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Downtown Montreal Is Getting 8 Summer 'Oases' & North America's Biggest Asian Food Market

Here's what's happening in downtown Montreal this summer.

Senior Editor
Rendering of an urban oasis in Montreal's Quartier Latin.

Rendering of an urban oasis in Montreal's Quartier Latin.

Officials are pushing hard for downtown Montreal to become a destination this summer. And the neighbourhood's just-released summer program might just make it so. The plan released on May 24 includes the installation of eight public urban "oases" and the already-announced pedestrianization of some of Ville-Marie's major commercial arteries.

It also highlights the return of popular summer festivals and events, including the Jardins Gamelin outdoor bar and venue on May 26, the free performances (featuring 52-foot giants) of Montréal complètement cirque from July 7 to 17, and the second edition of the Shoni Market, billed in a press release as the "largest Asian food market in North America," from September 8 to 11.

Mayor Valérie Plante said that with the summer program the city and its partners aim to "stimulate the economic and cultural vitality of downtown, as well as to support Montreal's artists, artisans, promoters and merchants."

The goal, she continued is to "showcase the city's attractions through programming that reflects Montreal's creativity, and that is human, accessible, free, diversified and innovative."

The program, dubbed "Les moments du cœur de l'île," promises pop-up public gathering spaces and free activities between avenues Atwater and Papineau, from east to west, and rue Sherbrooke to the river, from north to south.

Map of downtown Montreal's summer 2022 urban oases.Map of downtown Montreal's summer 2022 urban oases.Ville de Montréal

The "oases" will include the Jardins Gamelin at Place Émile-Gamelin, a potted forest at Place des Festivals, programming at the new Esplanade Tranquille, the Plage Saint-James (more like a big sandbox with lounge chairs) on rue Sainte-Catherine, something special (but still under wraps) in Chinatown, the pedestrianized Village, an orchard-like environment on rue Saint-Denis in the Quartier Latin, and programming at the Esplanade PVM in the shadow of the giant new ring sculpture.

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