Your Montreal guide to Fête nationale 2018

Justin Trudeau in Montreal for Fête nationale festivities
WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in his Papineau riding on Saturday to kick-off St-Jean-Baptiste celebrations at Parc Jarry.


From fireworks to concerts, Fête nationale weekend is all about celebrating.

While St-Jean-Baptiste Day is officially on Sunday, festivities will be held throughout Montreal beginning on Saturday.

Over 100 neighbourhood block parties are scheduled in various boroughs across the island. Consult the Fête nationale website or your borough website for exact times and locations.

The aptly named Places des Festivals in downtown Montreal will be the centre stage for much of the weekend’s entertainment starting at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The big show, secheduled for 9 p.m., will explore and celebrate the evolution of Québécois music over the years.

READ MORE: Federal leaders head to Quebec for Fête nationale holiday weekend

On Sunday, shows kick off at the Place des Festivals at 6 p.m. ahead of the annual parade on de Maisonneuve Boulevard at 9:15 p.m.

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This year though, the parade comes with a twist — called the Meeting of the Winds. The parade will be split in two, with different starting points along de Maisonneuve Boulevard.

READ MORE: Fête nationale parade float draws social media backlash over racism

One group will march east from Peel Street, while the other will march west from St-Denis Street. The two parades are expected to converge on Place des Festivals at 10:30 p.m. where the party is expected to continue until midnight.

Because St-Jean-Baptiste Day is a statutory holiday in Quebec,  some businesses will be closed Sunday while some municipal offices will be closed Monday.

Here’s a list of what to expect to help you get organized.

What’s open

Montreal ecocentres will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in keeping with regular summer schedules.

Pickup services for household garbage, green waste, kitchen waste, recyclables and bulky items will take place following regular schedules.

Public markets, including Jean-Talon, Maisonneuve and Atwater, will be open Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to allow you to celebrate the culinary arts of the province. Check here for schedules

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The Bonsecours Market will be open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History will be open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from 10 a.m to 5 p.m.

The Botanical Garden and the Insectarium will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Most swimming pools will be open, but check with your borough for schedules.

What is Closed

Most municipal offices will be closed Sunday through Monday including borough offices, Accès Montréal and other points of service.

The municipal courthouse on Gosford Street will be closed Sunday and Monday. For information, call: 514 872-2964.

Canada Post offices will be closed Sunday and Monday.

Large grocery stores, most retail stores and malls will be closed Sunday, as will all SAQ locations.

Banks will be closed both Sunday and Monday.


The STM, will be observing the legal holiday on Monday, June 25. Certain STM bus routes have been modified to accommodate Fête nationale celebrations. Check the STM website to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

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The STL will be running on a Sunday schedule on June 24, while the RTL buses will be running on a Sunday schedule for both Sunday and Monday,

Parking meters are still operational and parking restrictions apply.