the inflatable games, rock climbing wall, aerial courses, and the all aboard course will set you back $45. No matter which you choose, it’s guaranteed to be an afternoon you’ll never forget! Be sure to head down to Old Port before the end of the season!
When: Until the end of October
Where: Place des Vestiges, Old Port
Old Montreal’s famous Clock Tower Beach was closed last summer, but it has reopened in summer 2017, giving Montrealers all the benefits of a beach without leaving the city. Set up at Clock Tower Quay, Clock Tower Beach sits on the banks of the Saint Lawrence and features white sand, blue umbrellas, lounge chairs, and even a resident bar (L’Horloge). Entrance to the beach is just $2, which is a small price to pay for paradise! The beach will be open on weekends only until June 11, and then every day of the week starting June 16.
When: Until September 4
Where: Clock Tower Quay, Old Port
A whole new way to cool off! The borough of Plateau-Mont-Royal just announced a brand new initiative set to take hold this summer: a cooling station. A unique installation will be set up on the east side of St-Denis between Marie-Anne and Duluth that will feature a 22-metre long misting rack, allowing pedestrians to cool off on hot summer days. The cooling station, dubbed “The Wave”, is set to open to the public on June 15!
When: Opens June 15
Where: St-Denis between Marie-Anne and Duluth
Pop Montreal’s Marche des Possibles returns for yet another year! Taking over the Mile End between June 23 and August 13, this public open-air market has become a local favourite in recent years owing to its incredible lineup of activities. Founded in 2014, the market’s “diversified socio-cultural programming” includes everything from musical performances and film screenings to food trucks, pop up restaurants, a beer garden, and an artisanal market. The market is located at the corner of Rue St. Dominique and Bernard and opens every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the summer months. Whether you want to go grocery shopping, take in some live music, bargain hunt for a new wardrobe, grab lunch, or relax in a beer garden, Marche des Possibles is the place to be!
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday between June 23 and August 13, 2017
Where: 5635 Rue St. Dominique
Parc Jean Drapeau recently announced that their their stand up paddle boarding lessons and rentals will open on June 21st for the summer! Run by Quebec company, KSF, Montrealers will once again have the opportunity to rent a SUP or take lessons from a certified instructor. Rentals start at $17.25 for one hour, and go up to $115 for 10 one-hour rentals. Wetsuits are also available for rent. In addition, KSF offers some awesome lessons! For those new to the sport, there are introductory lessons for $44.85. However, for more experienced paddlers, there are also SUP yoga, fitness, fitness XT, yoga jala flo, and yoga sunset yin classes. These start at $34.90 per session and go up to $56.35. Reservations are required for all SUP lessons, but are not necessary for rentals. SUP lessons and rentals finish after Labour Day weekend so be sure to take advantage while you can! For more information, check out the Parc Jean Drapeau website, or visit Pavillon des Activites Nautiques in Parc Jean Drapeau.
When: June 21-September 4, 2017
Where: Pavillon des Activites Nautiques, Parc Jean Drapeau
Canadian entertainment company, Cirque du Soleil, has returned to its hometown this summer to perform its newest show, VOLTA. Volta is the travelling company’s latest show which tells a story centered on the freedom to choose and create your own path. Inspired by action sports, the show will feature a series of acrobatic stunts, an emotional score, a “visually striking” set, and a spiritual theme. Prepare for one of the most raw and emotional stories ever told by Cirque du Soleil.
When: Until July 23, 2017
Where: Under the Big Top, Old Port of Montreal
Head to Old Port for the traditional gun salute. A cannon shot will go off every 21 minutes from noon onwards in celebration of Canada’s birth. If the 21 cannon salute doesn’t interest you, Old Port will play host to a wide variety of family-friendly activities all day long. There will be street entertainment, face painting, inflatable games, and cake for all!
