31 things to do in Montreal this August

Jul 31 2018, 7:14 pm

As July starts to fizzle into this summer’s rear view mirror, Montreal sets its sights onto August. Good thing too, because there are a bunch of events, activities and festivals happening this month.

And don’t worry Montreal, there’s still a lot of summer left.

We’ve put together a month’s worth of things to do so you might be wise to hold on to this post for a while.

Friday at Osheaga

Osheaga 2018

@timsnowphoto/ Instagram

When it comes to music festivals, it’s hard to top Osheaga. The 3-day indie music festival is held every summer at Parc Jean-Drapeau spread out across six stages on Île Sainte-Hélène.

The festival always boasts an impressive lineup of artists and last year, had over 150,000 visitors over three days. The site also hosts local food trucks, activities, bar outlets and rest areas.

Osheaga’s Friday lineup includes Travis Scott, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, James Blake, Portugal, The Man, Chromeo and Odesza as the first day’s headliners.

When: Friday, August 3
Time: Doors open at noon, performances begin at 1 pm – 11 pm
Where: Île Sainte-Hélène – Parc Jean-Drapeau
Price: $115 for a day pass

Le Grand PoutineFest

After travelling to Mirabel and Laval, PoutineFest is back to its original location at the Jacques Cartier Quay in the Old Port and everything is gravy.

The festival will welcome more than 20 poutine outlets from various restaurants all over the city, some of whom will dish out the classic poutine and some will give it a little spin. The venue will feature live music, shows, cooking workshops and a family zone.

PoutineFest is free to enter and meal packages prices vary.

Say goodbye to that summer body, these poutines are totally worth it.

When: From now until August 5
Time: 11 am to 11 pm
Where: Jacques Cartier Quay – Montreal’s Old Port
Price: Free

Parc Safari Zoo


Parc Safari

Get your animal fix by heading to Parc Safari, an easy 40-minute drive off the island. The park offers an optional Safari Adventure upon entering, you can drive up and see a variety of exotic animals from your car including zebras, ostriches, buffalo, llamas, and camels. Inside the park, take a walk down the Forest Trail where you have an amazing vantage point view of monkeys, hyenas, and bears. Don’t forget the lions, but we didn’t have to tell you that.

The Parc also just revealed four baby cheetahs. Come on, that’s just too cute.

When: Every day in August
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
Where: 280 Rang Roxham, Hemmingford
Price: Prices vary depending on age. Tickets available at the entrance or online

Haunted Red Light Ghost Walk

Local tour company, Secret Montreal, is giving guests a chance to learn about the city’s indecent past.

The tour is led by a professional actor and storyteller and the path leads to tales about the dark and lewd history of Montreal’s old Red Light District. Many of the sites are even said to be haunted.

When: Every Friday until Halloween
Time: 8:30 pm – 10 pm
Where: 1219 Boulevard Saint Laurent
Price: $26.50, available online

Montreal Highland Games



Every summer, the Montreal Highland Games brings together people from all backgrounds together to celebrate the heritage of Scotland.

The Games represent a wonderful opportunity for participants and visitors alike to discover the treasures, legends and history of the rich Scottish culture.

The festival features a massive parade, caber toss, tug of war, cannons, highland dancing, armoured combat, and traditional Scottish food and drinks.

Whether you’re Scottish or not, all are invited to celebrate the Highland Games activities.

When: Sunday, August 5
Time: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm
Where: Douglas Hospital – 7070 Boulevard Champlain, Verdun
Price: $15

Jean-Doré Beach

Jean-Doré Beach is situated on Parc Jean Drapeau and has nice golden‑sand and clear water. What makes it even more appealing is that it’s very close to downtown and easily accessible by bike or public transit.

With a wide swimming area of more than 15,000 square metres, both kids and grown-ups can enjoy a fun-filled day at the beach without going far.

When: Every day in August
Time: 10 am – 7 pm
Where: Parc Jean-Drapeau
Price: 3-13 years: $4.50, 14 years and over: $9

International Balloon Festival

balloon festival

Hot air balloons/heritageinninternationalballoonfestival.com

The International Balloon Festival of Saint Jean-sur-Richelieu is the largest gathering of balloons in Canada. The week-long event caters to the entire family and is an easy 40-minute drive off the island of Montreal.

