31 things to do in Montreal this weekend: July 20 to 22

Jul 19 2018, 4:01 pm

We made it, Montreal, it’s the weekend.

There’s plenty of stuff happening around our fair city, as usual, but be wary that the two-week-long construction holidays start this weekend so plan your trips accordingly.

Do your research if you’re crossing into the States today as construction holidays make for busy lineups at customs and tread lightly with weekend traffic.

Besides that, there’s plenty of music, food, film and comedy happening around Montreal and everything in between.

Yatai Japanese Food Festival

Japanese food festival

Yatai MTL/Facebook

Yatai is a small, mobile, street food stall that is popular in Japan and dates back to the 1630s. The food shop specializes in ramen noodles, fried Japanese delicacies and dumplings, all of which will be for sale this weekend at Aire Commune, Marché des Possible.

Besides tasty street grub, the festival will host a slew of activities that best represent Japanese culture including music, dancing, sake drinks and live cooking workshops.

When: From now until July 22
Time: 12 pm – 10 pm on July 20 and 21; and 12 pm – 7 pm on July 22
Where: Aire Commune – 5705 Rue de Gaspé
Price: Free admission

The Nasty Show at Just for Laughs

The rawest, most shocking, foul, and filthy comedy show of the festival is happening this weekend as Robert Kelly hosts The Nasty Show where no topic is off limits. The gala includes Brad Williams, Nikki Glaser, Mike Britt, Ms. Pat and Montreal-native Derek Seguin who will push all the comedic boundaries.

When: July 20, 21 and 22
Time: 7 pm, 8 pm and 9:30 pm (times vary per date)
Where: MTELUS Theatre
Price: $45.92 – $62.52

The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot at Fantasia Film Festival

film screenings


If this film’s title doesn’t entice you, nothing will.

The film follows a legendary American war veteran who lives a quiet and peaceful life in 1987, years after assassinating Hitler. As a mythical creature harbours a new disease capable of wiping out the entire planet, the war vet is sought to take out Bigfoot.

When: Friday, July 20
Time: 9:30 pm
Where: Auditorium des diplômés de Sir George Williams, Concordia University
Price: $12

Le Grand Poutinefest Mirabel

After 3 successful editions in Montreal, PoutineFest has branched out to other venues around Quebec and this weekend marks their stop in Mirabel.

Chefs from a variety of local restaurants will be showcasing their best poutines for you to devour. Check out the Quebec-favourite meal from the following restaurant’s food trucks: Charlie’s Shack, Greg’s DINER, Le Smoking BBQ, Poutine Factory, Poutine No 800, Seasoned Dreams, and Smoke’s.

When: July 20, 21 and 22
Time: 5 pm – 10 pm
Where: Montreal Premium Outlet, Mirabel
Price: Free admission, poutine vouchers are $13

Sean Paul at Beachclub

Beachclub claims to be the largest outdoor club in North America. Its name tells you exactly what it is: a club on a beach. If the weather holds up on Sunday, get your first pumping at the massive beach party, especially since it’s headlined by Sean Paul.

The club features a massive open-air dance floor, bars and restaurants and small beaches for guests wanting to escape the electronic dance music.

Sean Paul is at Beachclub on Saturday, July 21 as well, but his first show is all sold out.

“Just gimme the light!”

When: Sunday, July 22
Time: 12 pm – 7 pm
Where: 701 Rue 38, Pointe-Calumet
Price: General admission – $25, VIP pass – $50

The Twins Parade

Only Just for Laughs could think of parading twins, triplets, and quadruplets together downtown. But they have.

The parade is free to watch and free to join if you fit their criteria of having an identical or fraternal twin.

Twin-related activities start at noon and the parade doubles down afterwards.

When: Saturday, July 21
Time: 12 pm – 5 pm
Where: Place des Festivals

Shakespeare in Westmount Park

The untraditional rendition of Shakespeare is happening at Wesmount Park this weekend.  The long-running outdoor theatre event is celebrating its 30th year and takes on a Shakespearean classic this time around in the form of Romeo & Juliet: Love is Love. It’s a contemporary, gender-bent take on the classic love story.

Guests are urged to bring their own chairs or may rent one on site for $5.

When: Every day in July
Time: 7 pm – 10 pm
Where: Westmount Park, Westmount
Price: Free

Montreal’s International Fireworks Competition

New Year's Eve

Barisev Roman/ Shutterstock

Montreal’s International Fireworks Competition (known as L’International des Feux Loto-Québec) is the largest and most prestigious fireworks festival in the world. The fireworks display is visible from a variety of places around the island. Local hotspots include the Jacques Cartier Bridge, the Old Port Pier, Mont Royal, Place Ville Marie Summit, and Parc Jean-Drapeau. Each showing represents a different theme.

The shows go on rain or shine.

When: Saturday, July 21
Time: 10 pm
Where: Various places around Montreal
Price: Free

Oka Beach

Is there anything better than the beach in summer?