When: July 1, exact time TBA
Where: Old Port
Montreal has been hosting the Canada Day parade since 1977. Keep the tradition alive by attending this year’s Canada Day Parade that will make its way along Rue Sainte-Catherine starting at Rue Fort and ending at Place du Canada. Be sure to wear all of your red and white gear, and whatever you do, don’t miss the parade’s after party. From 1:30-3:00 pm, Place du Canada will have inflatable games set up for kids and will be serving a giant Canada-themed cake to the crowd. All cake, activities, and water are free of charge.
When: July 1, 11:00 am
Where: On Rue Sainte-Catherine from Rue Fort to Place du Canada, click here for more details
Spend the evening of July 1st listening to some incredible Canadian musicians while overlooking the romantic setting of Old Port. The free annual concert will begin at 8:30pm and will lead right into the Canada Day Fireworks starting at 10:00pm. Performers at this year’s event are still TBA but should be up on the official website soon. Check back for updates!
When: July 1, 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Old Port
As most of you already know, Montreal becomes home to the International Fireworks Competition each summer. Kicking off on Canada Day, there are typically weekly fireworks shows between the beginning of July and the beginning of August. This year, however, there will be an extra special edition of L’International des Feux-Loto Quebec. First off, 2017 marks the 33rd anniversary of the festival, however, more than that it also marks the 375th anniversary of Montreal and the 50th anniversary of La Ronde (the site from which the fireworks are launched). In addition, this year’s competition will be kicked off with an extra special, Montreal-themed fireworks show. According to the official website, the “fireworks opening ceremony will reflect Montreal spirit,” and singer-songwriter Ian Kelly will perform his song entitled “Montreal.”
When: July 1-August 5, 2017
Where: La Ronde
It’s recently been confirmed that art festival and sidewalk sale, Mtl en Arts, will be returning to the Gay Village at the end of this month. Mtl en Arts is an outdoor art festival that showcases all kinds of art, ranging from visual arts and crafts to performances and interactive installations. This year, it is taking place between June 28 and July 2, during which time the pedestrian zone of the Gay Village will become home to over 150 artists. Montrealers will be free to roam this artistic sidewalk sale of sorts and marvel at all kinds of artwork, as well as speak with the artists first hand. The festival will also include creative workshops for children, live painting demonstrations, and musical performances.
When: June 28-July 2
Where: Sainte Catherine Street East between St-Hubert and Papineau
Parc Jean Drapeau’s Aquazilla, the park’s resident inflatable obstacle course on the water, is back for summer 2017. The 30×35 meter inflatable structure is comprised of obstacles, slides, and more in the form of a wiggle bridge, a water trampoline, an infinity loop, monkey bars, a flip bag, and a giant swing. Aquazilla officially opens June 12th, and will be open between 10am and 7pm daily until August 27th. Tickets cost $12 per hour for children and $15 per hour for adults.
When: June 12 – August 27, 10am-7pm
Where: Beach Jean-Dore, Parc Jean Drapeau
A dazzling water show paying tribute to the Saint Lawrence River will be taking over Old Port this summer. Titled Montreal Avudo, this spectacular water show will project life size images inspired by the city’s history onto the water. The event’s official site promises that “Young and old will be dazzled, moved and transported by the magic of images and scenes projected on rippling water walls and other spectacular installations.” Scenes will include archived images, city documents, 3D animations, and relevant illustrations. All of this magic will be capped off by an original score created by Maria Bonzanigo and recorded with the Orchestre Métropolitain and the Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal.
When: Thursday to Saturday from May 12-September 2, 2017, 9:30 pm and
10:30 pm each night
Where: The west sector of the Old Port of Montréal, near the King Edward Pier and the Montréal Science Centre
To celebrate the city’s 375th anniversary, all 19 of Montreal’s boroughs will be hosting parties. Officially titled La Grande Tournee celebrates Montreal: 19 boroughs in 19 weekends, the event is being organized by Cirque Eloize, who will be travelling across the Montreal to help honour the city, its people, and its history. Each weekend, a neighbourhood park will host a party for all ages that speaks to the characteristics of that community. Not only are these consecutive parties, set to take place between Thursday and Sunday of each week, intended to highlight what’s special about each borough, but they provide a chance for tourists and people from other parts of Montreal to learn about the city. In addition to a simple gathering of residents, each borough’s party will feature all sorts of entertainment. Activities include circus and artistic performances, historical exhibitions, live music, treasure hunts, and farmers’ markets.
