Montreal is a city of artists, and unlike most places, we don't like to keep our art exclusively in museums. Instead, we take to the streets and plaster it all over the city.
The best part of Montreal street art is that it is constantly evolving. Every year, MuralFest adds a few more pieces and replaces a few of the older ones, turning the city into one giant art gallery that everyone can enjoy.
The murals in Montreal constantly get shared around the internet and the rest of the world is taking notice.
And if you need a few examples, here are some murals we added this year.
Montreal is a great place for all those love birds out there, but sometimes it can be pretty costly. So, when you are looking to planning that perfect date but you are on a budget, don't stress! The list below composes of completely free date ideas that you can plan for that special someone RIGHT NOW.
Around almost any corner in the Down Town, Plateau, and Mille-End area in Montreal you are sure to find street art. So, why not explore your city with the one you love and enjoy some free art and the smell of spring!
2. If You Are A Broke Couple Go To The Virtual Reality Garden
For the opening of the Garden, the Phi Centre has brought together four of the most outstanding virtual reality works of our time—cutting edge experiences created by world-renowned artists who push the limits of art and technology and offer a unique point of view on today’s socio-political issues.
Check out the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts this sunday since it is free admission on the last Sunday of the month. So, take you special someone this sunday to enjoy beautiful art while you enjoy their company.
Illuminart is a new circuit fusing art, lighting and technology, unfolding through downtown Montreal. Aimed at an inquisitive audience eager to discover and explore, Illuminart assembles projects by artists, creators, engineers, set designers, graphic designers and videographers from home and abroad. Our illuminated urban space springs to life, becoming a must-see destination for creativity, inspiration and shared experience thanks to works that are at once surprising, impressive and entertaining.From February 22 to March 11, 2017.
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Place Ville Marie
For one night only, on March 4th, between 8:00 pm and 1:00 am, entrance to the Observatory will be 100% free! You'll have access to the 46 floor observation deck where you can discover the permanent exhibition, The Odyssey. The 45th floor will feature the #MTLGO interactive and participatory exhibition, or you can also head to the terrasse on the 44th floor.
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If you happen to fall in love with an athletic person, then this is the perfect date idea for you in Montreal this summer at no cost. TREKFIT gyms are located all across Montreal and they are perfect locations to hold a cute little workout date. Spring is right around the corner!
Inspired by the Italian renaissance revival, Mary Queen of the World Cathedral was modeled after Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. Although the interior of the cathedral does not quite match the grandeur of Saint Peter's Basilica, the nave's architectural layout, the white and gold wooden coffered vault, and the baldachin with spiral columns are quite interesting. The curvature of the intersecting vaults almost steals the show from the many paintings and gildings. It is free every Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
9. If You Are A Broke Couple Go Walk Through Old Montreal
Montreal is a very romantic setting that is itself priceless. Your date has probably been to Old Montreal multiple times but why not explore the city in a different way. I suggest taking your date to Old Montreal and showing them all the great architecture! They will truly be amazing by the beauty behind our city.
10. If You Are A Broke Couple Go To Montreal's World Trade Center
Montreal’s World Trade Centre (near Square-Victoria metro) is perfect for enjoying a gorgeous view while talking to your date with a nice cup of coffee. The atmosphere is incredible and it's also a nice place to exchange anniversary gifts!
11. If You Are A Broke Couple Go Watch A Sunset At Mount Royal
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For romance, kissing, and looking over the whole city, I suggest driving up to Mount Royal. You can enjoy Mount Royal during the day and enjoy the cityscape or you can go at night with your date and have a romantic stargazing date. This is always free and it's always a safe date idea.
12. If You Are A Broke Couple Go To The Melvin Charney’s Sculpture Garden
Time to get your sculpting on with a hot chocolate at the Melvin Charney’s sculpture garden, which is an extension of the CCA. This garden contains multiple sculptures that you can enjoy observing over a warm cup of hot chocolate and a beautiful sunset with the one you love.
I honestly love biking with my boyfriend and honestly I think it's a great date where you don't have to spend any money. For those couples who love to bike, I suggest biking down the Lachine Canal towards Atwater Market for a fun Montreal date.
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Honestly, there is always something super cool going on at Place Des Arts and the Quartier des Spectacles whether it be live music, a dance performance, or outdoor painting. I suggest heading down there with your date and just sitting back. It's a great place to soak up Montreal and to enjoy it's people. ALSO, Nuit Blanche is next weekend and it's FREE FREE FREE!
Montreal's Mural Festival recently came to an end, and it left the city exponentially more beautiful. From June 9th-19th, street artists from Montreal and around the world flooded St. Laurent boulevard, in a celebration of street art, music, and all things Montreal.