Oka National Park boasts a gorgeous beach and a stunning view of Lake Deux Montagnes. They offer a variety of activities including canoeing, kayaking, biking and pedal boating, or you can simply relax on the cozy sand.

The beach offers numerous picnic tables and several charcoal barbeques to use at your disposal. A lifeguard is always on duty.

When: Every day in July
Time:8 am – 7 pm
Where:  2020 Chemin d’Oka, Oka
Price: Free

Pablo Picasso Exhibition

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts latest exhibit explores Pablo Picasso’s influences in African art with “From Africa to the Americas: Picasso Face-to-Face, Past and Present.” The major exhibition offers a new perspective and an interesting rereading of modern art history. The exhibition features still life, paintings, portraits and structural pieces. Keep this exhibit in mind if the weather on Sunday isn’t in your favour.

When: Every day in July
Time: 10 am-5 pm
Where: 1380 Rue Sherbrooke
Admission: Available at the door and online

Bar Loïc

may 25 to 27


Loïc is an über cool wine bar located in St. Henri. The decor is gorgeous (it’s located in an old bank) and their cheeseburger is drool-worthy. The terrace is right smack in the middle of St-Henri’s traffic and it’s spectacular. Grab a spot and marvel at Loïc’s wine and cocktail selection.

Their DJs on Saturday are Devo B and Juju Le Moko, starting at 10 pm.

When: Loïc is open year round, the terrace is seasonal.
Time: Loïc is open from 5 pm – 3 am, their terrace is open from 5 pm – 11 pm and DJs spin from 10 pm – 3 am on Saturday.
Where: 5001 Rue Notre Dame Ouest

Festival International Nuits d’Afrique

The 32nd edition of the festival assembles a massive collection of talent from here to Timbuktu, across great oceans to Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. The 3-week festival hosts both indoor and outdoor shows of dancing and live music.

The free portion of the festival runs this weekend.

When: From now until July 22
Time: Various times throughout the weekend
Where: Parterre du Quartier des Spectacles
Price: Free

Mighty Mike at Just for Laughs

Dressed in his 1920s singlet, Mighty Mike is an ode to old-school wrestlers and weightlifters. His comedic strength-based routine has him lifting dumbbells as if they were feathers, tearing up (4-page) phonebooks with his bare hands and of course, dancing.

It’s tough to tell what’s more impressive with Mighty Mike, his brute strength or his perfectly curled moustache.

When: July 21 and 22
Time: 7 pm
Where: Loto-Quebec Scene – Quartier des Spectacles
Price: Free

Yanni at the Bell Centre

Yiannis Chryssomallis, known professionally as Yanni, is a Greek composer, keyboardist, pianist, and music producer.

The 63-year-old is performing at the Bell Centre on Sunday.

When: Sunday, July 22
Time: Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm
Where: Bell Centre – 1909, avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal
Price: $73 – $144.50

Knuckleball at Fantasia Film Festival

This Canadian horror-genre film follows 12-year-old Henry who is alone and isolated on a farm and uncovers a dark family legacy when his secretive grandfather suddenly dies. Critics label Knuckleball as one of those griping movies where you think you know what’s happening but everything turns upside down.

When: Saturday, July 21
Time: 7 pm
Where: Salle J.A. De Sève, Concordia University
Price: $12

High Score Con


Arthur Palmer/Shutterstock

You can’t have a Comiccon exhibition and not include a video game convention. Thankfully, High Score Con has Montreal covered this weekend. The convention features tons of video games and related merchandise. Indie game companies will be on site showcasing their latest creations and there will be a Q&A with video game testers and developers.

When: Sunday, July 22
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
Where: Hotel Ruby Foo’s – 7655 Boulevard Decarie
Price: $5

Moving Dunes at the Museum of Fine Arts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has unveiled their newest exhibit in the Sculpture Garden – an optical illusion.

The exhibit features silver spheres, designed to look like they’re moving through a dessert, fusing notions of real and virtual to give downtown Montreal its very own urban mirage.

When: From now until October 29
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
Where: 1380 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Price:  Free

Tam Tams

tam tams montreal


Sundays in the summer are synonymous with Tam Tams. It’s a giant outdoor party with dancers, sports, and drummers all gathered around the Sir George-Etienne Cartier monument. If the weather is nice on Sunday (still worth it even if it’s raining) head over to the mountain and enjoy a longstanding Montreal tradition and vibe. This event is 420 friendly.

When: Sundays until September 30
Time: Noon
Where: Mont Royal Park
Price: Free

Vincent C at Just for Laughs

Vincent C is a comedy based illusionist. Or is he an illusion based comedian?

Regardless, the Quebec magician is a Just for Laughs veteran and he puts a hilarious twist on classic magic routines and douses it all in humour.

When: Sunday, July 22
Time: 9:15 pm
Where: Scene Principale – Quartier des Spectacles
Price: Free

Bota Bota Classic Movies

Montreal’s waterside spa, Bota Bota, Beaubien Cinema and Cinema du Parc have teamed up to bring guests a relaxing mix – movies at the spa.

