Enjoying the summer weather is an important part of Canadian culture. We have to appreciate it while it's here, and Montrealers are very good at doing just that. But going all-out every weekend can sometimes leave your wallet feeling quite depleted, so there needs to be a cheaper alternative for summer outings. Here is a list of casual activities available throughout the city all summer long.
1. Hudson's Farmers Market ($15)
Every Thursday from 3:00pm to 7:00pm, this market has kiosks of all kinds of local merchandise, from fruits and vegetables (from local farmers), to artisanal goods like jewellery and woodworking. If you are a Montreal artist you can even sign up in advance for a table to sell your crafts.
2. Concert ($15)
There are so many different concerts you can catch for $15 or less at bars like Le Ritz, L'Escogriffe and L'escalier, just to name a few. These intimate shows with still-to-be-discovered bands performing are usually a lot of fun to go see and you don't need to know every lyric to enjoy yourself.
3. Sidewalk Sales (free)
Most big streets are closed to car traffic in Montreal in rotation during the summer for sidewalk sales. They are not only a nice place to find some good deals, but there are all kinds of food and street performances as you take a leisurely walk through the city.
Photo cred - Cynthia
4. Iced Coffee ($10)
Little Italy is the best spot to enjoy a great coffee on a sunny day. The iced coffee made with a nice strong shot of espresso is like a gift from the heavens when it's hot out. All along St-Laurent you will find many cute little stores to check out and most notably, if you're looking for a classic Italian coffee, you can find it at the Milano coffee shop.
Photo cred - Christ
5. Create Your Own Blend ($5)
Also located on St-Laurent, in Montreal's Little Italy, Anatol is a small store where you can buy all kinds of organic spices and other dried products by weight. The best products are their loose teas. They have all kinds of tea including fruit infused, green tea, black tea, chai and anything you can imagine for a fraction of the price of chain stores like David's Tea.
Photo cred - Virgin Radio
6. Movies In The Park (free)
Virgin Mix 96, has been presenting weekly movies in the park since before the station was called Virgin radio. They present these movies on a big screen in different parks around Montreal and they are usually theatre movies for free. They also have a little barbecue and ice cream sale. Bring your own chair.
Photo cred - The Forbidden Meal
7. Great Lunch ($9)
Première Moisson offers a great meal special called Trio Salades. It's only $9 and comes with a choice of 3 salads of the day, a desert (one of their amazing pastries), a piece of fresh bread, and a coffee or tea. The location in Laval has this trio for $7. It's delicious and nutritious!
Photo cred - Alex
8. Monday Beer Special At Le Ste-elisabeth ($3.75/each)
Le Ste-Elisabeth is a great pub for summer beers with a small inner courtyard and its close proximity to St-Laurent and St-Denis. On Monday night they have a $3.75 special on Boréal pints, which is a good deal for an afternoon drink before heading out for the night.
Photo cred - Abby & Lola
9. Reserve A Tennis Court ($7/hour)
Montreal has many public tennis courts on the island; there are 2 that you can register for with the city for $7 an hour. There are also others available on schedules for partners/casual practice that are free, all you need to do is reserve a time slot.
10. Join A Community Garden (free)
The co-op garden program in Montreal started in 1975 and now is offered in almost every borough in the city - they have become very organized. Each garden has a committee, a gardening "coach", and everything from the soil, water, fencing, paint and flowers are provided.
Photo cred- Nedzet
11. Outdoor Yoga ($15)
There are a few outdoor yoga programs available for the summer. There is one held at the Canadian Center for Architecture every Sunday from 10:30 to 12:00. It costs $15 without registration and "drop-in" attendees get a student discount.
12. Piknic Electronik ($13.50)
At Parc Jean-Drapeau, this festival is on all summer and gets better every year. Tip: don't try getting in for free, it's impossible! The bracelet passes are now rechargeable at special ATM machines around the park and they are used to buy everything there.
13. St-Eustache Flea Market ($15)
When you're up for a little drive, this is the perfect destination. There are hundreds of vendors with every kind of knick-knack you could imagine. They have cotton candy, 'ghetto bars', and greasy food. There are always crazy cars parked outside and it's an all around fun experience. You can definitely get by on $15 and make some interesting purchases.
14. Drive-In Movies ($10)
Also located in the St-Eustache Flea Market it is the closest drive-in movie theatre to Montreal. Regular admission is $10 and $6 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. They play current movies and sell all kinds of yummy snacks.
15. Public Pools (free)
Public pools are not always the best, but if you want to see some good looking people, go to the Baldwin Swimming Pool. It's near the Mont-Royal area so you can find all the hot trendy guys and girls. It's always nice to look at a cute guy with nice tattoos and a man bun in his little bathing suit.