These incredible artists have gifted Montreal with some new and incredible murals, ones that you definitely need to take the time to visit. For an exciting preview of the new murals, the amazing Montreal photographer Jean-François Savaria has stunningly captured each one for your viewing pleasure.
Street art is what makes Montreal the unique, exciting urban centre that it is. In each of these incredible pieces of art, you'll find expressions of culture, meticulous technique, and use of colour and images like you've never seen before. So, please do these artists justice and visit these new murals to admire and appreciate one of the most special things Montreal has to offer: a thriving urban art scene.
Location: Rue Saint-Dominique / Rue Sherbrooke
Location: Rue Milton / Rue Sainte-Famille
3. Acidum Project
Location: Rue Saint-Dominique / Rue Prince Arthur
4. Felipe Pantone
Location: Between Boul. St. Laurent and Rue Saint-Dominique / Rue Prince Arthur
Location: Rue St. Dominique / Rue Prince Arthur
6. House of Meggs
Location: Between Boul. St. Laurent and Rue Saint-Dominique / Rue Prince Arthur
Location: Rue Clark / Rue Prince Arthur
8. Jonathan Bergeron
Location: Rue Clark / Rue Prince Arthur
9. Klone Yourself
Location: Rue Prince Arthur / Rue Sainte-Famille
10. Bluff Monster
Location: Boul. St. Laurent / Rue. Saint-Dominique
Location: Boul. St. Laurent / Ave. Des Pins
12. Natalia Rak
Location: Rue Roy / Ave. Coloniale
Location: Rue Clark / Between Rue Napoleon and Rue Roy
14. Bik Ismo
Location: Boul. St. Laurent / Rue Napoleon
Location: Ave. Duluth O / Rue Saint-Urbain
16. Miss Terri
Location: Rue Rachel E / Ave. Hotel-De-Ville
Location: Rue Saint-Dominique / Between Prince Arthur and Boul. St. Laurent
I recently moved to Montreal for the summer, and although I've only been here a short while, there are an unbelievable amount of things I want to do while I'm here. What's even more exciting is knowing that pretty soon, I'll be able to give my friends who visit from out of town a more real, not-so -touristy experience of the city. So, if you're like me and are new to the city, or you're a Montreal lover from afar who wants to try and live like the locals for a bit, here is a list that combines some of the things I've done, or can't wait to do with my out-of-town friends. Hopefully they feel authentic as can be, and, bonus, they won't hurt your wallet too much!
1. Have a picnic and a few drinks at one of Montreal's local parks
One of the best things I've learned about Montreal since moving here? There's something called the Picnic Law, which basically allows you to drink in public parks as long as you have a substantial amount of food with you. You and your friends will feel very much like locals when you see how many Montrealers take advantage of this great law on a hot afternoon. Check out our list of the best parks where you can chill out with your picnic basket full of brews. Cheers!
2. Chill Out near the installations at Montreal's Place des Arts
On my first day here, I wandered down to Place Des Arts, and immediately fell in love. The current art installations that are set up down there are awesome - swings that light up and play music? Yes please. This is definitely somewhere Montrealers go to hang out, so bring your friends and take in the atmosphere; you can even jump through the musically-controlled water fountains if you get too hot.
3. Bar hop on a hot night in Montreal (Saint-Laurent, Mont-Royal or Saint-Denis)
One thing I learned pretty quickly - Montrealers rarely stick to just one bar when venturing out for a night on the town. Maybe you'll want to start your night on one of the city's many summer terraces, set the mood with a mason jar concoction at La Distillerie, and then stumble on to the club. Need help deciding where? Consult our list for help. If you end up on St. Laurent at the end of your night, make sure to grab some $2 Chow Mein - and no, there's no catch, that's really the price.
4. Get lost discovering street art quite literally all over Montreal
I've done this pretty much every time I've visited Montreal, and I'm left in awe every time. St. Laurent is a good place to start if you want to see some gorgeous murals, but the best part is that you'll be pleasantly surprised by them pretty much anywhere in the city. Perfect if you have friends that are into the urban art scene, and if you want to wow them even further, plan their visit around the Mural Festival (June 9th-19th)
5. Rent BIXI bikes and venture to Old Port, the Lachine Canal or Parc Jean-Drapeau
This is something I have yet to do, but I'm so psyched for. These amazing landscapes prove that there's more to Montreal than just the city centre experiences. It's definitely something you can spend a day doing, and there are so many cool, hidden places along the Lachine canal especially that you can discover with your friends.
