6 original Montreal terraces to enjoy summer
What a better way to enjoy a long summer day than with a cold beer in an awesome outdoor patio in Montreal I have compiled 6 original pop-up Montreal terraces that will make you want to visit the city right now! The list goes from a hanging cafe perched on top of a mountain to an urban beach to watch fireworks. And the best part is that most of these terraces are near major sightseeing spots, so you cannot miss them! Another great feature is that the entrance to all these places is free! Traveller, I got you covered!
Beware that all of these terraces are opened from May to October and they all have different closing and opening dates so if you are visiting Montreal around May, September or October I will suggest checking if these sites are open.
1. Aire Commune
L’Aire Commune is located in the heart of the Mile End, Montreal’s most artsy neighbourhood. Think of the Mile End like Brooklyn’s Williamsburg. This terrace is the lovechild of collaborative working and a trendy bar. The Air Commune is the perfect space to enjoy summer with its wide array of activities from yoga to parties to conferences. The communal area is designed for collaborative working with tables and meeting rooms by day while at night, there are parties and free events. There is free WiFi, DJs, cool coffee stands and delicious cocktails on the menu. The terrace even has its own craft beer, the Bière Commune, a refreshing IPA served in a yellow can and brewed locally in the neighbourhood. Most of the events start on Thursdays around 5 pm and a lot of them incorporate food trucks which offers you a good option to eat while enjoying your drink. Some of the events are, for example, tacos and tattoos, fun combination, no?
The brand new addition to this playground is the GIGANTIC murals of 15,000 sq. Ft. on the north side of 5605 De Gaspé. This mural is the largest mural ever made by a woman in Canada and it is also made by Ola Volo.
How to get there? The Aire Commune is located between the streets De Gaspé and Bernard. The closest metro stations are Rosemont or Laurier (around a 15min walk).
Opening hours? Open all the time during summer.
Opened for the 4th year in a row, the Jardins Gamelin are located in the heart of the festival area in the Quartier des Spectacles and at the border of the gay village. The Quartier des Spectacles is a must do when visiting Montreal since it is where the majority of the numerous festival and shows are hosted. The Jardins (gardens) are located in a public square that once was neglected by the city which “helped” building its bad reputation. Now, the place aims to promote urban agriculture. Since the opening of the Jardins and the numerous efforts of social organizations, the Jardins are a unique place in the city that host several events and activities under a colossal art piece dominating the scene. The space is designed with several stands and picnic tables with a rustic feel as they are made from recycled pallets. There you can have a beer, a cocktail while enjoying a bite like vegetarian croquette (they are delicious) or a poutine.
How to get there? The closest metro station is Berri-UQAM.
Opening hours? Open all the time during summer until 11pm. The gardens close on September 30th.
A fake urban beach on the banks on the Saint-Lawrence River that aims to bring back life this abandoned place. The village is right underneath the Jacques-Cartier bridge and is the perfect spot to watch the light show of the bridge and the yearly Fireworks competition of La Ronde. Filled with sand, hammocks, food stands and picnic tables, this is the perfect place to enjoy a nice afternoon or evening. The urban beach has several events such as movies under the stars, a local artisan market, live music and DJs to make you dance all night long and much more. The village strives to mobilize the art industry by redesigning the place each year. Each year, the place reinvents itself and changes it structure and its multicultural events.
How to get there? The closest metro station is Papineau. Then you need to follow de Lorimier Street underneath the bridge, then along the river towards the East to get to the main entrance. Another entrance is located near Fullum Street. It is highly recommended to go by bike, foot or public transit as there is not parking nearby.
Opening hours? The village is open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It also opens on certain Wednesdays for the fireworks.
The Biergarten at the foot of the Olympic Stadium. Enjoy food trucks, pizza and drinks in this area designated to promote urban agriculture. The Jardineries are destined to be a small countryside corner in the middle of the urban jungle. You can enjoy all kinds of events in this colourful place. Plus, it is location right by one of Montreal’s top activities the Olympic Park, which includes the Stadium, the Biodôme, Botanical Gardens, the insectarium and the planetarium.
How to get there? The closet metro station is Pie IX.
Opening hours? Opened every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
This is the highest terrace in the city! And possibly the terrace with the most beautiful views of Montreal. The hanging café (Café suspendu) overlooks the island from the Mount Royal to give astonishing views of the city. The ephemeral installation is a new comer to Montreal as it opened its doors this mid-June since the city recently closed the part of the mountain to car circulation. The project has a combination of structures that aims to combine the city and the mountain. The place has a few swings for you to enjoy the breathtaking views.
The terrace is located at the belvedere of Camilien-Houde. On the Mount Royal, you can also spend some time at the Soleil Belvedere which offers new views on the mountains and also at several resting areas. With many bus stops along the mountain, you shouldn’t be to worried in making your way up to the Café Suspendu.
How to get there? The access to the hanging café is accessible by foot or by bus (bus numbers 11 or 711).
Opening hours? The Café Suspendu is only opened Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
5. Station F-MR
Update: This outdoor place will be transformed and will take place under another format. More news to come!
Located on the banks of the Lachine Canal, this project is also a newborn in Montreal. The station recycled the initial metro cars of the 1966, the MR-63, into a public area. These metro cars stopped being in transit this June 2018. The terrace recycled 4 cars into a café, a shop featuring local artisans, a stage and an art gallery. The station’s main goal is to promote local artists. The second floor of the station is filled with graffiti where local artists can legally paint (Murals are part of Montreal’s identity but graffiti stills remains in the shadows). Most of the furniture in the station is made by local artisans that recycle different elements from the old metro cars.
The stage is often occupied by DJs to add flavours to the terrace. You can enjoy your cold beer during a hot summer day by the water while sitting in old metro seats. The beer is from a brewery located in the neighbourhood, only a few minutes away. Before or after enjoying your time at the station, discover The Lachine Canal, a National Historic Site and a National Park, that it is best enjoyed by foot or by bike. From the canal. you can get beautiful views of Montreal’s skyline. The canal is one of my favourite spots of the city. The station is also close to neighbourhoods like Little Burgundy and Saint-Henri, the two best boroughs to have a diner out.
This is the station’s first year of operation and it is a pilot project. For 2019, the organisation hopes to double its size and promote even more local talent.
How to get there? The closest metro station is Georges Vanier and is around a 15min walk.
Opening hours? Wednesday to Sunday, from 11am to 11pm.
So, which terrace are you going to choose for when you come to Montréal?
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