Summer is the most popular time to visit Montreal. Infused with French heritage, including a largely French-speaking population, Montreal draws huge numbers of Canadians, people from the United States, and international visitors for its well-preserved Old Town, sophisticated cultural sites, and culinary scene. In August, the city comes alive with events like the Montreal World Film Festival and the Osheaga music festival.
High temperatures make it nice to walk around and sightsee, but the extreme humidity may be a turnoff to some. It can also get chilly at night thanks to the city's location along the St. Lawrence River. Summer also means more crowds and higher travel prices, fuller than usual hotels, and longer lines at Montreal's top tourist attractions.
Montreal Weather in August
Montreal has hot and humid weather in August, with the average high hitting 75 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low dropping to 54 degrees Fahrenheit. On extreme days, temperatures can reach in the 90s. If you plan on walking around a lot outside, expect to be very sweaty. That said, air conditioning on trains, in hotels, shops, and restaurants can be refreshing. Visitors should also expect rain for about nine days in August.
What to Pack
Because of the humidity and heat during the day, most of the clothes you'll need should be airy, and lightweight, including shorts, T-shirts, and sundresses for women. Although sandals are perfectly acceptable, you may want closed-toe shoes for walking around Montreal's cobblestoned Old Town. Also, don't forget the sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for bright, sunny days. In the evening, bring a light jacket, shawl, or sweater as it can get a bit chilly. If there's rain in the forecast, pack an umbrella, and for those heading out of the city into the more rural areas, you may want to have a bug repellent on hand.
August Events in Montreal
In the summer, Montreal comes alive with festivals, events. and attractions that celebrate music, art, food, and more. Whether you are seeking a tennis competition or a week of Italian cuisine and culture, Montreal offers something for everyone, and fortunately many events are free in August.
- Mont-Royal: This Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park has sweeping skyline views. Go to Fletcher’s Field by the George-Étienne Cartier Monument on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy the weekly drum fest known as the Tam-Tams.
- Osheaga: Typically a three-day, kid-friendly music and arts festival in Parc Jean-Drapeau, Osheaga has featured some of the world's most famous musical acts, including Coldplay, The Killers, Mumford and Sons, Iggy & The Stooges, Sonic Youth, The Roots, Rufus Wainwright, Arcade Fire, and more.
- Rogers Cup Tennis: The biggest names in women's and men's tennis compete for the Rogers Cup, also known as the Canadian Open, which alternates between Montreal and Toronto every other year. Check their website for ticketing and location information.
- The Montreal World Film Festival: This is one of Canada's oldest international film festivals, founded in 1977, which usually goes from late August through September. Often the films are being shown to the public for the first time.
- International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu: The festival, which happens just about 20 minutes outside Montreal, is the biggest of its kind in Canada. It brings together a diversity of hot air balloons from many countries, along with musicians and other activities over several days in August.
- Montreal's Italian Week: For 10 days in August, La Petite Patrie's Little Italy and other boroughs in Montreal and Laval will host the annual Montreal Italian Week, a celebration of Italian music, culture, food, and more.
- Montreal Pride: (Fierté Montreal) is a weeklong celebration with art, music, entertainment, and many other activities. The main outdoor venue is Parc des Faubourgs in the Village, where a plethora of talented local artists perform and parties take place. Don't miss the Montreal Gay Pride Parade.
August Travel Tips
Before you go to Montreal in August, there are some things you should know in order to plan a seamless trip.
- Montreal temperatures can reach the 90s, and it can get extremely humid. Be sure to stay hydrated and carry a water bottle with you at all times. This is especially important for older travelers and children.
- Unlike most other Canadian provinces, Quebec does not have a long weekend at the beginning of August.
- Summer is high season, meaning everything is more expensive and crowded. Be sure to book transportation, including flights, trains, rental cars, and hotel transfers, as well as restaurant reservations, city tours, and hotels ahead of time.