6. Spend time scoping out local, iconic Montreal restaurants
I can't even begin to tell you how overwhelmed I am at the amount of places I want, no need, to eat in Montreal. When you spend all day touring with friends, it can be easy to just wander in to any old place when you're hungry and tired. But trust me, take the time to find some local favourites, and you won't regret it. For example, the food at Patati Patata (pictured above) is out of this world, and insanely cheap! There are tons of places like this all over the city, and if you want to stay in the realm of budget friendly, we've got that for you here
7. Wander around the side streets in some key areas of Montreal
I feel like every time I explore a new neighbourhood in Montreal, I'm stopping every 5 minutes to snap pictures of the vine-laden apartments, or colourful coffee shops. Sometimes the best way to really get a feel for the culture, vibe and history of a place is to explore where people actually live, work, and go to relax. Check out the cool, fringe vibes on Duluth street, or the charm of St. Louis square and its surrounding streets. Go off the beaten path and you shall be rewarded.
8. Avoid large chain stores and opt for vintage boutiques instead
Undoubtedly, something your out-of-town crew will want to do in Montreal is go shopping - and rightfully so, since the city has an amazing selection of shopping for anyone and everyone. But simply darting in and out of the big chain stores on St. Catherine street can feel so overdone; those you can find in any major city. Instead, show your friends a more authentic shopping vibe by checking out the many unique vintage stores dotted throughout the coolest neighbourhoods in Montreal. Like always, we've got you covered for options here.
9. Do the one touristy thing that's totally allowed: take a sunset (or sunrise) photo at the top of Mont-Royal
Honestly, this is the quintessential tourist attraction in Montreal for a good reason: you just can't beat the gorgeous, expansive view of the city. But to make it a little less mainstream, head up to the mountain with your friends either before or after the bar (we're not responsible for what happens if you choose the latter). Chances are there will be less people around those times, and that way it will feel like your own private little viewing of this beautiful city. Time to make memories.
A list of truly unique things to do with your special someone.
Spring is here and love is in the air! What better way to tell someone “I love you” than on a beautiful artsy date? Well, Montreal holds a variety of perfect activities for that special person who loves art just as much as you love them. But, I guarantee that they will love you just as much if you take them on one of these dates.
Now, you may not be too fond of art but, trust me. After you see what I have in store for you and your special someone who already loves art, you will see why they love it so much.
The Never Apart gallery has a modern twist on art. They are a non-profit organisation that indulge on the aspects of equality, the environment, and conscious living. Their goal is to start a positive change by tying cultures together through music and many other forms of art.
So, I suggest starting your date by taking a Bixi down to the art gallery. Afterwards, you can go down to little Italy for a nice little lunch at one of the several local cafes found just around the corner on Boulevard St. Laurent.
Since your date just got a taste of the Never Apart art gallery why not give them a taste of something a bit sweeter… Take them out afterwards to a delicious lunch at Pile Ou Glace also located in little Italy. They offer homemade Gelato that will make your sweet tooth throb.
Now that you and your date have seen some great art and had some delicious food, its time to end the night by taking a nice Bixi bike ride in Jarry park.
Instead of admiring art, tonight you and your date are going to create some! Paint the Nite is an event spread all around the world where you can socialize, paint and drink it up with your special someone.
Montreal gladly hosts multiple events at local bars. Simply go on their website and choose an event, which has a specific theme, and buy your tickets. The bars are located all around Montreal from Boulevard St Laurent to Point-Claire in the West Island.
I recommend getting those tickets ASAP! They tend to sell out fairly quickly and this is truly a great date for your artsy lover.
Now its time to appreciate the public art from the streets of Montreal. Montreal is home to some of the world's nicest street art and it's around almost every corner. So with the nice weather approaching, why not take a walk along the Plateau of Montreal and appreciate some great street art.
Start on St-Laurent Boulevard and Pine Street. You and your lovely date can make your way North, either walking or biking, to the corner of Napoléon and Saint Dominique where you can see a lot of the greatest street art. You would later end on St-Laurent Boulevard and Roy Street. Along the way you should definitely stop at Banquise for a poutine since you both probably built up a big appetite while walking!
There is also Street Art in NDG that has notable murals on Sherbrooke between Royal and Cavendish. In addition, between Monkland and De Maisonneuve there is the Yves Laroche Gallery that represents many local street artists as well as international names.
Instead of trying to take your date to Pompeii, bring Pompeii to them by exploring the exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on Sherbrooke Street West. This beautiful art gallery includes 220 archaeological artifacts, mosaics, frescoes, statues, and much more!