When: Until September 17 (Thursday to Sunday)
Where: Different borough every weekend
Grab your sangria kits and drum sets! Tam Tams has returned to our fair city and we couldn’t be more excited. After all, is there any better sign that summer has arrived? Taking place every Sunday during the summer months, Tam Tams is one of the city’s best and most popular unofficial events. Tam Tams is a magical outdoor festival where Montrealers far and wide gather in Parc Mont Royal for an afternoon of food, fun, and music. Though the drum circle is located at the Sir George-Etienne Cartier Monument, vendors and entertainment spread throughout the park, all the way from Avenue Mont-Royal to Duluth. Remember to bring food and wine, and take advantage of Montreal’s picnic law!
When: Until September 24, 2017
Where: Sir George-Etienne Cartier Monument
An immersive and luminous experience is happening right now at Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica. Owing to the city’s 375th anniversary, Montreal’s most famous landmark is putting on a mesmerizing light show for the rest of 2017. Created by Moment Factory, Aura is a two-act multimedia show featuring both music and special lighting effects. According to the official description, “AURA will help visitors discover one of Canada’s greatest heritage monuments in a whole new way and will move them with its portrayal of its treasures.”
When: Everyday except Sundays
Where: Notre Dame Basilica, 110 Notre-Dame St W
Mark your calendars! Montreal’s resident amusement park, La Ronde, is officially scheduled to open on May 20th. Less than two months away, we suggest you start preparing for the upcoming season. What’s the best way to prepare, you may ask? We recommend taking advantage of the park’s incredible season pass deal! Once you’ve purchased your passes, it’s time to curate your plan of attack. For a little inspiration, check out 11 rides at La Ronde you have to try. Alternatively, you can read all about La Ronde’s insane new ride, Titan, here.
When: Until October
Where: La Ronde, 22 Chemin Macdonald
Opened by Montreal’s archeology and history museum, Pointe A Calliere, the city’s newest underground tunnel is a tribute to North America’s first collector sewer. Pointe A Calliere has turned a portion of the underground sewer tunnel into a permanent exhibition at the museum entitled “Memory Collector.” The continent’s first collector sewer was built between 1832 and 1838 and collected rainwater and wastewater up until 1989. Part of the sewer was incorporated into the Pointe A Calliere building in 1992, and this year, was turned into a museum exhibition. “Memory Collector” spans 110 metres and offers visitors a “multisensory, contemplative experience thanks to an ingenious light installation projected onto the stone walls of the collector sewer, in a specially designed sound environment.” Ultimately, the exhibit promises to take visitors on a journey to a “mysterious underground world imbued with history and emotion.”
When: Monday to Friday 10 am-5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am-5 pm
Where: Pointe A Calliere
Montreal’s favourite Sunday EDM festival, Piknic Electronik, is back for summer 2017!Kicking off May 21st in Parc Jean Drapeau, this outdoor electronic music festival is a true sign that summer has returned to the city. 2017 marks the 15th edition of Piknic Electronik, so you can bet the lineup is going to be a particularly good one. The 2017 programme won’t be unveiled until May 4th, so be sure to check the official website in May.
When: Every Sunday until September 24, 2017
Where: Parc Jean Drapeau
A special exhibition on world-renowned painter, Marc Chagall, is on at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts right now. The exhibit, titled “Chagall: Colour and Music,” explores the importance of music in Chagall’s life. It is multidisciplinary, featuring over 400 works ranging from sculptures and paintings to photographs and films. In addition, puppets, costumes, stained glass windows, maquettes, and gouaches are on display. According to the official site, “Music was a constant source of inspiration” for the Russian-French artist. “A favourite subject for his creations, it served as an internal rhythm and driving force for his compositions, and a key to the intensity and range of colour in his work.”
When: January 28-June 11, 2017
Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts