Fun things to do in Montreal this summer
Not travelling abroad this summer? Be a stay-in-town tourist!
By Patricia Dumais
It is often said that most people don’t know their own city. They are eager to travel elsewhere but rarely take the time to discover what their own town has to offer in the way of attractions and activities. If you are not travelling abroad this summer why not take advantage of all that Montreal has to offer? We are especially lucky because we happen to live in a popular tourist destination. There is a myriad of activities and attractions around town to keep the whole family entertained.
A way to start discovering Montreal is with the Passeport MTL city pass. The handy pass does double duty: it allows you access to 23 attractions and activities and it makes getting around the city easier with built-in unlimited bus and metro fares. Two versions of the pass are available: the 48-hour pass at a cost of $85, and the 72-hour pass for $99.
For more information about Passeport MTL visit mtl.org/en/experience/passeport-mtl
Here’s a partial list of some of the top attractions and activities covered by Passeport MTL:
Jacques Cartier Warf, Old-Port of Montréal
Écorécréo specializes in the rental of outdoor recreational equipment. The company operates at three major sites: the Old Port of Montréal, Parc Jean-Drapeau, and the Olympic Park. It offers rental services for quadricycles, pedal boat and marine excursions, Vanmoof bikes, HeroEco electric bikes, tandem and Onderwater tridem bikes, and Linus bikes for children, as well as guided Segway PT tours.
Montreal Botanical Garden
4101 Sherbrooke E
An oasis in the middle of the city, the Montréal Botanical Garden is recognized as one of the largest and most beautiful in the world with its rich collection of over 22,000 plant species and cultivars, its ten exhibition greenhouses, Tree House, and some thirty thematic gardens. Its cultural gardens invite you to travel to places like China and Japan, and experience First Nations culture through botanical traditions.
4581 Sherbrooke E
Exit your cocoon and enter the fascinating world of the Montréal Insectarium, the largest museum devoted to insects in North America, with a collection of some 160,000 naturalized insect specimens and nearly 100 living species. Observe the fascinating work of leafcutter ants in action, listen to the unique sounds of the cicada, enjoy distinguishing stick insects from leaves in their vivarium – these are but a few of the amazing insect encounters offered at the Insectarium.
Museums and Culture
Biôdome de Montréal
4777 Pierre-de Coubertin
Embark upon on an immersive and sensory journey through five ecosystems of the Americas: the Tropical Rainforest, Laurentian Maple Forest, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the Sub-Antarctic Islands, one of the two Subpolar regions featured in the complex. Science interpreters reveal secrets of this fascinating biodiversity of over 7,000 animals comprising 270 different species and 500 plant species under one roof.
160 Tour-de-l’Isle, Île Sainte-Hélène
The Biosphere is housed in Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome, a Montreal architectural landmark from Expo 67 in the heart of Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Sainte-Hélène. In a stimulating atmosphere, the venue hosts exhibitions and scientific events that highlight the ways we can live as eco-citizens, addressing major environmental issues related to water, air, climate change, energy, severe weather, and sustainable development.
Grévin Montreal Museum
705 Saint-Catherine W
Snap a selfie with celebrities from the arts, sciences, politics, and sports. From Marilyn Monroe to Albert Einstein, to Tiger Woods, to Barack Obama, 120 amazingly lifelike wax replicas are on display in a setting staged by Montréal-based Moment Factory.
Maison Saint Gabriel
2146 Place Dublin
Step back to the 17th century with a fascinating tour of a 300-year-old building that was the heart of the agricultural and educational life of the Congrégation of Notre-Dame. Enjoy a unique experience with guides and original programming – open air theatre, musical talks, historical workshops and demonstrations of old trades – all in an enchanting site graced with gardens.
690 Sherbrooke W
One of the most important historical museums in Canada, the McCord Museum celebrates Montréal life past and present – its people, its artisans, its communities, its metropolitan area. The museum’s modern and immersive approach presents exciting exhibitions as well as educational and cultural activities and innovative Internet projects.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
1380 Sherbrooke W
The MMFA’s exhibitions are renowned for a multidisciplinary approach that combines the fine arts with music, film, fashion, and design. The museum’s permanent collection features international art (including an impressive collection of Old Masters), world cultures, decorative arts and design, a sculpture garden, Québec and Canadian art, and a significant selection of Inuit art.
Musée d’art contemporain
185 Saint-Catherine W
Works by some of the world’s most renowned artists are on display at this cutting edge contemporary art museum. The Musée presents temporary exhibitions devoted to outstanding and relevant current artists as well as exhibitions of works drawn from its extensive Permanent Collection.
Montreal Archaeology and History Complex
350 Place Royale
Designated a national archaeological and historic site, Pointe-à-Callière presents centuries of history from the settlements of our Indigenous People to the present day. Located on a spot occupied by humans for more than a thousand years and on the very site where Montréal was founded, the Museum is home to some remarkable architectural ruins that are showcased on site.
Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium
4801 Pierre-de Coubertin
Live an unprecedented immersive experience of the Universe through two complementary shows in a LEED Platinum certified building boldly designed with 360° domes on the cutting edge of technology. Transport yourself to the confines of space then visit the Exo digital and interactive exhibition on the traces of life in the Universe.
Au Sommet Place Ville Marie
3 Place Ville Marie
The 360° observation deck on the 46th floor enables visitors to discover a unique view of the city’s main landmarks and cultural pillars. Located downtown, Au Sommet Place Ville Marie also offers an interactive exhibition, a photo gallery and a gourmet brasserie. Open year long with a large heated rooftop patio.
Read also: Mount Royal, a mountain of summer fun
Patricia Dumais, artistic director, award-winning graphic designer specialized in brand design is co-founder of Visionnaires, publishers of Westmount Magazine. Patricia develops visual concepts and ensures that all deliverables follow our publication’s standards and reflect the editorial voice. You can connect with Patricia on Linkedin, Twitter and Pinterest. or by email at email@example.com.