Montréal by Night

What does one do in Montréal, Canada’s epicenter for nightlife, if one isn’t much of a nightlife-er, per se?

Such was our dilemma. Being the old married couple that we are, we aren’t much for night clubs or bar hopping. Our livers have been punished enough in our earlier years, and I don’t even care to admit what our usual bedtime is these days.

Beauty beckons though, and Montréal is a city that takes on a different persona and view when darkness falls. We couldn’t miss that. However, we assert that enjoying nightlife doesn’t have to mean dancing on tables and suppressing threatening hangovers with a 4am poutine indulgence. Instead, it can be a quiet, less fattening experience of just watching and capturing the twinkle of the city and its people.

At least, that’s how our argument goes.

And so we took to the city in a new way: by scooter. A bit more age appropriate for us(!), and hot damn but it was a total blast as well. (Even though it wouldn’t go over 30km/hr, I could help but feeling like a total bad ass.)


Bad Ass


Our guide took us all over, and we were able to see so much Montréal in such a short time that I believe it to be my new favourite way to explore a city.

We wound through the Gay Village, the Latin Quarter, up Mont Royal, down to the river, through Old Montréal and more. We ‘stopped-and-snapped’ less than we just ‘rode-and-enjoyed’, and our guide tossed out a dizzying number of recommendations along the way. We were stared and honked at a wee bit, the culture of scooters hasn’t *quite* hit here yet, but we enjoyed every minute nonetheless.


Situated in the Gay Village, this installation entitled “Memory Gaps”  mocks amnesia, and reminds one of new perspectives and hidden pleasures.



We puttered up Mont Royal for this overview of the city, just as night was falling.

Montreal Sunset


The beloved and controversial “Farine Five Roses” sign that has been a feature of the Montréal skyline since 1948.

Farine Five Roses


We let the scooters rest at the Place des Festivals and had fun in the fountains of the courtyard. Imbedded directly into the sidewalk and lit up at night, they can be turned off such that it becomes a useable space for any events planned for the area.

Lonely Scooter


Place des Arts

Can you see my silhouette as I glided among the fountains?




And if, by chance, we decided that a party to the wee hours was what we needed, our guide showed us the latest hotspot: “New City Gas”. It was quiet as it was early in the week, but the place is reportedly hopping on weekends. (For the youngins.)

New City Gas


Our tour was with Dyad Cycles, who also just offers scooter rentals on their own, but for us newcomers, the local insight was very valuable.

We happily visited Montréal as guests of Tourism Montréal. All opinions, as always, are our own.

25 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • Nice shots! The city looks so vibrant at night. I can’t wait to visit Montreal myself.
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..What’s it like to visit a ghost town full of toxic waste? Welcome to Picher, Oklahoma…

  • June 19 2013

    wait… not up for bar hopping? I could offer some photos/examples to disprove that argument.


    • June 21 2013

      That is only on very special occasions! 🙂

  • June 19 2013

    Woo.. nice photos! Was it hard to bring a tripod on the scooter? 🙂

    I also like the new photo watermark!

    • June 21 2013

      Pete is a permanent hunchback – always wearing his backpack full of photo equipment, no matter where we go or how we get there! 🙂

  • A Montrealer Abroad (@amontrealer)
    June 19 2013

    Beautiful photos, guys. I love how you captured Place des Festivals!

  • Charlie
    June 20 2013

    Cool! I must admit, I’m still one for Montreal’s night life but still this looks so much fun! I’m going to look into this for a much needed break from the bars 😉 Great photos too! That photo on the top of Mont-Royal is certainly better than any I’ve taken!

    • June 21 2013

      Thanks Charlie! You could always go clubbing after the tour if you really wanted to. 🙂 You might have helmet hair though!

  • Joy
    June 20 2013

    Great photos! I totally loved them. (and the blog as usual)

    • June 21 2013

      Thanks Joy! I’m pretty proud of Pete for these shots too.

  • Charli | Wanderlusters
    June 20 2013

    Wow awesome photographs, especially the panorama over the city. Although I must just say …. old married couple … please wash your mouth out with soap immediately! OAPs you are definitely not!

    • June 21 2013

      Haha! We just call it as we sees it. 🙂

  • SweetSolMom
    June 20 2013

    Totally cool! We chose the bar hopping and poutine at 4am route. I would have definitely traded it for a evening scooter ride! Well, one night at least. Love your pictures!

    • June 21 2013

      I would have dragged myself out until 4am if it was with you chica! 🙂

  • Dan
    June 20 2013

    Wow such amazing photos. Montreal is certainly alive at night
    Dan recently posted..Australia – West MacDonnell Ranges

    • June 21 2013

      Thanks! I hope you guys get there as planned, you would definitely enjoy it.

  • June 22 2013

    Great job with the photos! I’m from Montreal and have a lot on the city, including this mini-guide which some may find useful.

  • June 22 2013

    Well you guys are braver than this old married couple here – I’d never get my husband on one of those things! Love the shots of the fountain!!
    Heather recently posted..The Best Meals I Ate in Hong Kong

  • Alouise
    June 22 2013

    That silhouette photo is fantastic. They all are. I think this only shows how amazing Montreal is – I’m still sad I left.

  • June 26 2013

    Love Montreal. Lived in Quebec City for over a year and really, really miss it.

    Nice shots.

    • June 26 2013

      Thanks Amanda! We are just about to start posting about Quebec City as well, be sure to come back and give us your thoughts! 🙂

  • June 26 2013

    Great night shots! Beautiful city.
    Dean recently posted..Backpacker’s Travel Guide to Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

  • Love how you guys still have fun and get creative with your photography.

  • July 17 2013

    This looks like a great time! I’m going to Montreal in a couple weeks so maybe a scooter rental is in order
    Scott recently posted..Budget Breakdown – San Diego Long Weekend 2013

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