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Jun. 15, 2024

How to cool off downtown

It’s not always easy to find a way to cool off in large urban centers, so downtown Montreal isn’t the first place you’d think of when you need to cool down. And yet, there are many passionate people working hard to create genuine urban oases that offer sweet refuges from the heat. That’s right: there’s no shortage of pleasant places in the neighborhood to go in search of a chill! Here’s our selection of the best ways to cool off downtown.

Enjoy an ice cream

Ice cream has two major advantages: it not only refreshes you, it should also make you smile and make you terribly happy! It’s also a great opportunity to rediscover downtown’s dairy bars: from Place des Arts to Shaughnessy Village (aka Shoni), Montreal offers a wide variety of ice cream delights, in stores all very different from one another. Visit Havre aux Glaces, for example: this wonderful little artisanal ice cream parlour offers incredible sorbets and hard creams. Everything is made with local, quality ingredients and love – and you can feel it! Our favorite? The incredible Dulce de Leche, as light as it is delicious, which should send shivers down your spine. Further up Sainte-Catherine, afficionados will find not one, but two boutiques of the famous Ben & Jerry’s. The famous ice creams from Vermont, with their crazy, decadent flavors, are sure to make you melt with delight.

And to make sure you don’t miss out on the best ice creams downtown, check out our tasty article!

Se rafraîchir au centre-ville de Montréal avec une crème glacée

Stroll through the underground

RESO, Montreal’s underground pedestrian network, is certainly handy in winter, when you don’t feel like putting your nose outside. But it’s also particularly pleasant when you’re trying to escape the heat! In fact, it was designed to protect Montrealers from intense weather conditions, in both directions – too cold, or too hot. So summer is the perfect time to take a stroll, and enjoy some 2,000 stores!

From major shopping centers to the best food fairs, from temporary exhibitions to museums, from the world’s best brands to small local boutiques: one day certainly won’t be enough to explore it all. The best thing to do is stroll around, taking the time to lose yourself in this colorful, eclectic, gourmet and… FRESH labyrinth! The perfect opportunity to say hello to Elsa at the Tunnel Espresso Bar, or to sample the incredible Middle East cuisine at Eila Bistro Moderne – Complexe Desjardins’ must-visit restaurant.

Discover the hidden treasures of the underground thanks to this article.

© Complexe Desjardins

Enjoy water fountains in the parks

The city of Montreal offers numerous parks, squares and squares where you can cool off with water jets and misters. The downtown area is no exception, offering some of the most pleasant facilities! From the Quartier des Spectacles, with its jets on the Place des Festivals, to Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, opposite the Palais des Congrès, water offers a breath of fresh air and a delightful spectacle. And for the perfect summer moment, take a seat in Phillips Square, where a seven-jet flowerbed has been laid out, and enjoy the free musical entertainment on offer for the season!

Les jets d'eau du square Phillips au centre-ville de Montréal

Savor a bubble tea

Bubble tea comes in an infinite number of combinations: with or without milk, with fruit, with different types of pearls… There’s something for everyone, making it THE ideal drink to enjoy with friends! Most counters also let you choose your level of ice, sugar… In short – a beverage that you can personalize to your heart’s content, and enjoy ice-cold to your heart’s content! There’s no shortage of good places in the city center, and you’ll have no trouble finding a place to order this gourmet drink, which originated in Taiwan. Among the most popular stores are the excellent The Alley, Gong cha, Ocha, World Tea House or Presotea, located in Shaughnessy Village. Some also offer fruity and summery variations, which will make your choice even more difficult: mango smoothie with cheese mousse at Yi Fang, milk tea soft cream with brown sugar pearls at Xing Fu Tang… all the more reason to make a detour to these gourmet counters!

Le thé aux perles de Xing Fu Tang, au centre-ville de Montréal


Go to the movies

Summer is one of the best times of the year to go to the movies: in addition to the coolness of the dark rooms, it’s the season chosen by the studios to release the most eagerly awaited blockbusters of the year! Steven Spielberg launched the summer movie craze back in the 70s with Jaws, and it’s been a must-see for moviegoers ever since. Summer outings are a delicious ceremony to be enjoyed with friends and family. Grab a big bag of popcorn, a cold beverage and lock yourself in for two hours of bliss. Montréal centre-ville is fortunate to be home to 2 Cineplexes: the Cineplex Forum and VIP cinema and the unmissable Cinéma Banque Scotia Montréal.

Delicious independent films can also be enjoyed at the Cinéma du Musée – in their original version, with subtitles. Works from all over the world, contributing to the richness of our beautiful Montreal. Definitely the best way to beat the heat!

Les cinémas au centre-ville de Montréal

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