In what started off as a balloon festival, the event has grown to host food vendors, bar outlets, live bands, theatre performances, activities and has garnered a reputation on an international scale. This year’s outdoor party will feature hot air balloons from Canada, the United States, France and Brazil.

When: August 11 – 19
Time: Weekdays from 2:30 pm – the end of the show, weekends from 12 pm – the end of the show
Where: 5 Chemin de l’Aéroport, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu
Price: $10-$30

Complexe Atlantide

Complexe Atlantide is a huge amusement park fused with water slides, mini putt, a wave pool and animals located in Saint-Calixte, an hour outside of Montreal. It’s situated right in the middle of a campground and guests are encouraged to stay for as long as they wish.

Complexe Atlantide also hosts a petting zoo, a haunted house, a variety of restaurants, and an ice cream parlour. You can’t really call yourself a family oriented park until you have an ice cream parlour on site.

When: Every day in August
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Where: 11155 QC-335, Saint-Calixte
Price: Varies depending on your selection, tickets available online

Italian Week

The massive Italian community in Montreal will be celebrating its 25th annual Italian Week this month in the renowned Little Italy.

The festival aims to promote the Italian culture through music, fashion, cars, shops and obviously, food.

When: August 3 to 12
Time: 9 am – 5 pm
Where: Boulevard Saint-Laurent between Rue Jean-Talon and Beabien
Price: Free

Cavalia’s Odysseo



Cavalia is a massive Canadian-owned company that specializes in live shows mixing equestrian performances with theatre, acrobatics and stagecraft.

Since 2003, the event has travelled to perform in front of more than 8 million spectators worldwide throughout over 70 destinations including North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

Renowned for being hosted at the world’s largest big-top tent, the spectacle returns to Rue St. Catherine this summer, right at the foot of the Jacques Cartier Bridge with over 70 horses.

When: August 2-5, 7, 9-12, 14-19, 21-26 and 29-30
Time: 2 pm, 7:30 pm and 8 pm (varies per selected show)
Where: At the entrance of the Jacques Cartier Bridge
Price: $49.50 – $289.50

Pointe-Calumet Beach

Pointe-Calumet Beach gets too much of a “party vibe” because it hosts the famous Beachclub parties in the summer. But it offers a secluded, quiet alternative for beach-goers who just want to relax in front of the Lake Deux Montagnes.

When: Every day in July
Time: Monday to Friday: 10 am – 6 pm, Saturdays and Sundays: 12 pm – 7 pm
Where: 701 Rue Pointe-Calumet
Price: Monday to Friday: $12, Saturday and Sunday: $15

Nick Jam at Beachclub



Montreal Beachclub is the host of North America’s biggest outdoor club. Located in Pointe-Calumet, an easy 45-minute drive from Montreal, Beachclub can host up to 10,000 guests. The club is beachside and forms an intriguing fuse of the beach and electric dance music.

The American singer/songwriter Nicky Jam will be spinning beats to kick off the month of August.

When: Saturday, August 4
Time: Noon – 7 pm
Where: 701 Rue 38, Pointe-Calumet
Price: $15

Dîner en Blanc

Dîner en Blanc is a secretive, world-renowned dinner that has some strict guidelines: all guests must dress fashionably in white, head-to-toe. No ivory, no off-white, no beige. All white.

On the night of the dinner, more than 5,500 participants show up at any of the 30 meeting points scattered throughout the city (meeting points will be revealed as the event draws closer). Guests then converge to the secret spot, keeping the location a mystery until the very last second.

When: Thursday, August 16
Time: TBA
Where: TBA
Price: $42 – $49

Montreal Pride Parade

mtl pride

Paul Vance / Shutterstock.com

Montreal’s Gay Pride Parade (Défilé de la fierté gai) invites everyone to a fun and flamboyant celebration of the community’s solidarity and strength, demanding for the same respect, dignity and basic rights as those granted to heterosexuals.

