• October 23, 2017
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Montréal at a glance

With a unique heritage unto its own, Montréal, as a city, boasts a lifestyle and culture that exudes avant-garde creativity.

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Travel Information

Quick tips about traveling to Montréal!

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Destination Overview

Learn about the interesting history of Montréal!

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City Guides

Everything you need to know about Montréal!

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Things To Do

Activities

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Montréal is full of attractions and sights for all ages. Just take a stroll.

Au Sommet Place Ville Marie
Breathtaking panoramas, a gourmet restaurant, an exhibition space and a cutting-edge lounge.

Casino de Montréal
The Casino de Montréal offers one of the largest game varieties in North America. It includes five restaurants and four bars and a cabaret, which host shows, performances and concerts from the most popular local and international singers.

Cité Mémoire travel back in time
Thanks to innovative technology, Cité Mémoire invites visitors to relive highlight moments in the city’s history and meet the fascinating people who have shaped the story of Montréal. Just download the app and get ready to time travel.

Montréal Botanical Garden – Space for life
Cultivate a patch of happiness at the Space for Life. An oasis in the middle of the city for over 80 years, the Montréal Botanical Garden is recognized as one of the largest and most beautiful in the world.

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal
Its magnificent interior, paintings, sculptures and stained-glass windows belong to Montréal's religious heritage.

Opéra de Montréal
The Opéra de Montréal, founded in 1980, is the largest francophone opera company in North America and is among the 15 most important opera houses on the continent.

Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Québec's leading cultural ambassador, treats audiences to some 100 concerts each year.

Museums

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Devoted to contemporary art, the museum presents the wealth of Québec creativity expressed in visual works.

Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History
At the very birthplace of Montréal, the museum offers an archaeological tour from the 14th century to present day.

The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts
This important museum has an encyclopedic permanent collection that is among the most impressive in North America

Major Outdoor Markets

Jean-Talon Market
The multicultural flavours and sights of the Jean-Talon Market have been attracting crowds to Little Italy since 1933. In addition to the ubiquitous fruit, vegetable, flower stalls and firs is a tasty array of specialty shops that feature spices, oils, cheeses, meats, pastries and other exquisite products that are specific to Québec.

Atwater Market
Open since 1933, the Atwater Market features a diverse range of merchants, caterers and specialty boutiques selling meats, fish, baked goods and fine foods all year round, in addition to its many vegetable and horticultural producers. The Lachine Canal cycling path leads up to the market.

Specialized city tours

Bike tours
In the Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood, Fitz and Follwell rents out all kinds of bicycles and offers guided tours (private or group) of the city. Meanwhile in the Old Port, Montréal on Wheels also rents out a variety of bikes and provides city tours. In the southwest, near Atwater Market, My Bicyclette offers rentals, guided tours on the Lachine Canal, and more.

Foodies tours
Sample the bounty of Montréal flavours by biking from site to site. Roundtable Food Tours gets you moving by bike for some of its specialty food tours, but you could choose a scooter – or walk. If you prefer walking, the choices abound: get a taste of the Plateau with Fitz & Follwell, of Mile End or Old Montréal with Local Montréal Tours, or of Marché Jean-Talon and beyond with Spade & Palacio. VDM Global also offers tours of various foodie neighbourhoods for groups, or private tours for two.

Walking tours
Pounding the pavement is without a doubt the best way to get to know a city from the inside, especially with the expert guidance of tour operators like Fitz & Follwell, Spade & Palacio and Local Montréal, all specialized in off-the-beaten-track experiences. VDM Global will cater a tour to your specific needs whether you’re just two or a whole corporate group, while Guidatour has a tour for every sized group and theme (scavenger hunt, anyone?).

Arts

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In a city where art is everywhere, gallery owners in particular have worked diligently to establish Montréal as a world-calibre cultural and innovative art centre by bringing works by international and local artists to the city’s art aficionados.

Classic Works
Many of the city’s traditional galleries can be found along Sherbrooke Street West or Saint-Paul Street. In particular, they feature paintings, drawings, etchings and sculptures from renowned European and North American artists.

