Inexpensive diversions in Montreal:
July 4, 2011 6:32 PM   Subscribe

Montreal. Lots of free time. Inexpensive diversions?

I'm accompanying my partner to a convention in Montreal 8-15 July 2011. We're staying near the convention center and won't have a car. My partner will be busy most days and I'll be . . . please fill in the blank. Thank you.
posted by KneeDeep to Travel & Transportation around Montreal, QC (13 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Restaurants, summer festivals, and your right by old Montreal and China Town.
posted by Peeekay at 6:45 PM on July 4, 2011

Going to the Contemporary arts museum Wednesday night.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 6:47 PM on July 4, 2011

Going to the Dollar Cinema (For $2.50, despite the name)
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 6:49 PM on July 4, 2011

Walk through Ile St-Helene and Mt-Royal park. While you're up there, spend an afternoon at the cimetière Côte-des-Neiges.
Walk St-Denis street from Mt-Royal to Ste-Catherine, spend sometime on the pedestrian street in the gay village (on Ste-Catherine), then you can walk west on ste-Catherine all the way to McGill or Concordia.
Get on a Bixi and bike over the Jacques-Cartier bridge (perhaps the last sfe bridge of the city...). Visit the small but interesting Chinatown. Go to marché Jean-Talon for fresh fruits and vegetables. Visit the botanical garden, the insectarium.
Get a daily or 3-day STM pass to visit all of these and more!
posted by ddaavviidd at 6:50 PM on July 4, 2011

Places to walk: Ste-Catherine, maybe; St-Denis; St-Laurent; Mont Royal; Old Montreal; Mount Royal park; Lafontaine park. Wednesday night is free night at the contemporary art museum. Thursday night is free or cheap night at the CCA. Wednesday night that week is fireworks, which you can watch from east of Old Montreal or on the bridge. If you rent a bike for longer than Bixi hours, you can bike along the Lachine Canal. Jean-Talon market, or if you are near the canal, Atwater market.
posted by jeather at 7:10 PM on July 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

You can also go kayaking on the Lachine canal, there are some places that rent them south of the canal close to the Lionel-groulx metro station. Fireworks is a really good idea, there will be some on saturday and wednesday night. They start at 10:00pm. You can get off at Papineau metro station and follow everyone!
posted by ddaavviidd at 8:30 PM on July 4, 2011

admission to the permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts is always free. Picasso, Rembrandt, Rodin and Renoir are all represented, and the museum is close to the green line (Peel station, if I remember right).
posted by spindle at 8:32 PM on July 4, 2011

If you are a fan of interesting beer, you must go to Dieu du Ciel.
posted by YamwotIam at 9:52 PM on July 4, 2011

No one mentioned bagels? Fine, I guess I should.


My favs are Fairmount bagels, other people swear by St-Viateur, but I'm a Fairmount guy.

Rotisserie Romado for delicious chicken and pastel de nata.

La Vieille Europe for coffee, sandwiches and even more delicious pastel de nata.

Caffe Art Java (many locations) and Cafe Veritas (St-Laurent lower than Chinatown IIRC) for coffee.

Dieu du Ciel (as mentioned), Vices et Versa, Benelux for beer (Brutopia is also a classic place but not nearly as good)

Tams-Tams on the mountain (Parc/Duluth) on Sundays

Picnic électronique.


Check out wikitravel. It's often good.
posted by StoneSpace at 12:29 AM on July 5, 2011

Thanks for the info. Beer, Bagels, Kayaks, Fireworks, and Art - who could go wrong!
posted by KneeDeep at 9:51 AM on July 5, 2011

poke around Jean Talon, walk around McGill?
posted by ifjuly at 10:17 AM on July 5, 2011

There's also church visiting: Notre-Dame in Old Montreal charges $5 for admission, but Mary-Queen-of-the-World dowtown and St-Joseph Oratory in Côte-des-Neiges are both free.

You can also go crazy theme-ish, by reading Mordecai Richler in the Mile-End and Michel Tremblay on the Plateau.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 3:18 PM on July 5, 2011

The Grande Bibliotheque (Big Library) on Berri, right at Berri-UQÀM metro, is big and cool and airy and anyone can go in and find a comfy chair and read. Clean bathrooms, plenty of English-language novels and other books; unfortunately the wi-fi's limited to people with a card, but you can ask at the front desk about using a terminal if you need one. I have seen the staff speaking English to people who can't speak French.

Around the corner from the library is the National Film Board's Cinérobothèque and I see on the website that access to their terminals is free. Admittedly the NFB is heavy on animation and documentary works, but they say they have 10,000 films you can dial up and watch.

On a rainy day there are worse things than dipping into the Underground City and walking around. Basically it's like a huge sprawling mall connected by underground passages and metro lines. But you don't have to shop or spend money on snacks. The Wikipedia article has links to maps at the bottom.
posted by zadcat at 4:36 PM on July 5, 2011

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