Things to do in Montreal
With one foot in Europe and the other firmly planted in North
America, Montreal mixes old world architecture and culture with modern
fun. This vivacious city is a hub of great food, music, and art, making
it a fantastic place to live and study.
Parks and Outdoor Activities
Montreal is home to a variety of beautiful parks and gardens which are perfect locations to while away a summer afternoon. Montreal's Parc Maisonneuve is one of the city's largest urban parks at nearly 300 acres and is home to the Montreal Botanical Garden, one of the world's largest and most spectacular botanical gardens. For a sportier day out, check out the Parc Olympique, which was built for the Montreal Olympics in 1976.
Montreal may not be an ocean-side destination, but locals aren't
going to let a little thing like that get in the way of a good beach
day. Plage Dore is centred around a man-made lake at Ile Notre-Dame.
It's the most urban beach in Montreal and is a good place to cool off
during the city's hot summers. Over at Cap St. Jacques - about an hour
on the Metro from the city - is a far more rural beach, surrounded by
woods and farmland.
Dining and Nightlife
With its humming nightlife, world-class dining, and cutting-edge art and
culture, Montreal has something for everyone. Montreal is home to some
of the best night clubs, restaurants, bars, and cafes in North America.
No matter the time of day or night, there's always fun to be found in
this bustling city. Montreal is also a great place to relax and do some
people-watching. One of the best places to do that is the George-Etienne
Cartier Monument in Mount Royal Park which hosts tam-tams, a weekly drumming circle/cultural phenomenon, each Sunday between May and September.
There are also plenty of sportier activities to take part in (and help
you burn off your breakfast croissant). Cyclists will love Montreal's
huge network of bicycle paths and bike lanes, along with the convenience
of BIXI bikes, a public bike system that
features 5000 bikes distributed throughout the city. In colder months,
Montrealers can take to the ice at one of the 150 plus ice skating rinks
in the city. There are large outdoor rinks at La Fontaine Park, Maisonneuve Park, and the Quays of the Old Port and Mount Royal Park.
Sports lovers will love Montreal. The city is home to the legendary
NHL team, the Montreal Canadiens. Other professional teams in Montreal
include the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League and the
Montreal Impact of the USSF Division 2 Professional League, which will
join the MLS league in 2012. Montreal also hosts the annual Formula One Canadian Grand Prix each year.
Arts and Culture
Montreal's theatre and music scene is second to none. The city is home to a host of live music venues
that feature music from genres as diverse as jazz, punk, classical, and
hip-hop. Venues range in size from huge centres like the Bell
Amphitheatre and Place des Arts to tiny, little-known jazz bars, and
cafes. Theatre-goers have a variety of French and English-language productions to sample.
In the summer time, Montreal is best-loved for its huge number of festivals.
From the hilarious Just for Laughs Comedy Festival to the International
Jazz Festival and the Montreal Fringe Festival, there are plenty of
events (many of which are free) to take part in.
Montreal is also home to dozens of museums and art galleries. The most well-known include Montreal the Museum of Fine Art, Musee d'art contemporain, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Other notable galleries include the Darling Foundry, Cinematheque quebecoise, and the Canadian Guild of Crafts.
Places to Volunteer in Montreal
Volunteering is a great way to make new contacts, gain work
experience, and create positive change in your community. Here are some
Montreal organizations that may need volunteers:
- Les Grands Ballets Canadiens
- Oboro Goboro
- Federation CJA
- The Social Justice Committee of Montreal / Bureau Comite pour la Justice Sociale de Montreal
- Children's Care International / Aide Internationale pour l'Enfance
- Amnesty International / Amnistie Internationale, Section Canadienne Francophone
- Canadian Council for Refugees / Conseil Canadien pour les Refugies
- International Bureau for Children's Rights /Bureau International pour le Droits des Enfants
- The Shield of Athena / Le Bouclier D'athena
- Les Missions Des Soeurs Maristes
- Roslyn School Foundation/ Fondation de l'Ecole Roslyn
- Sheaf/Espiga Foundation
- Fondation Montréal inc.
- Conseil Communautaire Notre-Dame-De-Grace Inc.
- Volunteer Bureau of Montreal Inc. / Centre d'Action Benevole de Montreal Inc.
- Benedict Labre House/ La Maison Benoit Labre
- Welcome Hall Mission
- Lymphedema Association of Quebec / Association Quebecoise du Lymphoedeme
- Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada / Societe Canadienne de la Sclerose en Plaques
- Quebec Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation / Fondation Quebecoise pour le Trouble Obsessionnel Compulsif
- Aids Community Care Montreal (ACCM)/ Sida Bénévoles Montréal
- QEHC Community Services / Services Communautaires QEHC
- The Bond Foundation for Animal Welfare / La Fondation Bond pour le Bien-Etre des Animaux
- Animal Rescue Network (A.R.N.) / Reseau Secours Animal (R.S.A.)