The Bota Bota Gardens will have a giant, inflated, water-proof screen showing three movies for three dates this summer.

The screen will be viewable from the Garden’s supplied Adirondack chairs, sun loungers, bean bag chairs, swimming pool, or spa.

When: Friday, July 20
Time: 8 pm – 10:30 pm
Where: Corner of McGill Street and Rue De la Commune 
Price: $45 – $80 based on selected spa service, available online

Haunted Red Light Ghost Walk

red light district

Secret Montréal/Facebook

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

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.

With the weather back to normal temperatures this weekend, go get your tan on and spend a day (or several) near the pool.

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

The Notre Dame Basilica has teamed up with Moment Factory’s Multimedia & Entertainment Studio to light up the historic building in Montreal until the end of the year. The immersive showcase features lights and sounds to showcase one of Montreal’s most oft viewed pieces of architecture.

When: From now until December 29
Time: Varying times between 6 pm, 7 pm, 8 pm and 9 pm depending on the day
Where: 110 Rue Notre Dame Ouest
Price: Adults: $24.50, Seniors: $22.20, Kids:$14.80, Students: $18.75

Baby Cheetahs at 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.

On Saturday, the park will showcase their newest additions, four baby cheetahs, only the second time in the history of Quebec that cheetahs have been born in the province. The first were born at Parc Safari in May 2017. Meaning, there’s a total of six young, adorable cheetahs to check out.

Inside the park, take a walk down the Forest Trail where you have an amazing vantage point of other animals including, monkeys, hyenas, and bears. Don’t forget the lions, but we didn’t have to tell you that.

When: The cheetah pups will be unveiled on Saturday, July 21. Parc Safari is open until October 8
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
Where: 280 Rang Roxham, Hemmingford
Price: Prices vary depending on age. Tickets available at the entrance or online

Clerel and Only the Righteous at Honey Martin Pub

Clerel and Only the Righteous are local musicians who know how to bring it. They play a Motown style of music – very unique and mellow vibes. The group will be playing at Honey Martin Pub on Friday, which will be a perfect intimate setting for the type of music Clerel and co. bring.

When: Friday, July 19
When: Honey Martin is open from 3 pm – 3 am, the band starts at 10 pm – 2:30 am
Where: 5916 Sherbrooke Ouest
Price: Free admission

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 2 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: From now until October
Time: 10 am – 1o pm
Where: Place des Vestiges, Old Port
Price: Prices vary depending on selected activities, tickets available online

Bouffons MTL



Bouffons Montreal call themselves “an open-air gastronomy village.” A variety of restaurants from around the city have food trucks and outlets plus they give out free samples. Free fois gras sandwichs? Sign us up.

The outlets vary in price, but it’s absolutely mouth-watering! The festival runs concurrently with Just for Laughs, fuse some laughs with some tasty grub.

When: From now until July 29
Time: 12 pm – 11 pm
Where: Corner of Rue Ste-Catherine and Rue De Bleury
Price: Free

Jimmy Carr at Just for Laughs

The 12-time JFL veteran is back with his subtly-titled new show, The Best Of, Ultimate, Gold, Greatest Hits World Tour.

Carr is gathering a selection of his best jokes along with brand new material for what he is calling “the ultimate comedy show.” His new tour fuses everything we love to laugh at and be shocked by into one unparalleled night of entertainment.

Plus, his laugh is so funny it’s worth the price of admission alone.

When: July 20, 21 and 22
Time: 9:30 pm on Friday and Saturday, 8:30 pm on Sunday
Where: Le Gesù
Price: $54.25

La Grande Roue Flash Sale

The largest observation wheel in Canada, located in the Old Port, is having a sale on their tickets for the weekend. The gondola ride gives riders a unique panoramic view of the entire city, perfect to grab some Instagram likes.

When: July 20, 21 and 22
Time: 10 am – 11 pm
Where: Montreal’s Old Port – Bonsecour Basin
Price: $13 – $14.79 depending on age

Burgundy Lion Brunch

Burgundy Lion serves traditional English breakfasts every Sunday. The pub was packed for the entirety of the World Cup so it might be nice to enjoy a quiet brunch for a change. Their menu is famous for their blood pudding, sausages, salmon, and Yorkshire pudding.

The pub also has one of the most extensive whisky menus in the city.

When: Burgundy Lion is open year round
Time: 9 am – 3 am
Where:  2496 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest

Stand-up paddleboarding

paddle board vancouver


The Fleuve Saint-Laurent is a gorgeous sight to look at. This weekend, make it a gorgeous sight to stand on as well.

Lasalle KSF is a store that specializes in surfing, kayak, and paddleboarding and they have teamed up with Parc Jean-Drapeau to get you stand-up paddleboarding this summer.

The event also offers paddleboarding yoga, fitness and wave riding.

When: From now until September 3
Time: 10 am – 7 pm
Where: 350 Circuit Gilles Villesneuve, Parc Jean-Drapeau
Price: $20 an hour and $10 for each additional hour

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