When: Sunday, August 19
Time: 1 pm
Where: Boulevard René-Lévesque and Rue Metcalfe and ends at Rue Alexandre-DeSève
Price: Free

The Montreal Symphony Orchestra

The Montreal Symphony Orchestra is playing a free show at the Olympic Stadium. They will leave their renowned home at Maison Symphonique for a night while performing Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade.”

The concert will focus on Shéhérazade’s stories that have captivated audiences for centuries, from Sinbad the Sailor to Aladdin’s mysterious lamp.

When: Wednesday, August 29
Time: 8 pm
Where: Olympic Park

Saturday at Osheaga

Unless you have the luxury of camping out for all three days at Osheaga, it’s tough to choose the best day to go as so many great artists are spread out.

Saturday’s lineup includes The Arctic Monkeys, Khalid, Tyler, The Creator, Lord Huron, Future Islands, Blondie and the Montreal-band, John Jacob Magistery as headliners.

When: Saturday, August 4
Time: Doors open at noon, performances begin at 1 pm – 11 pm
Where: Île Sainte-Hélène – Parc Jean-Drapeau
Price: $115 for a day pass

Voiles en Voiles

pirate ship

Voiles en Voiles/Facebook

Climb aboard life-size replicas of both royal and pirate ships from the 18th century in Montreal’s Old Port (how fitting). They are over 100 feet in length and range from two feet high for the young pirates to 35 feet for Peter Pan wannabes.

The obstacle course features 61 different activities between the Royal Ship and the Pirate Ship. Activities include ziplining, rock climbing, and bouncy castles.

When: Every day in August
Time: 10 am – 1o pm
Where: Place des Vestiges, Old Port
Price: Online Prices vary depending on selected activities, tickets

International Fireworks Competition

L’International des Feux-Loto Quebec is an international fireworks competition in which major companies, representing their respective countries, demonstrate the latest techniques, and innovations in the field of pyrotechnics.

On the nights of the fireworks, the Jacques-Cartier Bridge is completely closed off to vehicular traffic and it’s a perfect vantage point to see the fireworks in all their glory.

When: August 1 and 8
Time:10 pm – 11:45 pm
Where: Various spots around the city (Jacques-Cartier Bridge is the popular spot)
Price: Free

La Ronde

La Ronde

La Ronde/ Facebook

When the weather is nice, you have to check out Quebec’s biggest amusement park. Obviously, the rides are great but it’s also the closest you can get to the fireworks show’s launch pad. Plus the La Ronde bistro synchronizes music through their speakers for the fireworks. Battle the Goliath during the day and relax to first-hand fireworks at night.

When: Every day in August
Where: 22 Chemin Macdonald
When: 10:30 am – 8 pm (11:30 pm during the fireworks)
Price: Available online or at the box office

Mandy at Fantasia Film Festival

As Montreal’s biggest film festival concludes, it offers the world premiere of the American film Mandy.

The film is set in the wilderness of 1983 where Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) hunts a deranged religious sect who slaughtered the love of his life.

Mandy was also a selection at this year’s Sundance Festival and critics are calling it “one of the weirdest, wildest, and bloodiest films in ages.”

When: Wednesday, August 1
Time: 9:30 pm
Where: Auditorium des diplômés de Sir George Williams, Concordia University
Price: $12


Otakuthon is an anime convention that features cosplay, Japanese singing competitions, live arcade concert shows, video game rooms, tabletop gaming, screening rooms and anime guests of honour.

When: August 3 – 5
Time: 8 am – 10 pm on Friday and Saturday and 8 am – 5 pm on Sunday
Where: Palais des Congres
: $40 – $60


îleSoniq is an electric dance music festival that occurs a week after Osheaga, you know to give you some recovery time.

Traditionally hosted by Île Sainte-Hélène, îleSoniq will hop over to Île Notre-Dame for the 2018 edition of the festival. A beautiful mixture of rolling pasture and forested areas highlighted by flowers and local open-air artwork.

The festival has three stages, an exotic decor, and more than 50 DJs and artists to give you a memorable and electric experience.

