Student Life

Summer in the City

Montreal is an amazing city in the summertime. However, because of the mass exodus of students leaving to their respective hometowns or summer adventures, much of the city’s charm, which remains blanketed in snow for most of the school year, goes untapped and undiscovered by the student body. Each month of summer brings something new, so whether you’re staying in town for May’s first week, or for all four months, I encourage you to take advantage of what the city has to offer.

Day trips: When the sun’s shining and the sky is cloudless, there’s nothing more satisfying than spending every minute outside. ParcJean Drapeau’s beach is just a metro ride away. It’s open from June 16 to Aug. 12, and the entrance fee is only $8. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can make a trip out to Oka National Park where there’s a beach, water slides, and hiking trails. It’s easy to drive out there if you have a car, but you can also take the train out of Montreal and then an express bus directly to Oka. (For more details, simply look up Oka on wikitravel.com). Finally, if you just can’t stand the city air anymore, why not drive up to St. Sauveur (45 minutes away), where there are water slides and a quaint town to stroll around for lunch. Try Tremblant village (1.5-2 hours away), where you can enjoy the beach, or go camping in the nearby Tremblant National Park (for details visit http://www.sepaq.com/pq/mot/index.dot?language_id=1)

City activities: No worries if you don’t have a car, there are plenty of activities just a stone’s throw away. For an urban poolside afternoon, head over to Hotel de la Montagne at 1430 rue de la Montagne. The pool is open to the public between 11:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. If you want something more active, why not grab your bike or rollerblades and head down to the Old Port and follow the bike path along the river? Heading west on the path, you’ll finish at the Atwater Market where you can buy a bucket of strawberries or some artisanal sorbet as a quick refreshment before heading back. If you’re looking for a slightly longer bike ride, but still within city confines, bike (carefully) along the Pont de la Concorde and onto the Formula One race track (when the races are over, of course). There’s no better feeling  than biking on the smooth asphalt of the F1 track.

Nightlife: Montreal has endless venues for a fun night out on the town. Make sure to try out the plethora of terraces on the rooftops of Old Montreal’s hotels. Many restaurants have back patios or tables outside, which are great for people watching and makes you privy to the city’s unique buzz of activity. Throughout the months of June and July you can head to the Old Port or Parc Jean Drapeau to watch the annual international fireworks competition. Also, while not many of us can afford tickets to the Grand Prix races, that doesn’t mean you can’t be part of the hustle and bustle found on St. Catherine’s from June 8 to 10. If you pick the right nightclub or bar, you might just be lucky enough to run into anF1 race car driver.

Outdoor theatre: Every year Shakespeare in the Park comes to Montreal and makes its rounds through the various local parks. It takes place near the end of the summer in August, so keep an eye out around then for placards near parks detailing the venue, time, and date. Always sure to be entertaining, the Repercussion Theatre will be performing the Taming of the Shrew this year. Grab your friends, a blanket, and some food and head out to the park (arrive early as spots fill up fast) for an evening of cultured fun. Check out their website for up-to-date information (http://www.repercussiontheatre.com ).

Festivals: There are endless festivals throughout the summer in Montreal, including the Just for Laughs comedy festival, a beer festival, and an 18th-century market; there’s something for everyone. Check out the calendar to the right for a list of dates that are not to be missed.

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  1. Pingback: Summer in the City: A Montrealer’s guide to Montreal | Kyla Mandel Portfolio

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