6 downtown events you don’t want to miss

4 minutes

Sarah McMahon-Sperber

6 événements incontournables qui ont lieu au centre-ville

Downtown is finally making a comeback! With so much going on in the city, it’s easy to get distracted or simply fall victim to FOMO, the infamous “fear of missing out.” Since it’s impossible to see, hear and taste everything, here’s a list of six must-see events to add to your calendar if you want to avoid having any regrets when the summer ends.

The major festivals are back… finally!


Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Tourisme Montréal (@montreal)

There’s nothing like a live concert in a packed crowd. Well, this year, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Montreal Francos, and the Just for Laughs Festival are back in all their glory. Lovers of the downtown area need not worry, because the organizers of these major festivals have pulled out all the stops to impress Montrealers and visitors alike.

 Internationally renowned artists such as the famous Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi, and American comedian Amy Schumer  will grace the stages of these festivals. Of course, popular local artists will also be taking part in the celebrations, such as singer-songwriter Louis-Jean Cormier, and comedian Eddy King.

 In addition to these festivals, downtown will also be home to some other must-see events this summer… Follow the guide!

June 10-18: the Montreal Francos


Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Francos de Montréal (@francosmtl)

Francophone music fans will be happy to know that their favourite festival is back to its full potential! For their 33rd edition, the Montreal Francos are celebrating the return of their outdoor and indoor shows, which feature artists from the French-speaking world who have come to share their music in the largest French-speaking downtown in the Americas. 

For more information

Du 16 au 19 juin : la F1 s’empare des rues Crescent et Peel

On June 19, Formula 1 cars will line up on the grid at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the first time in three years. Montreal is recognized worldwide by racing fans as one of the best cities on the F1 circuit.

 As usual, Crescent and Peel streets will be the meeting place for F1 fans in the downtown area, but also for all those who have a passion for beautiful cars. These enthusiasts will have the opportunity to view real race cars up close, as well as visit a variety of booths that will introduce them to the fascinating world of F1. All the restaurants, pubs and nightclubs that have made Crescent Street’s vibrant nightlife famous will of course be happy to welcome F1 fans from around the world!

Other shows and activities are also planned to celebrate the return of F1 to Montreal. Stay tuned!

 For more information: www.gpcanada.ca  and crescentgrandprix.com

June 30 to July 9: Montreal’s International Jazz Festival

For its 42nd edition, Montreal’s International Jazz Festival is more dynamic than ever! The festival organizers have put together over 350 shows, two-thirds of which will be free. The lineup is jam-packed with legendary and up-and-coming artists, diversity and experimentation, and will feature some performances scheduled exclusively for the festival, such as the return of the legendary Bran Van 3000.

For more information

July 7-17: steel giants set up in the heart of downtown

This summer, Montreal’s Complètement Cirque Festival [link in French] will take place from July 7-17. For the occasion, you they’ll be putting on some truly “gigantic” shows! Three 52-foot-high steel giants – the equivalent of a three-to-five-storey building – will be erected in Place Émilie-Gamelin, on the PVM Esplanade at Place Ville-Marie, and in Vinet Park, near the Atwater Market.

Each of the three shows presented will promote Quebec culture by celebrating leading artists from our beautiful province, in all disciplines. For the occasion, the acrobats will use these “giants” as a creative playground. For those who prefer to go out at night, it is worth noting that these metal colossi will be fully illuminated in the evening. Prepare to be enchanted!

 Performances will take place twice a day throughout the week of the festival, one at 6 p.m. and the other at 9:30 p.m.

For more information

July 13-31: Just for Laughs Festival


Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Juste pour rire (@juste_pour_rire)

For its 40th edition, the world’s largest comedy festival will feature over 400 performers, including 8 international stars who will host their own gala as part of Just For Laughs Montreal. With over 200 shows on the bill, this is your chance to celebrate the return of cultural events to downtown while laughing out loud.

For more information on the festival’s line-up

September 8-11: Shoni Market


Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par MARCHÉ SHONI MARKET (@shonimtl)

After winning the Time Out award for the best new event of the year in 2021, the Shoni Market is back this year, which is great news for anyone who enjoys flavours from around the world.

 Despite the pandemic, the first edition was a great success with over 160,000 visitors and 100 merchants taking part in the Sainte-Catherine Street sidewalk sale. In addition to the incredible flavours that await you, the program has been enhanced for the whole family. The Great Corgi Walk – a dog breed that is native to Wales – will be back for those who love these adorable furry companions.

 The Shoni Market will take place from September 8 to 11, so why not combine business with pleasure by planning a little shopping trip to our downtown merchants? They are eagerly awaiting your visit to help get things back on track.

See all the details here

You can take part in all kinds of activities in Montreal this summer. That’s why we’re doing our best to find you the most incredible downtown events. At once memorable, daring, welcoming and tasty, downtown is the place to be if you want to make the most of summer!