Summer weather is finally here and Montrealers have come out of their shells. The streets are stacked with terrasses and numerous festivals capitalize on citizens' seasonal spirit. This year, there will be a new addition to the city's summer schedule.
This month, the Festival du Solstice d'été — Summer Solstice Festival — will take over rue Notre-Dame in the neighbourhood of St-Henri, part of Montreal's Sud-Ouest borough. "For three days," the street will be bustling "with 50 artists and events, a grand parade and a trade show."
From the 22nd to the 24th of June, the festival will take place during Saint-Jean-Baptiste weekend — the national holiday of Quebec. Sud-Ouest borough mayor Benoit Dorais hopes the new event will "[highlight] the richness of our roots in an inclusive and unifying setting."
"We invite our fellow citizens and Montrealers of all origins to come and celebrate with us and take the opportunity to discover the beauties and attractions of the Southwest," he continues.
In addition to Saint-Jean-Baptiste festivities, the event will include a street market on the 22nd and 23rd, live concerts, and other performances. Of course, participants may also take advantage of the virbant collection of restaurants and stores that line the main commerical thoroughfare of the borough.
The nearby Atwater Market and Lachine Canal provide additional opportunities for Montrealers to enjoy the long weekend. Be sure to take advantage of the many shops, eateries, bike and boat rentals on either side of the canal.
While there are a million and one spots to enjoy a 5 à 7 in the city, not everywhere does happy hour quite like this Montreal restaurant in the Village.
Resto Keela serves $6 drinks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., including house draft beer, house red or white wine, and speed rail mixed drinks, which is a choice of vodka, rye, rum, or gin — a pretty hard drink deal to beat.
As for food, you can go every week and try a different $6 dish at happy hour. "The $6 bites change from week to week but we always offer 3-5 options," owners Kristin Murphy and Johnny Hamilton told MTL Blog.
I went on September 10 and got to try green beans with a cashew romesco sauce and feta crumble, chorizo sausage, chicken Kaarage with kimchi cucumbers, and organic cherry tomato salad with blue cheese. And I kid you not when I say these dishes all take your taste buds on a culinary trip to heaven.
Keela's full menu is also filled with tons of unique dishes for you to try. The celery root carpaccio is hands down my favourite.
Every Friday night, you can hear the sweet voice of Bud Rice sing live at the restaurant.