I love fireworks. I am pretty confident in thinking that I love them more than the average twenty-something year old. Every time that explosive sound fills the air and those sparkling colours burst into the open sky, the kid inside of me bursts to life. So for whatever reason, I don’t know, it has taken me too long to see the glorious fireworks display held in Montreal each summer. Finally, I have ticked this one off the list!
The Montreal International Fireworks Competition (L’International des Feux Loto Quebec) has been held every summer since 1985. As the largest pyrotechnics competition world-wide, this show is certainly one to be seen! Whether you are visiting Montreal and are in town for just one show, or you’re a local with a conveniently located rooftop and are fortunate enough to see the entire competition, there is no doubt you won’t be impressed by the beautiful display. Considered one of the top attractions in the Montreal, the show certainly pulls in quite the city-wide crowd.
The competition runs from June 28th through to August 2nd with a variety of countries (Italy, Spain, Canada, the US, France, and Australia) competing for the title. Things end on August 2 with a tribute to Pink Floyd. On Wednesday evening the sky lit up with a beautifully display themed, “Reveries”. And for an even sweeter deal, you can tune into the radio for the accompanying soundtrack.
Now don’t worry if you don’t have a rooftop to see the show. There are plenty of perfect places around the city for a free show with a top view! Of course you have the option to enter the designated ticketed area at La Ronde for the ultimate view ($52-71 — ticket includes access to rides on day of purchase), however I think there are just as many free places which are just as great.
Top picks for watching fireworks in Montreal
1. The Jaques Cartier Bridge. Catch the metro to Papineau Station and walk onto the bridge for a wonderful view of both the fireworks and the city. It’s busy, but there is plenty for space for everyone. The bridge is closed from 8 p.m. to allow for pedestrian traffic.
2. Clock Tower Beach. If you can get to the beach early enough, you will be sure to get yourself a cozy spot and a wonderful view.
3. Parc Jean-Drapeau. A view, apparently, as good as La Ronde itself. Now that’s a winner!
4. The Old Port. Plenty of space for everyone and surrounded by wonderful places to wine and dine before or after the show! Ideal.
5. The Westmount lookout. A little further out of the way, as it is a short uphill walk if you are without a car, however it’s worth it for the peaceful environment.
So, regardless of where you are in the city, there is a perfect place for you to see these artistic displays at some point over the next month. But be sure not to let the time slip away!
The Montreal International Fireworks Competition 2014 runs Saturdays from June 28 to August 2, with some additional shows on Wednesday July 16 and 19. Shows begin at 10 p.m. and last for 30 minutes.