As the temperatures warm up in April, Montreal comes alive with a variety of events and activities to celebrate the spring season.
During your visit, you can sample maple syrup treats at area sugar shacks, enjoy the annual ode to butterflies at the Botanical Gardens, and take in concerts. No matter what your interest—or budget—April is a great time to visit this eastern Canadian city.
If it's your first April in Montreal, be sure to prepare for the weather and pack accordingly. Although temperatures typically range between 37 degrees F and 53 degrees F, both snowstorms and heatwaves can happen, so you should bring a variety of clothing you can layer—including a winter coat and waterproof boots. Since most major hotels are connected to the underground city, a surprise snowstorm doesn't have to affect your visit.
The area's winter hotels will soon be closing their doors for the season—and offering amazing discounts to entice last-minute guests so April can be good for the budget-conscious. With deals being offered, consider staying at Montreal's top-rated boutique hotels or Old Montreal's accommodation favorites.
Depending on the year, Easter Sunday falls in March or April and there are a number of egg hunts, parties, and even parades that take place on Easter Sunday around Montreal.
If you're looking for a religious experience during your trip, you can attend an Easter Mass at one of the city's historic churches like St. Joseph's Oratory, Notre-Dame Basilica, or Mary Queen of the World.
There are secular events that take place Easter weekend like grabbing a Sugar Shack maple-infused treat.
April, and sometimes early May, in Montreal, is time for the multilingual literary festival, Blue Metropolis. Priority is given to Canadian literature for adults and children with a special category for First Nations authors. There are literary prizes awarded during this show where you can find some of your favorite authors and attend writing workshops.
The hosting Foundation produces a range of educational and social programs year-round all focusing on the benefits of writing and reading literature.
From the Jean-Talon Market's maple taffy stands to the rural sugar shacks (cabane à sucre), late winter and early spring is time to celebrate everything maple. Through April, Sucrerie de la Montagne is the place to go to experience real Québec traditions. See the tree being tapped with a spout, the sap collected in a pail, and taken to a traditional wood-fired evaporator, where it becomes golden maple syrup.
Restaurants will be serving up cuisine featuring the taste of sweet maple and everything needed to accompany it—pancakes, bacon, meat pies, sausage links, pea soup, and more.
Upscale cocktail lounges will even offer elaborate maple-themed cocktails in honor of the season.
April is time for Earth Day, (Jour de la Terre), a roughly month-long series of events with activities as diverse as lessons on urban beekeeping and fashion swaps.
April serves as the last call for Butterflies Go Free at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. Running through the end of April, the event features thousands of colorful live butterflies.
Children will enjoy having butterflies land on their arms and learning about the butterfly life cycle. A 10-minute guided activity is offered in the greenhouse every hour.
Find Free Ice Cream
April 10 is usually Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Since 1979, the company has thanked customers by offering free cones on one day per year. You can find out which Ben & Jerry's are participating in the Free Cone Day by visiting the company's Scoop Shop Locator.
The Big Fashion Sale by Quebec's designers is held in April. Also known as the Braderie, this popular semi-annual shopping event attracts 25 000 people over four days in Old Montreal.