Travel Blog

3 Jul

What to do on Canada Day in Montréal

Sure, Montréal has oodles of European charm, but in its heart of hearts, it really is Canadian. On July 1, tourists and locals will come together to celebrate Canada Day with an array of events to choose from across the city. Between the official ceremonies, a multicultural parade, star-studded musical performances, evening parties and a fireworks display, you’ll have plenty of fun to choose from as you immerse yourself in all things Canadian.

Canada DayCelebrate with the family

“From east to west… Happy Canada Day” is the theme of this year’s celebration and people will have plenty of fun and free activities to enjoy in the Old Port and the Bonsecours Basin Park. Fun guaranteed!

The celebrations start with pomp and circumstance at 11 a.m., with an official ceremony that includes the swearing in of new Canadians, the raising of the flag and the Canadian Armed Forces Military Band playing. At noon, there will be a 21-cannon salute and, for people with a sweet tooth, the chance to have a piece of giant birthday cake. Come afternoon, there will be a host of activities to choose from. In the Canada Tent, history buffs can take a history tour of the Canadian provinces while wee ones can get temporary tattoos. Kids can also take part in a bracelet-making workshop, let their creativity flow while drawing on a giant outdoor chalkboard or change into a super hero, monster, princess or a cat during face painting sessions. Everyone can burn off some energy with hockey and soccer games as well as dance demonstrations or bounce around in the brightly coloured Inflatable Village.

fireworks-625x400At 8:30 p.m., the stage is set for music! Artists La Bronze, Karim Ouelett, QW4RTZ, Alexandre Désilets, Renée Wilkin, King Melrose and Funk Lion will be working the crowds at the main stage before fireworks light up the night sky for the 10 p.m. closing ceremony.

See also: Fun with kids this summer in Montréal and Free things to do in Montréal this summer.

Cite_memoire_visage_MontrealTell me a story…

Canada Day also offers a great occasion to dig deeper into history in the city’s many museums. Great places to do this include the McCord Museum, Pointe-à-Callière Museum, Château Ramezay, the Maison Saint-Gabriel, the Stewart Museum, the Centre d’histoire de Montréal and the Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site.

See also: Blockbuster spring and summer 2016 Montréal museum exhibitions and Cité Mémoire brings the past back to life in Old Montréal.

Show your Canada pride at the parade!

Celebrating the country’s cultural diversity, the 39th Canada Day Parade will wind through downtown at 11 a.m. on Sainte-Catherine Street, starting at Fort Street and finishing up at Place du Canada. There will also be a giant cake (enough for some 2,500 people!) and inflatable games.

MACCommemorating Canadian women!

This year, among other commemorations, Canada will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. This is a great time to clink glasses to voting victory with your BFFs and treat yourself to a memorable weekend, or indulge in a beauty makeover. If you are planning a bachelorette party on this day (thumbs up!), browse our chic how-to planner.

First_FridaysOn your marks, get set… eat!

July 1 falls smack dab on First Fridays at the Olympic Park. You can celebrate Canada’s culinary diversity by sampling a dish or two from the 50 food trucks on site for the occasion. With a décor of giant glittering mirror balls, a new outdoor patio as well as 2,000 seated places, there will also be plenty of visual scenery. In short, a perfect day to experience Canada’s most exciting street food happening.

For a very local version of Canada Day, check out the second edition of the

International S.O.U.P.E. Festival at Parc des Rapides, corner of Boulevard LaSalle and Rue Raymond. Come and taste over 30 different kinds of soup (a symbol of exchange, creativity and sharing) in a festive atmosphere featuring contests, entertainment and activities.

See also: Your 2016 guide to food trucks and street food in Montréal and Gourmet institutions: 10 of Montréal’s oldest restaurants.

festival international de jazzJazzy evenings or farniente

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal offers free and paid shows all day long on July 1 in the Quartier des spectacles. Highly recommended is Chinese Man at Métropolis, starting at 8 p.m. And for an outdoor evening along the St. Lawrence River, head to the industrial beach of Village au Pied-du-Courant, where the long weekend and Canada Day will be celebrated starting at 3 p.m. with a special program presented by MUTEK.

See also: No more FOMO – Here are the must-see Jazz Fest concerts of 2016.

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

Up next: Montréal’s favourite summertime terrasses



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