The city of Montréal is an amazing place to live, learn and explore. As one of Canada’s most vibrant and culturally diverse cities, students will find activities and events for any taste, all throughout the year.
We share some of our top, must-do Montréal activities, and must-see sights, so that you can get the most out of Montréal in every season.
In spring, the days get longer, the flowers bloom, and temperatures start to rise. This is also when the maple syrup starts to flow. Did you know that the province of Québec produces over 72% of the world’s maple syrup? Enjoy this sweet taste of spring at a Cabane (Sugar Shack), and get out to enjoy the spring events.
Picture 1: Maple Syrup. Credits: Michel Rathwell (left picture, edited) and Pierre-Arnaud Kopp (right picture, modified)
Picture 2: Cabane à Sucre. Credits: melissa.bm, arianetonka, annie_champoux
Picture 3: Montrèal en Lumiere. Credits: Matias Garabedian
Montréal en Lumiere Festival
The stunning Montréal en Lumière Festival offers amazing light and art displays and concerts throughout the Quartier des spectacles. Taking place in February to March, the art and expositions follow an . All of the outdoor events are free for the public to enjoy.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Montréal is home to the longest-running St. Patrick’s Day parade in Canada, and it’s no surprise with 5.5% of Quebecers claiming Irish descent. You might be surprised to learn that on St. Paddy’s day, March 17th, everyone gets to wear green, and be Irish for a day. Enjoy the fun-filled celebrations, Celtic music, and the green beer!
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy one of the many great bar patios in Montréal, go for a swim, or paddle down the St. Lawrence River. It’s also a time of musical magic in Montréal as festival season begins!
The International Fireworks Competition / L’International des Feux Loto-Québec
Head out to Le Ronde for one of the biggest fireworks competitions in the world. Running for multiple days through July and early August, this amazing pyrotechnic show will light up your nights with music and amazing colour explosions. Each week there’s a different theme to check out.
So Many Music Festivals
If you’re looking for fantastic music and arts events, Montréal has so many amazing festivals throughout the summer. The Montréal Jazz festival in June is one of the most well-known summer music events, attracting tourists from around the world for the many free, and paid shows. Also in June, the Francos Montréal festival is a great way to learn about and experience international French culture and music, with 1000 artists from all over the French-speaking world performing 200 concerts, most of them free! For electronic music lovers, you can dance to the dj beats of Piknic Electronik which takes place every Sunday all summer long. If you want a music festival full of big-name artists, you might find one of your favourite singers performing at Osheaga or ile soniq which both take place in August.
Autumn is when the trees and parks are at their most beautiful in Montréal, and many people travel to this part of Canada to take in the amazing colours of fall. It’s also when temperatures start to change, providing a welcome break from the summer heat, and creating the perfect conditions for enjoying a BIXI bike-ride and tasting a seasonal favourite, the pumpkin spice latte.
Come out year-round to explore this creative collection of foliage and flowers, with a variety of theme gardens, and trees trimmed into whimsical shapes. From October to November the Botanical Garden lights up the night with its “Gardens of Light” lantern festival. The Botanical Gardens is also a great place to enjoy autumn’s beautiful red, orange and yellow colours as the trees change in preparation for winter.
Halloween for a Month
There’s plenty going on around the city to help you get into the spooky spirit of Halloween, which officially takes place October 31st. Halloween is a popular day for clubs and bars to host themed events where you can show off your clever or scary costume. There are also many haunted walks and houses to check out, and the terrifying Fright Fest that goes on all October at Le Ronde. You can also visit a pumpkin farm and get ready to make your own jack-o-lantern. Or, join the undead and limp your way around the city in Montréal’s annual zombie walk.
In winter, it’s time to enjoy the snow and experience some of the winter sports that Canada is so famous for, or warm up dancing to the musical stylings of some great djs at Igloo Fest, an electronic music event in late January! It’s also a good time to experience hockey season, so get out to a game and cheer for the Montréal Canadiens, which locals call “The Habs.”
The Underground City
Otherwise known as le RESO (the network), Montréal’s underground city, which stretches over 32 km, was originally built in the 1960s. Le RESO is great any time of year, but in winter it’s the perfect place to warm up while you shop, go to the movies, visit museums, grab a coffee, or even go skating – everything you need is accessible from The Underground City (or in French, Le Ville Souterraine). Check out the map and explore it for yourself.
Winter Sports at Parc Jean-Drapeau
If you want to get outdoors and enjoy a true Canadian winter, Montréal has so many options to try that are good for any skill level. Parc Jean-Drapeau is ideal for people new to winter sports, and during the Fête des neiges in January and February, there are so many activities to try, all for free, or a very low cost. Go skating through the picturesque trails, try inner tubing, take a free snowshoe tour, go cross-country skiing, and more! If you want to try snowboarding or downhill skiing, Montréal is also close to many ski resorts. Bromont is the closest to the city and can be reached by shuttle bus – just make sure to take a lesson if it’s your first time!
ANY TIME OF THE YEAR
Montréal is a high-action city filled with great pubs, clubs, coffee shops, theatres, museums, architecture, parks, and so much more! You’ll be able to find something amazing to do in the city in any weather, any time of the year. Try our suggestions, then discover your own favourites!
Did you know that Montréal is famous for its bagels? Montréal’s unique style of wood-fired bagels can be sweet, savory, or covered in sesame seeds, and make a delicious treat. Try one, or two, or more with coffee, tea and friends at one of the many bagel shops around the city. Two of the city’s most popular bagel shops, St-Viateur Bagel and Fairmount Bagel, have been running for almost 100 years, and are open 24 hours so you can taste this delight any time of the day or night!
Cat and Dog Cafés
If you’re missing a cat or dog from home, don’t worry! Montréal has a fur-friendly café experience that will help you get your pet fix. This city hosts Café Chat L’Heureux (The Happy Cat Cafe) where you can go purr over a coffee with feline friends. Or drop into Le Doggy Café where dog owners and dog lovers come to bark and connect.
Are you excited to study in Montréal and experience all this for yourself? Take the Attestation of College Studies, International Business Management with Practicum starting October 1st, 2018, and begin an unforgettable learning adventure with Collège Greystone Montréal.