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25 free things to do in Montreal this June

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DH Montreal Staff May 31, 2017 4:27 am 1,523

Free events are happening left and right in our fair city this June! Between Mural Festival, Mont Royal’s Trade Fair, a Caribbean food festival, a folk festival on the Lachine Canal, World of Beer, and much, much more, there are plenty of ways to have fun without spending a dime!

Don’t believe us? Check out 25 free things to do in Montreal this june.

Mural Festival

Mural Festival 2017 returns for yet another year of jam-packed fun! This popular street art festival is almost back and it truly looks better than ever! 21 street artists will be represented, painting brand new murals all over the city’s walls. Artists from all over the world, including France, Australia, and Spain will be participating. Plus, there will be block parties, guided tours of the murals, and an Enchanted Forest exhibition hosted by Lululemon happening every day of the festival. In addition to the usual slew of murals that are painted on buildings in the Plateau, Mural Fest’s resident street festival is back for two weekends in June. The sidewalk sale closes down Saint Laurent between Sherbrooke and Mont-Royal and sees a variety of food trucks, outdoor terrasses, and pop up stores temporarily taking up shop. Though the festival’s main site is on Saint Laurent, other events will be taking place at Studio Bliss, Art Gallery 175B, Station 16, and Parc du Portugal.
When: June 8-18, 2017
Where: Saint Laurent Boulevard, between Sherbrooke and Mont Royal

L’Avenue du Mont Royal Trade Fair

Kicking off June 1 and lasting until June 4, this massive sidewalk sale turns the street into a pedestrian-only zone filled with shopping bargains and tons of family-friendly activities. Shops will open to create the biggest open-air market of the summer, not to mention that shop hours will be extended until 11pm (except on the Sunday). Once you’ve satisfied your inner shopaholic, you can wander to the designated Family Area where you’ll find face painting, mini golf, a flying elephant ride, inflatable games, and a build-your-own birdhouse workshop. Finally, finish off your day with the DJ Site set up at the corner of Mont Royal and Saint Laurent. Here you’ll find a laidback environment with 7 DJs spinning tunes all hours of the day.  Prepare for an awesome weekend spent strolling through one of Montreal’s coolest neighbourhoods!
When: June 1-4, 2017
Where: Avenue du Mont Royal between Boulevard Saint Laurent and d’Iberville Street

World of Beer

Grab a pint at Montreal’s summer beer festival! World of Beer is returning for its 24th year which promises to be the best yet. In addition to the typical beer education workshops, there will be hundreds of exhibitors and over 500 beers to taste from both local and international breweries. The event will be taking place both indoors and outdoors, at Palais des Congres and Palais des Congres Esplanade. In essence, Palais des Congres Esplanade turns into a massive outdoor beer garden for five days in June. The festival is 100% free to enter, however, tasting coupons cost $1 a piece, with exhibitors charging between 2 and 8 coupons per tasting. The World of Beer site will be open between noon and 11pm Wednesday to Saturday, and from noon until 6pm on Sunday.
When: June 14 – 18, 2017
Where: Palais des congrès de Montréal (201 Viger Street West) and Palais des congrès Esplanade (de la Gauchetiere Street between Cheneville and Cote Street)

Free Outdoor Pianos

Montrealers love music, which is why we couldn’t be more excited that the city’s public piano initiative is back! Since 2012, the city of Montreal has been installing public pianos in the summertime. The project first began in the Plateau but has since spread to other parts of the city. Over 50 pianos have now been installed across Montreal for summer 2017. While the bulk of them are located in the Plateau, Mile End, and downtown, you’ll be able to find them as far as Pointe-Aux-Trembles and St-Leonard. Completely free of charge to the public, Montrealers far and wide are invited to play a note on these colourful and beautifully-decorated pianos!
When: Anytime
Where: For a full list of piano locations, click here.

Taste of the Caribbean

Centred on food, rum, music, and art, Montreal’s Taste of the Caribbean festival is a local favourite. Needless to say, it’s returning this June for five days of Caribbean-themed fun. This free festival is entering its 18th year and boasts activities for the whole family, ranging from kid’s workshops and outdoor concerts, to cooking and mixology classes. In addition, this year’s special theme is The Rum Edition, so if you’re a lover of Caribbean rum then you definitely have to attend! Plus, between Friday and Sunday, there will be live music and food vendors all afternoon and evening. In essence, if you’re looking to transport yourself to a tropical island with a rum-based cocktail in hand, Taste of the Caribbean is the festival for you!
When: June 21-25, 2017
Where: Old Port of Montreal