New-Age Galleries
Renovated industrial space has become a favourite place for the city’s avant-garde visual art scene. For example, the Belgo Building on Sainte-Catherine Street West is former factory that now houses many of the city’s hottest contemporary art galleries. Likewise, the new PHI Centre on Saint-Pierre Street in Old Montréal is a bold, multi-purpose complex that showcases art in all its forms to make it accessible and essential. And, of course, the Arsenal Contemporary Art Complex in Griffintown, once a huge shipyard dating back to 1846, now hosts gallery space dedicated to contemporary Canadian and international art.

Underground Art
Montréal takes its underground art scene literally: come February and March each year, Art Souterrain presents a daring and wildly inventive initiative that features photos, videos, installations and artistic performances by hundreds of renowned contemporary artists along a 6-km passage of the Underground Pedestrian Network. As such, it seeks to change public perception vis-à-vis new contemporary art practices and to unite the visual arts milieu.

Culture

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Culture in a myriad of forms runs rampant across Montréal. It’s not surprising, considering that the city’s Entertainment District alone is a 1 km2 – hotbed of bustling cultural and entertainment action where the best and the brightest come to play. La Vitrine culturelle, a central box office for tickets, information and promotions on all the city’s events, makes it easy to get in on the action. In short, art is everywhere in this city where exciting events happen all year long – you just need to get out there and experience it!

Events

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Montréal has over 100 festivals devoted to music, comedy, food, fashion and more.

January
Les Hivernales

Les Hivernales invites everyone who loves their city to embrace winter and the cold, Montréal-style, in 2017. Programming for this grandiose winter celebration will include a wide variety of sports and participative activities to suit all tastes. Among others, there will be a one-of-a-kind interactive obstacle course, a first run of some truly zany curling, winter cycling and an outdoor hockey game. Fans of extreme sports will also have their fill with an impressive skiing and snowboarding demonstration.

February
MONTREAL EN LUMIERE

Revel in an atmosphere of light and warmth in the middle of winter. Hundreds of exceptional gastronomic and wine tasting activities, shows (music, dance, theater, circus...) and a free outdoor illuminated site in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles.

Illuminart
Will establish itself as an international annual crossroads for illuminated, interactive and immersive avant-garde creativity! Find out in preview "l'Îlot de chaleur"; a bonfire created from bulbs flashes to life, controlled by the effect of human warmth.

April
Cité Mémoire

Every evening (except from April 10 to May 10) Created by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, and freely inspired by the history of Montréal, Cité Mémoire invites you to meet a multitude of characters that have witnessed the evolution of the city over the years. More than 20 tableaux, infused with whimsy and poetry, come to life in images, words and music. From one end of Old Montréal to the other, the works emerge from the walls that surround you, the ground you walk on and the trees that frame the present.

May
LIVING CONNECTIONS: Illumination of the Jacques Cartier Bridge

On May 17, 2017, the Jacques Cartier Bridge will become a kaleidoscope activated in real time by the seasons and Montrealers’ energy. This digital and interactive installation will light up according to the seasons and the pulse of the city. A cutting-edge and innovative project, it promises to capture the imagination and provide the city with a powerful visual icon.

The Giants
After setting foot in major world capitals, including France, Chile, England, Australia, Germany and China, the giant marionettes of the Royal de Luxe theatre company from France will be coming to Montréal from May 19 to 21, 2017, with a special creation made exclusively for the city’s 375th anniversary. Over the course of three days, these grandiose characters will tell the story of Montréal in a touching and poetic show for the first time on Canadian soil.

Montréal AVUDO – May 17 to September 2, 2017
Montréal AVUDO, a show created exclusively for Montréal’s 375th anniversary by the Compagnia Finzi Pasca. This multimedia extravaganza will include over 100 free performances in the west sector of Montréal’s Old Port. Close to 180,000 spectators will be able to see this stunning work, which unfolds on the water. A poetic tribute to the St. Lawrence River over time and throughout the seasons.

