Montreal boardwalk Village au Pied-du-Courant* is a unique space in the city peppered with spectacular and functional design, a grassroots project originally created by the Association du design urbain du Québec and Pépinière et Co. in 2014 as a summer experiment to reclaim public space and give it back to the people, a city lot left to dilapidate from neglect after years of container shipping and port activity.
This new boardwalk dubbed Village Au Pied-du-Courant proposed not only a fresh, new take on the land, showcasing remnants of its container shipping days with containers strategically positioned and repurposed throughout the promenade, but the boardwalk also featured special events and activities that attracted droves of locals loving the choice view, free entertainment and overall ambiance.
End result? The public loved the Village's inaugural 2014 run, so much so that its creators brought Au Pied-du-Courant back every year since. In 2017, Village au Pied-du-Courant is open from June 1 to September 16, 2017.
Village Au Pied-du-Courant 2017 Events and Activities
Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays June 1 through September 16, each day features a special theme in 2017. And as always, admission is FREE. Food and drink sold on location. Cash only.
Thursdays are 5 à Sable, a play on the popular expression 5 à 7. From 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., dance to DJ sessions, enjoy tropical cocktails, play pétanque and brace for other potential surprises, like say a free Peruvian dance class like what was proposed for the June 30th edition.
Fridays make way for Vendredi Sohmer, an evening of live music or DJ sessions hosted by MightyKat, a prominent DJ on the local electronic music scene, running 5 p.m. to midnight.
Saturdays are Samedi Tout Garni from 3 p.m. to midnight featuring activities for families in the afternoon, making way for a more nightlife vibe in the evening with live music or DJ sets, dance and a festive ambiance until midnight.
And Sundays make way for Doux Dimanche from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Anticipate free yoga around 6 p.m., kid-centric activities, sports like ping pong and basketball, art workshops, and a dance party for the whole clan. Night's end features Ciné-Plage au Village, a free film screening under the stars which starts at 9 p.m.
Village Au Pied-du-Courant 2017 Fireworks Schedule
One of my favorite free spots for catching Montreal fireworks in the summer, Village Au Pied-du-Courant stays open later if necessary to accommodate on fireworks evenings. And the Village also opens on Wednesdays exclusively for the fireworks competition.
Bonus? The Village plays the pyrotechnical team's music soundtrack synced to the fireworks so you can have a comparable experience to which customers paying for prime seats at La Ronde are privy. Here's the 2017 schedule for the Montreal International Fireworks Competition.
Village Au Pied-du-Courant 2017 Cans and Can'ts
Visitors are welcome to bring their pets dogs along (leashed, always), as well as supply their own food and non-alcoholic beverages provided no glass containers are brought on location. Also note alcoholic beverages brought in from outside the Village are strictly forbidden. Food, alcohol, drinks and assorted wares (especially on Sundays) are sold on location. Cash payment only.
Village Au Pied-du-Courant 2017: Getting There
Located at 2100 rue Notre-Dame Est, Montreal, Quebec H2K 4K3 (map), Village au Pied-Du-Courant is a quick walk from Papineau Metro. There's no parking on site but street parking is available nearby. Visit Village Au Pied-du-Courant's website for more info.
*By the way, Village au Pied du Courant is French for Village by the Foot of the Current, an apt moniker given its waterfront proximity to the St. Lawrence River.