Every year îleSoniq brings a variety of food vendors and restaurant outlets from around the city sprinkled throughout the site. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are readily available.

When: August 10-11
Time: 1 pm – 11 pm
Where: Île Notre-Dame, Parc Jean Drapeau
Tickets: Day passes start at $199 – available online.

Vini Vici and Benny Benassi at Beachclub

Beachclub is hosting back-to-back events on this first weekend in August. Vini Vici will be mixing tunes on Sunday and he’s joined by none other than Benny Benassi.

“Push me and then just touch me ’til I can get my satisfaction.”

When: Sunday, August 5
Time: noon – 7 pm
Where: 701 Rue 38, Pointe-Calumet
Price: $23.50

Sunday at Osheaga

On arguably Osheaga’s most popular day, the big artists come out on Sunday to cap off the festival.

Sunday’s lineup includes Florence & The Machine, The National, Post Malone, James Bay, Franz Ferdinand, The Neighbourhood, Tash Sultana, DVSN, Dua Lipa and Brockhampton, among many others.

When: Sunday, August 5
Time: Doors open at noon, performances begin at 1 pm – 11 pm
Where: Île Sainte-Hélène – Parc Jean-Drapeau
Price: $115 for a day pass

Jackalope 2018



Jackalope is an adrenaline-based festival, the entire event is staged outside at the Olympic Stadium. The event hosts a slew of activities that include: skateboarding, BMX, bouldering, motocross, slacklining and water gun fights.

There will also be a Jacklope pop-up shop on sight, food trucks, live music and the legendary Tony Hawk will be there.

According to the Jackalope website, the three-day festival is “an international showcase of raw talent, outdoor fun and stimulating exchanges at a unique event.”

When: August 17-19
Time: 5 pm – 10 pm on Friday and 1 pm – 10 pm on Saturday and Sunday
Where: Montreal Olympic Park, 4549 Avenue Pierre-de-Coubertin
Price: $25-$200, tickets available online

MudGirl Run

MudGirl is a 5 km foot race that includes over 17 obstacles to overcome. Whether you’re alone or with a team, the challenging course is committed to testing cohesion, endurance and good humour. The run is available to ladies over 7-years-old with any level of running/mud/obstacle course experience.

Men are encouraged to come support but cannot participate.

When: August 11 and 12
Time: 7:30 am – 5 pm
Where: Paintball Commando Rive Sud
Price: $20

RibFest Montreal

Markham Rotary Ribfest

Markham Rotary Ribfest/Facebook

RibFest is a three-day celebration of rock and roll music and BBQs, specializing in, you guessed it, ribs.

The festival welcomes over 30,000 attendees, has live bands, a massive kid’s zone and local grillers from respected Montreal steakhouses.

Meal prices vary per selected meal and a word of advice, don’t forget paper towels, things get greasy.

When: August 17 – 19
Time: 11 am – 10 pm
Where: 13665 Boul de Pierrefonds
Price: Free admission

La FALLA de Saint-Michel

La Falla is an urban festival that features the creation of collective work made of wood and paper and celebrates the art of fire.

The outdoor festival hosts concerts, family activities, fire dancing and breathing and hosts a  massive bonfire every night.

When: August 9 – 11
Time: 6 pm – 10 pm
Where: 2345 Rue Jarry Est

The Montreal World Film Festival

On the heels of the Fantasia Film Festival, the 42nd edition of the Montreal World Film Festival encourages cultural diversity and understanding between nations and fosters cinema of all continents.

The festival features short films, genre pieces and both competitive and non-competitive selections from films all over the world.

The MWFF is spread throughout various outdoor and indoor venues across the city. Check out their website for specific spots for selected films.

When: August 23 – September 3
Time: Varies according to selected film
Where: Various venues across Montreal
Price: $11 per film

NomadFest Urban Rodeo

Immerse yourself in the wild west in an urban setting as NomadFest brings the city some serious country.

The outdoor festival features rodeos, bull riding, equestrian competitions, live country music, and gourmet food experiences.

When: August 24 – 27
Time: 4 pm – 12:30 am
Where: Jacques Cartier Pier – Old Port
Price: $39 – $270

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