June
Grand Prix du Canada

The best Formula 1 drivers meet at the demanding Gilles-Villeneuve Circuit.

July
Festival des Arts de la Rue

Some 60 street theatre companies from 6 countries (France, Spain, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Canada) will take over Montréal’s streets every day in July to offer some 800 performances! Hundreds of artists, including some 20 troupes from Québec, will take part in the largest street theatre event ever held in North America!

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
An event that for over 35 years has transformed the city into a gathering place for lovers of all music related to jazz: 1000 concerts at 15 indoor and some 10 outdoor venues.

Montréal Complètement CiRQUE
Its plazas, streets, parks and sidewalks become venues for colourful, high-flying performances. Family-friendly shows, new creations and innovations, circus-related activities, the Festival has something for everyone and is ready to welcome little ones or grown-ups in search of the extraordinary, surprises and emotions.

August
Fashion and Design Festival

The Fashion & Design Festival celebrates creativity and culture through a major outdoor event in the heart of downtown Montreal. The activities include fashion shows, live creative sessions, design showcasing and musical performances. The Fashion & Design Festival’s presence will also be felt around the city with novel exhibits, original installations and unique experiences open to all.

Canada Pride Montréal 2017
A national festival that aims to shed light on the Canadian LGBT movement Hosted by Montréal Pride. Festivalgoers will be offered 10 days of celebrations including a weekend of sporting events, an international conference on LGBT human rights, free outdoor concerts every night and a parade of an unprecedented scale.

September
YUL EAT

In a festive atmosphere near the St. Lawrence River, visitors can eat, discover, and celebrate. They can also meet local producers and sample the culinary creations of renowned chefs promoting the richness of locally sourced produce.

October
Garden of Lights

Discover the Japanese Garden enhanced by a fine and subtle lighting design and the Chinese Garden with its emblematic traditional coloured lanterns. At dusk, beautiful pathways emerge in the Gardens of Light, pathways full of contrasts, mysterious and magical.

November
Leonard Cohen – A crack in everything – Musée D’Art Contemporain de Montréal
This multidisciplinary exhibition will allow the Musée to offer the public a collection of brand-new works commissioned from and created by local and international artists who were inspired by the great master’s style and recurring themes. These artists represent the visual arts, performance art, music, the written word and film.

Explore The Outdoors

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Montréal’s natural assets—its mountain, river and bounty of beautiful parks—provide outstanding spaces for outdoor activities and soft adventures that are both thrilling and safe. Hiking and snowshoeing on Mount Royal as well as in-line skating and ice-skating at the Old Port provide visitors and locals alike with an opportunity to enjoy the city’s unique urban and rural mix.

Cycling
Montréal is elite on the international cycling scene. The extensive network of cycling paths make them the envy of many a metropolis. Of course there’s the BIXI bike rental system, likely Montréal’s most enjoyable export that is now rolling across major cities around the world.

Watersports
In Montréal, pedal boat and pleasure craft aficionados can float to their heart’s delight while the more adventurous enjoy the Lachine Rapids and the Saint-Lawrence River to kayak, surf or go rafting.

Parks and Gardens
Including downtown’s unique Mount Royal, Montréal is home to some 17 major public parks. The Botanical Garden is recognized as one of the most beautiful in the world.

A 4-season playground
Montréal offers tons of year-round outdoor fun right across the island. Winter sport enthusiasts have it all: snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, tobogganing and that’s just downtown on Mount Royal! Come summer, golfers take to the island’s many impressive golf courses.

Being active and enjoying the outdoors is part and parcel of the Montréal urban lifestyle. From jogging, skateboarding, inline skating, rock climbing and more, when it comes to open-air pursuits, Montréal is a breath of fresh air!

Family

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In Montréal, it’s never a question of what to do, but what to choose because there’s so much going on in this family-friendly city. From toddlers to teens and all ages in between, we’ve got something for everyone in your crew that features tons of fun and picture perfect memories.

What really makes Montréal a favourite family destination is its diverse four-season offer. Spring is not only bursting with colour, but for budding scientists, it’s filled with all manner of earthly wonders out at the Botanical Garden, Biodôme and the Insectarium.

