Activities and leisure in Montreal

Leisure in Montreal
Updated 2024-03-16 12:22

Montreal is a vibrant and contemporary city, offering plenty of activities for residents and visitors. Here's some information about the activities you can explore in the Quebec metropolis.

It's quite common for Montreal residents to wrap up their workday around 3 or 4 pm on weekdays, either to enjoy some fresh air, hit the gym, or engage in cultural activities. In Montreal, the city comes alive after office hours! Weekends provide a fantastic opportunity to spend quality time with family and unwind. In summer, people rush outdoors for leisurely strolls along the Lachine Canal or in the nearby nature parks. Montrealers also take full advantage of the sunny weather in the city's parks and on the terraces of the numerous cafés, bars, and restaurants that pop up like mushrooms as soon as the warm weather sets in.

Community involvement is highly valued in Quebec, and a significant number of Montrealers dedicate their free time to volunteer work with various organizations. Moreover, it's not uncommon to spot individuals jogging or cycling through the streets, even in the coldest winter months. For those who prefer indoor fitness options, the city's numerous gyms offer a way to stay in shape even when the temperatures plummet below freezing.

Outdoor activities in Montreal

Don't assume that life in Montreal comes to a halt in winter. There are numerous activities unique to this season that you can do. In the parks, outdoor field hockey and ice skating rinks are set up for Montrealers to enjoy. You'll also find designated sliding areas where both the young and the older individuals can have a great time in a secure environment. If you're a fan of snowshoeing or skiing, there are dedicated trails right in the heart of the city.

In the summer, the options are even more diverse compared to winter. On really hot days, you can cool off at one of Montreal's outdoor public pools, complete with paddling pools and water games for kids — all city-run facilities are free of charge! Montreal boasts several beaches as well. Jean-Doré Beach in Parc Jean-Drapeau, just a five-minute metro ride from downtown, offers a sandy escape. The Old Port features Plage de l'Horloge, with sand and deckchairs, though without water access. For an urban beach experience, check out Verdun, or venture to Île Bizard and Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park, both approximately a 45-minute drive from downtown, for a guaranteed change of scenery. If you have your own car, exploring neighboring towns like Rawdon, Chateauguay, Boucherville, and Chambly offers opportunities to immerse yourself in nature and stroll down peaceful streets. Additionally, you can partake in water activities such as surfing, rowing, and kayaking on the waters of the St. Lawrence River.

Lastly, numerous parks in Montreal come equipped with sports fields for various activities, such as tennis, volleyball, basketball, soccer, and baseball, to name a few. For more details on the sports facilities available in Montreal, you can check out the city's website or refer to our article titled "Sports activities in Montreal".

Indoor activities in Montreal

Montreal offers plenty of options for a fantastic time, no matter the season. From small theaters to large complexes, numerous cinemas, a casino, public libraries, an abundance of bars and restaurants, concert halls, theaters, climbing centers, children's amusement centers, bowling alleys, La Ronde amusement park, go-karting tracks, laser quest, and escape game rooms — there's something for everyone. And, of course, we can't overlook the city's numerous museums!

Festivals in Montreal

Montreal stands out as a popular city for its vibrant festival scene. Whether it's summer or winter, around 100 events are organized each year to entertain both locals and tourists. Notable festivals include Piknic Elektronik, the Osheaga music festival, IleSoniq, the International Jazz Festival, the F1 Grand Prix, the Francofolies, the Festival des nuits d'Afrique, and the Lasso Country Festival. There are also festivals centered around food, children's entertainment, and contemporary art. Some events, like the Montreal High Lights Winter Festival, aim to bring the community together with activities for children, concerts, tasting booths, and artistic performances. For those unafraid of the cold, the Igloofest Electronic Music Festival is a must-attend. For further details, check out

Take up an artistic or cultural activity in Montreal

If you're eager to explore dancing, drawing, pottery, or scrapbooking, Montreal is the place to be. There are classes available for all interests and budgets. Les Affûtés, in particular, is well-known as Montreal's go-to for a variety of handicraft workshops. To discover other activities that interest you, you can start by browsing the internet based on the discipline you're keen on or explore options at universities, museums, and community centers. Don't forget to check out the activity boards, known as bulletin boards in Montreal, situated in some grocery stores and drugstores. For those on a budget, public libraries and community organizations frequently organize free activities in Montreal for both children and adults.

Useful links:

Montreal leisure - City of Montreal

Directory of community and recreational centers -

Groupe Loisirs Montréal - Meetup

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