If you’re planning to visit Montreal, you should undoubtedly choose the warm summer months for your visit. The city wakes up from hibernation with a ton of festivals, free-access activities and outdoor acts of all kinds. My favourite, because it’s the most urban and vibrant, is Mural.
Mural is an international public art festival that runs from June 8 to June 18 in a pedestrian zone right on St-Laurent Boulevard, affectionately nicknamed The Main. For its fifth edition (it really gets better each year) the Festival, with a mission to democratize street art, will offer an array of attractions, including murals, music, exhibitions, pop-up installations, conferences and an art fair. This year, more than 20 leading international artists from seven countries will add to our urban landscape and contribute to Mural’s already existing and abundant portfolio of 80 murals displayed along The Main.
Here’s what my perfect day at Mural looks like. Download the app and follow along.
11 a.m. I start my day by meeting a fun mixed group of visitors for the guided tours. We’re going to go from wall to wall to discover the artist’s work in progress with a trained guide for around an hour and a half. It’s a fun way to learn about the artists and their techniques, as well as a great way to (re)discover the spectacular wall paintings produced since 2013. I decide to sport my Aldo sneakers to be cute and comfortable during our circuit and my Ricardo Cavolo x Zara oversized denim jacket for extra street cred. Ricardo Cavolo, a renowned Spanish artist with a vibrant aesthetic inspired by tattoo culture, is coming back to Mural and I can’t wait to see him in action!
12:35 p.m. I grab a quick bite at Club Soya (225 Sherbrooke St. W.), the hottest new sushi spot, only a few blocks away from the action. Chef Geneviève Everell recently opened this yummy poke bowl destination and I immediately added it to my favourites. After lunch, I make my way to Park of Portugal to immerse myself in Lululemon’s Enchanted Forest installation. Whether you come to meditate in the midst of the action or strike a few asanas, you’ll enjoy this creative space that combines discovery and relaxation. Namaste!
3 p.m. I head back to The Main to spend a few more hours watching the artists at work on their murals. It’s truly wonderful to get to see artists like Insa from the U.K., Fintan Magee from Australia and Mad C from Germany up close and watch their creations evolve.
4:30 p.m. Coffee break and shopping session at Artgang x Cafellini (3790 St-Laurent Blvd.). Honestly, there’s nothing better than getting your caffeine fix and your swag on at the same time. With its third location, Artgang continues to establish itself as the premier streetwear destination in the city. This new store combines clothes, shoes and drinks by sharing the space with third wave coffee shop Cafellini. I picked up a pink Cheap Monday sweatshirt and a foamy cappuccino.
6 p.m. Shopping doesn’t end there (oops). I make the most of the sidewalk sale, which is great because they close the street to cars for 10 blocks between Sherbrooke Street and Mont-Royal Avenue. I love going from kiosk to kiosk to find a few gems, but I also recommend stopping at Ibiki (4357 St-Laurent Blvd.) for well-curated clothes, Station 16 Gallery (3523 St-Laurent Blvd.) to buy an exclusive print and Ripples (3880 St-Laurent Blvd.) for an ice cream cone.
7 p.m. Time to head to the Bonsecours Market, a prestigious heritage building located in the Old Port, where 28 galleries showcase nearly a hundred works of urban and contemporary art for a limited time as part of the Mural festivities. It’s a great occasion to get a drink with friends and maybe invest in a piece or two.
9 p.m. We end the night with a bang at one of Mural’s famous Block Parties. The (massive) crowd goes nuts every time at these iconic events, where music meets live art. Tip: Make sure your purchase your VIP pass to get access to an intimate outside area and a terrace. It’s the perfect way to end a productive and inspiring day in the heart of Montreal.