Summer’s always a sure hit, with a mountain to explore, a majestic river and rapids—great for kayaking, jet boating and speedboating—and a giant amusement park to play in. The summer calendar also features a non-stop line-up of safe streetside festivals, most of which devote a specific component to kids.

Fall is great for harbour cruises, a hop to Île Sainte-Hélène or a stroll through any one of the many parks to admire the yellows, reds and oranges of Montréal’s fiery autumn foliage. And who can resist ice skating, tubing or an urban snow shoeing expedition, topped with a creamy hot chocolate, in the fresh sparkly white of winter?

Whether you’re time travelling in Old Montréal with history buffs, unraveling untold mysteries at the Montréal Science Centre, pursuing a passion for art in galleries and museums or soaking up the lively ambiance of an outdoor celebration, major festival or sporting event, Montréal keeps families at the top of its list, with discoveries at every street corner.

And not only is Montréal an incredibly safe city, but it’s easy to navigate too, with an elaborate public transit network of subway and bus lines crisscrossing the city and a choice of special passes available to accommodate the whole gang while it’s here.

Food

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Montréal’s history and geography have lent it a unique culture that is inspired by global influences. Proudly rooted in Québec’s culinary traditions and at the crossroads of a multitude of culinary inspirations, Montréal’s gastronomy is today recognized as one of the best.

With Montréal's impressive number of restaurants, chances are that you’re going to find just the region or type of food you crave – and it’s going to be delicious!

Local creativity
Local chefs really take the cake when it comes to imagination. Not only do they showcase fresh, seasonal local produce, they liberally season their dishes with the same creativity that is indelibly Montréal: innovation, style and originality.

A culinary scene a cut above the rest
Ingenuity is the main ingredient in a unique cuisine that deftly mixes invention with tradition. The result? An inspired blend of local influences, daring world flavours and European heritage. What’s more, Montréal chefs work hand in hand with local purveyors and can often be found exploring the public markets for the inspiration and base of their next great creation. And if you don’t catch them at the market, chances are you’ll find them chatting up the patrons at their restaurant; Montréal’s culinary scene is also appetizingly accessible!

In addition, the street food scene, with some 350 food trucks and takeout meal stands, offers a diverse range of fresh, affordable, and high-quality products.

Delicious events year-round
Montréal’s devotion to fine food and drink is celebrated with numerous culinary events throughout the year. For example, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE lights up the dark of winter with one of North America’s most popular gourmet happenings, while MTLàTABLE – their version of Restaurant Week showcases delectable menus at accessible prices.

Tibetans say to Eat shamelessly! To this, Montrealers say Bon appétit!

Celebrating Montréal’s Gastronomy in 2017

January

Happening gourmand in Old Montreal
Le Chop

February

Montréal Poutine Week
Je t’aime en chocolat
MONTRÉAL EN LUMIERE

March-April

Chef à l’érable
Fête du Croissant

May

Invasion Cocktail

June

Taste of the Caribbean
Mondial de la Bière

September

YULEAT
Burger Week Montréal
Oysterfest Montréal
Omnivore Food Festival
Martinique Gourmande

November

MTL À TABLE
La Grande Dégustation de Montréal
Fête des vins du Québec

December

Made with Love - Mixology

Museums

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Montréal museums offer cool and exciting stuff for everyone to enjoy, no matter your age or passion!

History
Montréal’s museums offer the privilege of participating, via traditional and new media, in dialogues between the present and the past. The Pointe-a-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History takes visitors back to where it all began. The Château Ramezay showcases over 500 years of history with dynamic presentations including multi-media portrayals of historical figures in six languages.

Art
A trip to Montréal opens up just what inspires (or inspired) artists from here and abroad. The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts features a world-class collection that includes world cultures, ancient and contemporary European art, decorative arts and design, a rare collection of Tiffany stained glass as well as Québec and Canadian art. The Musée d’art contemporain is Canada’s premier museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art, with nearly 7,600 permanent works. It stages original ways to discover art, such as the innovative Friday Nocturnes du Mac, a splendid mix of music, cocktails and modern art.

