These self-guided street art tours should be on your Montreal bucket list (PHOTOS)
Fall has finally fallen.
Beyond the obvious images the season conjures (#sweaterweather, amirite?), it’s also a time for introspection.
Brisk walks, beautiful scenery, and an important prelude to the brooding contemplation we collectively indulge in at the end of each year. With that and the pressing need we can sometimes feel to make the most of every single activity ever, in mind, there are interesting low-key things to do in Montreal that don’t require extensive planning or reservations that can somehow recapture the spontaneity the pandemic took away from our daily lives.
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Archie Fineberg, a Montreal author, photographer and art enthusiast, has dedicated the last fifteen years to the extensive mapping of street art all over Montreal.
On his brilliant website, you can navigate an interactive map that allows you to choose by mural type, neighbourhood, and art collective. Well beyond the visual artistry of the Mural Festival, you can see works of art all over the city.
All you need is a pair of shoes, a sick outfit (if you’re going to post, make it count, yes?), and you can walk around checking out beautiful, phenomenal art that’s right there for public consumption.
No word of a lie, it feels a little bit like a scavenger hunt, and Montrealers should relish in it, especially before it starts to, you know… snow.
You might notice how shockingly little you take in from around your neighbourhood. Keep your head up, get that camera out, and check out these self-guided art routes across Montreal.
This is a stunning walk that takes you through some beautiful, hidden ruelles where murals of all styles and colours border the lush alleyways.
A product of the Canettes de Ruelle street fest, it’s ever-evolving. Go now, before the leaves all fall.
It’s picturesque, it’s romantic, it might even be exactly what you’ve been missing. (I also ran into a lone elderly woman with a little bag and an actual camera who pointed to the other end of the alley and said, “wait until you see what’s over there.)
Address: Alleyways behind rue Masson, mostly between 5th and 9th avenue
St-Henri, Côte-St-Paul, Ville Émard
This tour allows residents of Sud-Ouest to be a tourist in their own town. It takes you all the way down Notre-Dame, through some beautiful tree-lined streets and into some pretty random industrial side streets, which you’d probably never venture otherwise.
Don’t miss “The Girl” on Eadie Street, the epic Frieda Kahlo, or the impressive homage to Alex Scaner.
Address: Starts at 3500 Notre Dame Ouest
The Verdun-Pointe-St-Charles route is great to do by bike as the distance between murals is a bit longer (plus, you can ride along the water for a while.)
“Le Montreal de Miyuki Tanobe” captures all of the essences of the city, and we’d recommend spending a few minutes to soak up all the Montrealness of it all.
Address: Starts at Grand Trunk corner Hybernia
Golden Square Mile and Shaughnessy Village
This downtown street art stretch (say that five times fast) is more famously known for Leonard Cohen’s iconic portrait, which can be seen all the way from Mont-Royal.
Next time you go shopping or grab a coffee downtown, take a moment and check out these sweet murals or impress someone you want to impress with your curated knowledge of street art.
Address: Starts at 1420 Crescent (Tower of Songs)
Ville-Marie (Hochelaga-Maisonneuve I)
The Hochelaga maps are divided into multiple sections, with a multitude of varied works in each section. The self-guided tour map is an excellent place to start, but over the years, many more murals have been commissioned in the neighbourhood.
If you walk up and down Ontario Street, there are over 20 different works ranging from tiled mosaics to paintings to graffiti art.
Address: Starting point rue Wolfe corner Montcalm
You can also find more information on the different art collectives through Fineberg’s website that connects you to the artists, their body of work and their mission statement.