Although the usual activities associated with a classic Montreal summer—festivals, live performances, team sports and other large group events—are all, sadly, off the table for the foreseeable future, many Montrealers are still determined to make the most of summer 2020. With lockdown measures slowly changing and temperatures already soaring well above 30°, though, doing so is going to take a bit of creativity.
This summer is undoubtedly going to be unlike any other, but here are six activities we’re hoping will help make it as fun, safe and action-packed as it possibly can be:
Drive-in movie theatres have been experiencing a renewed surge in popularity since being given the go-ahead to reopen at the end of May. In addition to the half dozen existing drive-in theatres within a 50km radius of Montreal, a new drive-in event venue will open on Décarie Blvd. on June 21 and will screen (bilingual) movies and live entertainment, and will also offer car-side food and drink.
Montreal has some truly top-notch ice cream joints, and luckily for us, many of them have been offering takeaway (and even, in some cases, delivery!) throughout the pandemic. There are so many ice cream joints open throughout the city that finding one within walking or biking distance shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. The only tricky part is deciding what kind of cone you’re after: soft serve? Gelato? Dipped? Sorbet? Better try it all, just to be sure!
Montreal is going to look a whole lot different over the next few months without the festivals that usually take over the city from June to August, but many of those festivals will, in fact, still be going on—albeit in an entirely digital fashion. From the Fantasia Film Festival to E-QIP fave MURAL Festival to the Fierté Montreal Pride, some of the city’s most beloved summer events will be heading online to bring all the fun to festival fans while also adhering to physical distancing measures.
It will likely be a while before most of us head out on international travels again, but you can find a cure for your wanderlust in the form of a camping trip right here in this vast, beautiful province we call home, whether you’re looking to rough it while surrounded by rugged beauty or you’re after something a bit more glamorous. The province’s campgrounds were given the go-ahead to reopen on June 1st, and Sépaq, the agency that manages Quebec’s provincial parks, has said that reservations are already going fast!
At E-QIP, we love the positive mental and physical benefits that can be gained from bringing nature indoors. All the better if you do have a balcony or yard, but for many plants, all you really need is a tiny bit of care and some sunshine. Now is the perfect time to scout for plants here in Montreal; check out one of the public markets that reopened last month, or one of the city’s many plant shops (which are also now open).
When unseasonably hot temperatures hit the region late last month, the City of Montreal made the decision to open some of its splash pads, as well as a few new cooling stations. According to the experts, as long as physical distancing is maintained, parents with kids in need of a cool down should feel reasonably secure about the choice of activity, as there’s no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through water in pools or splash pads. According to the City, public pools will also open as soon as the health department gives the go-ahead.