Science and Nature
The largest natural science museum complex in Canada, Montréal’s Space For Life invites us to rethink the ties between human beings and nature, cultivating a new way of living. It regroups four exciting nature museums to study flora, fauna, planets and much more in one convenient and entertaining location: the Botanical Garden, the Insectarium, the Biodôme and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. Down in the Old Port, the Montréal Science Centre inspires, astounds, educates and entertains children of all ages on a range of topics related to science and technology.

Restaurants

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To really get a feel for Montréal, take a look at the menus. The city has the highest concentration of eateries on the continent—nearly 65 restaurants per km2. From five-star restaurants to hard-and-fast local favorites, Montréal offers one-of-a-kind experiences to tantalize any palate all year round.

Discover why Montréal is among the world’s most mouthwatering destinations.

Atelier Joël Robuchon
Renowned chef Joël Robuchon developed an innovative culinary concept: to offer top-drawer gourmet food that excites all the senses and serve it in a friendly and unpretentious environment. From Paris to London, Hong Kong to Las Vegas, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon draws gourmet aficionados from all over the world. It’s your turn to discover authentic and refined cuisine that ingeniously combines the flavours of exceptional products that are prepared and served in all simplicity. A chef at the summit of his craft innovates, surprises and reinvents classic cuisine.

Europea
Voted 2010 restaurant of the year by the Guide Debeur, 4-Diamond CAA/AAA Restaurant Europea and its Executive Chef Jérôme Ferrer invite guests to discover inventive and modern cuisine prepared from the best products in Québec. The restaurant is in the prestigious Relais & Châteaux association, an exclusive register of the finest hotels and gourmet restaurants in 55 countries. As of January 2014, Chef Jérôme Ferrer officially joins the ranks of the exclusive and very selective family of the Grandes Tables du Monde de France.

Graziella
Ensconced in a historic stone building in Old Montréal, Graziella elevates Italian cuisine to a level rarely achieved outside the secrecy of la nonna’s kitchen. The accent here is on fresh, season-influenced northern Italian dishes, with specialties that include osso bucco and red-wine risotto as well as mouthwatering homemade pasta dishes. The evening menu is à la carte, while lunch features a table d’hôte that includes appetizers and entrées. Guests can relax in its minimalist modern yet warm interior while creative chef Graziella Battista conquers their taste buds.

Helena
Under the helm of Chef Helena Loureiro, the charming restaurant Helena offers unique Portuguese cuisine and a wide variety of tapas to eat alone or share. Inspired by the colourful hues of the Mediterranean, the venue is warm and inviting, with a wine list of over 100 vintages from different regions of Portugal.

Jo Beef
On the very site of a legendary Montréal tavern at the end of the 19th century is where Joe Beef was destined for greatness and where David McMillan and Frédéric Morin combine simplicity and generosity without ever skimping on freshness or the authenticity of their products. Joe Beef is worth the detour if for nothing more than oysters selected and opened by one of America’s greatest connoisseurs! Joe Beef ranked 51st on the World’s 100 Best Restaurants list. It is the only Canadian restaurant that made it on the list.

L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel
Founded in 1754, the Auberge Saint-Gabriel in the heart of Old Montréal is the oldest inn in North America. Its fine French and Québec cuisine is prepared with the best available market ingredients, served in a charming atmosphere reminiscent of yesteryear. A graceful terrace for those sultry summer days and a fireplace in winter make for romantic dining year round.

Maison Boulud
Maison Boulud offers a menu steeped in French tradition, yet inspired by decades of experience in New York City. Daniel Boulud’s menu is driven by the seasons and bounty of Québec’s local purveyors. Here, you’ll find specialties from Boulud’s New York City restaurants, including Lyonnais charcuterie, Mediterranean flavors, and even some casual burgers, as well as dishes created just for Maison Boulud. While situated in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the restaurant, its bar, lounge, and two private dining rooms have a vibrant identity all their own. An outdoor dining area overlooks the garden in the summer months, and a 46-seat glass greenhouse is open off of the main dining room during the winter.