It may be a bit somber since the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D caused the death of thousands of people. However, you can lighten up the mood afterwards by simply walking down Crescent Street to Mandy’s, a local salad joint!
After you have some fresh delicious salad, why not go down to Putting Edge on Rue Guy to conclude your perfect date! Since you admired some fantastic ancient art and had a perfect dinner, get loose and go glow in the dark mini putting. They have beer and even some funky art of their own! Your date is sure to think the date was a hole-in- one!
Time to appreciate some natural beauty at the Botanical Garden located on 4101 Rue Sherbrooke East. I recommend going straight for the Butterflies Go Free activity where you take a nice stroll through the insectarium and end up in a room filled with butterflies! It may not seem like an artsy date but trust me, once you get there you will realize just how much art there is.
Afterwards, you can explore the biodome and even take a walk around the Olympic stadium to admire the beautiful architecture. There is even the planetarium and multiple food joints located within a five-minute walking distance from one another. I would say that this is a great date for a photographer or a true nature lover.
Time to get your sculpting on with a picnic on a warm spring day at Melvin Charney’s sculpture garden, which is an extension of the CCA. Melvin Charney (b.1935 - 2012) was one of Canada's leading architects/artists. It has been said that the sculpture garden speaks to the history of architecture in Montreal.
I suggest to end the night with some desert at the Atwater Market which is not too far from the CCA. You can get pizza or ice cream and simply walk around and maybe even pick up from fresh fruit.
You can even suggest to your partner that you guys should make something on your next date with some fresh food from Atwater, maybe a romantic dinner. It’s a great date to explore your Montreal heritage and what Montreal has to its people.
Here’s a fun little twist to bring some childhood memories back in a flash! Bring your date to the Montreal Barbie Expo. It's part of Les Cours Mont-Royal in downtown Montreal and holds the largest exhibition of Barbie dolls in the world. Its truly a perfect way to make that special someone feel like a prince or princess! This is a great conversation starter to share some childhood memories with your date and to bring some modern thinking up!
With beautiful weather in mind, why not take a stroll afterwards to Boustan's on Crescent Street. It’s a popular Lebanese restaurant that has the best homemade foods! A great taste of culture that doesn’t end there! You can end the night by hitting up one of Crescent’s greatest famous bars or even a Shisha bar! But if you’re in the mood for more of a classy night out, definitely try Wienstein & Gavino's, a fancy wine restaurant also located on Crescent!
For that hipster date I recommend the BRAM! Gallery located on 3255 rue St Jacques. Its funky, fresh, and a hip way to start a date and even end a date.
Not only is it an art Gallery with easy access to the metro, but it is also a performance space, retail store that sells vinyl, books, and it's even a cafe. It's “retro cool”, right next to Pizzeria Martina, and even the Bikram Yoga studio if you want to cool some nerve and relax with your date.
Why not set the mood at Montreal’s Mainline theater on 3997 Boulevard Saint-Laurent? The Mainline Theater hosts hundreds of shows every year with a variety of genres. Check out what shows they have online, and choose one that suits their personality best. The art of theater can work magic so be prepared for a magical night.
Provided that you are already on Boulevard St- Laurent, you should walk on up to one of Montreal’s famous night clubs like Le Rouge Bar for some serious dancing and light, or you know...drinking. While you’re at it, why not be adventurous and show your date your fun side by treating them to some two-dollar noodles after your wild night.
No, Station 16 is not Montreal’s newest metro station, but it is home to awesome contemporary and urban art! Bring your date here for a mural influenced gallery inspired by pop art from a multitude of local and international artists. I guarantee they will love it!
Afterwards, take a short 5-minute walk to La Diperie for some of Montreal’s best soft served ice cream. A fun way to end the night and maybe some sweet icy kisses.
Oh Old Montreal, the perfect place to take a date! Upon entering Old Montreal, you should definitely take your date to the Notre-Dame Basilica. You can both admire its architecture and relics of gold and silver. It's an absolutely beautiful site to see that you maybe never have taken the time to appreciate.
You can then take a short walk to Bevo, a trendy Italian restaurant with wood-fired pizzas, unique drinks and even DJs. It is located on 410 Rue Saint Vincent, and is romantic yet fun with great authentic food. Get some drinks there and then go for some yummy beaver tails to end a sweet night.
One of my personal favourite places is Le Céramic Café. A place where you create art as well as eat delicious food.
It's a great first date since you can laugh, create, and try new things with one another. Not only will your art-loving date have fun but so will you. Spend the whole date there or you can take a nice walk along the Plateau. This is a crowd favourite that wont disappoint!