Last Saturday was a beautiful day, hot, sunny, and a high of 26C! with free time on my hands finally, I decided to make a trip downtown to catch all the festivities going on. Festivals are a year-round thing in Montreal, but between June-September it’s non-stop action. Last Saturday there were at least 4 major festivals going on, with one being set up and a few more all year round activities going on. All these events take place in the Quartier des Spectacles or the entertainment district in the eastern part of downtown. If you factor in all the live events, shows, concerts, or anything going on in a restaurant or bar, the area usually has anywhere from 40-100 cultural events happening per day.
St. Denis street was closed off to traffic for the Montreal Cirque Festival, a circus festival taking place every year in this area downtown. The festival has a wide range of free shows to indoor shows and spontaneous shenanigans as well.
The beautiful Aldred building in Old Montreal, taken from Chinatown. This is one of my favourite art deco buildings, and it was modelled after the empire state building in Manhattan, just at 1/10th the scale.
Complex Desjardins, an office/hotel/retail complex that was built in 1976. This concept is very unique and rarely seen in other cities. The complex has nearly 100+ stores and restaurants, a large food court and also has events taking place inside.
Complex Desjardins and Hydro Quebec building.
A Marriot hotel/residence building. This one was completed in 2013, measures 138 metres and has beautiful high-quality glass.
One of the many beautiful art deco buildings located in the entertainment district. This building and a few others give off a downtown Los Angeles vibe, others give off a Boston or Philadelphia vibe.
Le Peterson, a new condo that was built during the current boom downtown. A unique building due to the wavy balcony design.
The Just for Laughs festival, the worlds largest comedy fest is in town for the next two weeks. Here are 2 “paramedics” helping a “patient”. They would sit on the patient, or do hilarious things like being rough with the doll, making it fall off, etc… and some people actually fell for it thinking it was a real person.
The return of the big headed people! It’s always fun seeing them run or walk out of nowhere, going up to random people, or racing each other. Next to them was a tribal musical group which unfortunately I couldn’t take a picture of due to a number of people, but it was absolutely stunning to see.
One of the many condos going up in this sector of downtown. This one has a very odd yet different shape and is also relatively tall for the area. The condo is one of the planned 4 or so new condos going up in a half block area.
Montreal Symphony House, one of the many concert halls and performance halls located in the QdS (there’s almost 30 in this area). On the bottom part of the picture, tents are being set up for Nuits d’Afrique, a cultural music festival that showcases diversity from around the world, and is also North Americas largest festival of this kind. I go every year and love hearing music from Latin America to Carribean to African music, it has everything.
I walked back to St. Denis as some of the spectacles were starting, including giants walking the streets. At this point, the street was so packed that it took a good 10 min. to walk a block.
More of the giants walking downtown, who at around 10pm, ended up dancing near a club. The giant on the right also got stuck on some tree branches as well.
Part of the circus events in downtown, each member was equipt with a loud speaker making weird dinosaur like noises.
Another picture of these creatures, no idea what to call them but it was honestly amazing to see.
To end off the night, while I was at Le Saint Bock, which by the way is an amazing restaurant/brewpub, I recommend the sweet Jesus beer (11.4% scotch ale) this flash mob came out of nowhere. I believe it was a silent rave as they were all wearing headphones and dancing. A large crowd of people followed them, stopped near the terrasse and started dancing and doing acrobatic dances. It was truly amazing to see.
Montreal, the city of festivals, this night was a great one and it shows what we get to experience every year! Every summer we get to experience hundreds of large international festivals, from music, to comedy, to firework competitions, I love this city and the vibrancy. I hope you all enjoyed this update, and I hope this also convinces you to come visit Montreal at some point.