Montréal Plaza Restaurant
In a playful, unpretentious space designed by the prolific Zébulon Perron in collaboration with Charles-Antoine Crête, Montreal Plaza serves up specialities including Whelk Gratiné, Salmon Confit, Beef Sashimi, and “The Nothing Potato.” The wine list comprises many private imports and caters to all budgets, and the ambiance is contemporary, family-friendly, and welcoming.

Restaurant TOQUÉ!
Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Normand Laprise has made it a mission to offer innovative cuisine with exceptional ingredients. At lunchtime, Toqué! serves a simplified menu in a bright and friendly atmosphere. In the evening, Toqué! offers the ultimate gastronomy experience, while the bar section serves a variety of house cocktails and an exquisite wine selection. In January 2014, the restaurant officially joined the ranks of the exclusive and very selective family of the Grandes Tables du Monde de France.

Shopping

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Style reigns supreme in Montréal, and shopping is a must. Fashionistas will want to drape themselves in the city’s fabulous finds—from clothes to hats and lingerie to leather totes—crafted by both local artisans and international labels. You can bring home gorgeous artisanal objects unearthed in museum boutiques or art galleries. Or how about adorning yourself with glittering gems and high-end pieces from local and international jewelers?

Cracking the top 50 on the list of world fashion capitals according to the Global Language Monitor, Montréal is a city full of flair, style and innate fashion sense. Montrealers effortlessly combine original, vintage and trendy elements for a look all their own.

Fashion Forward
Rather than follow the trends, Montrealers push the fashion boundaries, mixing styles and creating new ones. Québec's top fashion designers are recognized for trend-setting looks and haute couture inspirations. Every spring and fall, local designers showcase their creations during the Big Fashion Sale by Quebec Designers, an event drawing national and international buyers (also open to the public!). Attracting over 500,000 visitors every year, the Fashion and Design Festival in August brings the biggest names in fashion to the streets of downtown Montréal.

Shopper’s Paradise
From haute couture to ready-to-wear fashion, from antiques to art galleries, Montréal is a huge and eclectic shopping mecca. Start your spree on Sainte Catherine Street, one of North America’s longest and most dynamic shopping arteries. Its 15-kilometre length yields as many one-of-a-kind shops as big-name brand stores. From there, escape the heat (or cold!) via the underground pedestrian network, home to more than 1,700 shops and several department stores.

Sports

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Sure, Montréal is a cosmopolitan city of trendsetting design, but they like to get down and dirty, too. Nothing shows this off better than how they support their professional sports teams. Call them sports-crazy, but in Montréal, game day rituals aren’t just for the players; from diehard fans to occasional spectators, cheering on the home team is a sport in itself!

Winning Teams
Even before the snow flies, puck fever descends upon the city as the Habs, the legendary Montréal Canadiens and 24-time Stanley Cup champions, hit the ice of the Bell Centre in their drive for another cup. Likewise, summer sizzles with the Alouettes, their professional football team, whose downtown stadium, packed full to the brim with roaring crowds, is the place to be. Across the city at the foot of the The Montréal Tower, the Montréal Impact MLS team regularly thrills crowds of some 20,000 soccer fans per game at the Saputo Stadium.

World-Class Events
Montréal hosts many annual major sporting events year-round. The unofficial kick-off to summer, the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada roars into town at the beginning of June, bringing with it thousands upon thousands of high-speed enthusiasts for a weekend celebration beyond compare. Then it’s over to the court in August, when the world’s top tennis players vie for the Rogers Cup. All year long, Montréal hosts combat sport matches such as boxing or Ultimate Fighting (UFC) featuring championship fighters the likes of hometown favourites Lucian Bute, Jean Pascal and Georges St-Pierre, just for starters.

In short, they fete their local, national and international athletes with the same kind of gusto, across the board. Because this is Montréal – and getting together to have a good time is their passion!

What kind of vacation would you like to take?