The Wave Cooling Station

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

Baroque Festival

This year, the Montreal Baroque Festival presents “Cirque Musical Circus,” in honour of The Royal Circus which was founded in England and embarked on a Canadian tour that began in Montreal in September 1797.  As such, 2017 marks the 220th anniversary of the first circus ever in Montreal, alongside Montreal’s 375th anniversary, Canada’s 150th anniversary, and the Montreal Baroque Festival’s 15th anniversary! Over the course of the four day festival, which kicks off June 22, there will be 14 indoor concerts as well as a multitude of free outdoor concerts and fun activities for all. Though the indoor concerts do require tickets, the festival kicks off with a free parade, and then each day of the festival begins with a free outdoor concert and has free talks and exhibitions for all!
When: June 22-25
Where: Various locations, click here for a list of venues

Montreal Digital Spring

Quartier des Spectacles is hosting a unique digital art festival all season long. Throughout the months of March, April, May, and June, Quartier des Spectacles will see all sorts of events pertaining to the digital arts. These include a media lab, live musical performances, and sculptures. Be sure to check out what’s going on in Quartier des Spectacles every weekend in the spring.
When: March 21-June 21
Where: Quartier des Spectacles

Walk Up Mount Royal

The weather has finally turned so why not take advantage? Go for a summer walk up Mount Royal! Explore the flora and fauna, wander a new trail, or even have a picnic at Beaver Lake. There is so much to explore at this Montreal landmark.
When: Anytime
Where: Mount Royal

Celebrate St. Jean Baptiste Day

Whether you love the historic parade or visiting Quartier des Spectacles for a massive free outdoor concert, there are plenty of ways to celebrate this Quebec holiday. Just to be sure to spend your long weekend relaxing on a terrasse and taking in all that a Montreal summer has to offer!
When: June 23-24
Where: Various locations

Dance Sessions at the Verdun Greenhouses

Dance the afternoon away! The Verdun Greenhouses recently released its summer programme and on it are none other than free dancing sessions. Ranging from salsa and tango to “swing l’ete,” these fun dance sessions are completely free of charge and are set to take place on alternating days throughout the summer. For these special events, a cement floor 511 square metres in size will be set up at the greenhouses. Grab a partner or find one there and prepare for an active and romantic day of dancing in the greenhouses. For a full schedule of events, click here.
When: Until August 20, 2017
Where: Verdun Greenhouses, 7000 Boulevard LaSalle

Explore a new bike path

Bixi Bikes are now back on the roads which means it’s time to start exploring our city’s beautiful bike paths. With bike paths all around the city, cycling in Montreal has never been easier. And if you know where to go, you’ll find that Montreal boasts some pretty magical bike paths – so magical in fact, they may give you a whole new perspective on your favourite city. So hop on your bike, borrow one from a friend, or take advantage of the city’s Bixi bikes and get pedalling! For a little inspiration, check out the most beautiful bike paths in Montreal.
When: Anytime
Where: Various locations

Marche des Possibles

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

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

Festival Bloomsday Montreal

This year, Bloomsday Montreal celebrates Irish culture as well as the work of James Joyce. Kicking off June 10th and last until Bloomsday (June 16th), this free festival features a slew of educational, cultural, and social events. Festival Bloomsday Montreal’s 2017 program includes walking tours, film screenings, Bloomsday brunch at EVOO, academic panels, pub quizzes, readings, live music, and talks that all unpack Joyce’s most popular novels as well as explore the rich Irish heritage of Montreal. Most of the events are free, however, those that aren’t are all $15 or less.
When: June 10 – 16, 2017
Where: Various locations

Yoga en Plein Air

Jardins Gamelins, Montreal’s resident summer garden, is hosting free outdoor yoga sessions each week for the entire summer. “Yoga en Plein Air,” invites Montrealers to practice yoga outdoors at Jardin Gamelins for free. The outdoor sessions are run by Yo-Yoga and take place every Tuesday morning from 7:30am until 8:30am. The official site encourages Montrealers to “Tone your body, awaken your senses in the heart of nature, and move through harmony.” No registration is required, however, participants must bring along their own yoga mat.
When: Tuesdays 7:30 am-8:30 am
Where: Place Emilie-Gamelin, 1500 Rue Berri

Montreal Folk Festival on the Canal

The 10th edition of the Montreal Folk Fest is happening this June along the Lachine Canal! This laid back musical festival is by far one of the best in Montreal, in part because of its awesome line-up, but also because of its stunning canalside location. This year, the Montreal Folk Festival on the Canal is taking place between June 14th and 18th. The 2017 lineup includes Joel Plaskett, John McEuen, Whitehorse, Sharon & Bram, Richard Shindell, Socalled & Yves Lambert, Anique Granger, Melanie Brulee, David Myles, Katie Moore, Next Generation Leahy, and many more. VIP passes start at $35 for one day, however, they are not necessary to attend the festival. In fact, the majority of the event is comprised of free concert series’, giving Montrealers the opportunity to attend this summer music fest free of charge! For a full list of free shows taking place at the Montreal Folk Festival on the Canal, click here.
When: June 14 – 18, 2017
Where: Centennial Esplanade, 3653-3667 Rue Saint-Patrick

La Grande Tournee celebrates Montreal: 19 boroughs in 19 weekends

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: May 12-September 17 (Thursday to Sunday)
Where: Different borough every weekend

Sherbrooke’s Open Air Museum

As part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations, Sherbrooke Street will temporarily be turned into an open-air museum. According to the website, it will give Montrealers “the chance to soak up a spectacular world-class public art exhibition.” Coordinated by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the project will mark the 375th anniversary of the city, the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, and the 150th anniversary of Canada. In honour of these important dates, this pop-up museum will feature 67 original works of Canadian art that “convey a message of peace and reflect the universal values of humanism, tolerance and openness that inspired Expo 67.” Finally, flags from each of the 13 provinces and territories, and from over 200 countries will be flown above the exhibition on Sherbrooke.
When: May 29 – October 2, 2017
Where: Sherbrooke Street West between the McCord Museum and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

First Fridays

The largest food truck festival in the province begins soon! Olympic Stadium is known for their awesome events, with our personal favourite being First Fridays. The most glorious of days, First Fridays are a special kind of culinary event in which all of the city’s food trucks gather at Olympic Stadium. Allowing Montrealers to sample dishes from over 50 food trucks, you can expect to find everything from tacos and churros, to mac and cheese and lobster rolls.

Taking place on the first Friday of the month between May 5th and October 27th, be sure to start the summer off right by hitting up this awesome event.
When: June 2
Where: Olympic Stadium

Promenade Wellington’s Summer Sidewalk Sale 2017

Promenade Wellington’s Summer Sidewalk Sale 2017 kicks off June 8 and lasts for four days until June 11. This year, there promises to be live calypso music, cotton candy, and of course, tons of vendors selling food and artisanal goods. In essence, the official sites claims that the Summer Sidewalk Sale is when “Verdun reclaims the summer!” Can’t make it to Verdun for the June 8 weekend? Be sure to visit Promenade Wellington in August when their annual Marionettes Plein La Rue Festival and their Back-to-School Sidewalk Sale take place!
When: June 8-11, 2017
Where: Promenade Wellington, Verdun

Tam Tams

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

Festival Classica

Montreal’s resident classical music festival is back! Festival Classica is an annual event that takes place in the heart of Saint-Lambert and features an impressive programme of indoor and outdoor concerts. The 2017 theme is De Bach aux Beatles, so you can expect a wide range of music at this year’s edition. All outdoor concerts are free, while indoor concerts require tickets, but they are all affordable. Festival Classica kicks off May 26th and ends June 4th, with exciting performances and activities happened every night of the festival. In addition to music, there will be a Notes gourmandes event showcasing Quebec food and alcohol, as well as a Classic’Art activity where artists come together to create works based on classical music!
When: May 26 – June 4, 2017
Where: Rue Elm & Avenue Lorne, Saint-Lambert   

Free Bixi Sundays

Take advantage of Montreal’s resident bike-sharing system: Bixi bikes! There are lots of exciting things going on with Bixi this year. We’re talking about a season pass sale, newly designed bikes in honour of the city’s 375th anniversary, and free Bixi Sundays. Free Bixi Sundays are nothing new but we’re pumped to see that they’re officially returning in 2017. Free Bixi Sundays Offered by Manulife kick off May 28th. On designated days throughout the summer, all one-way trips under 30 minutes will be free of charge for the entire day (from midnight until 11:59pm).
When: June 25
Where: All across the city

The Eureka! Festival

The Eureka! Festival returns to Old Port this month for three days of mad science fun! This year marks the festival’s 10th edition, which claims to be a “tremendous celebration of science for everyone and a fabulous chance to meet people who are passionate about science.” The program for 2017 has yet to be released, but if it’s anything like last year, Montrealers are in for a treat! Last year’s event included interactive demonstrations on molecular ice cream, flying bikes, interactive lasers and fountains, robots, insects, hoverboards, and astronauts. Other activities included a kite-making workshop, a rubik’s cube workshop, and hands-on lessons about sound creation, large mammals of Africa, and movie magic featuring incredible makeup artists. And did we mention the entire festival is free of charge? You have no excuse not to check it out! Be sure to make your way down to Old Port come June 9th!
When: June 9 – 11, 2017
Where: Montreal Science Centre


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DH Montreal Staff

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