Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade 2018 (Défilé de la Saint Patrick)

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Montreal: The Ultimate Guide

Montreal St. Patrick's Day 2018 events include the parade, Irish breakfasts, pub crawls, and more.
••• Above: children spotted participating in the Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade. Photo by Flickr user jpmpinmontreal (CC BY 2.0)

Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade 2018

One of the city's most anticipated spring events, the 195th Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, 2018. The parade is made possible by the United Irish Societies of Montreal who've been organizing the procession since 1928. 

Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade 2018 Route

Years past have had the parade start at the corner of du Fort and Ste. Catherine Street, with it proceeding along Ste.

Catherine until it reaches Phillips Square. Check 2018 route details directly with Montreal St. Patrick's Day parade organizers.

How Long Does the Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade Parade Last?

Attendees can expect the particularly jovial and animated parade to last about two hours, maybe three.

What Goes on Before and After the Parade?

A LOT. Several Irish pubs in the downtown area serve breakfast and Irish coffee prior to the parade, followed by live music after the parade. Here's a list of Irish pub highlights from 2017 to give you an idea. But just bear in mind that downtown area Irish pubs get really packed post-parade, so packed, they overflow with lineups. But there's a way around the chaos. Find out how to beat the crowds. You might also consider check out the Irish pub scene a day earlier, on Saturday. 

Visiting the City in March? Montreal Hotels Near St. Patrick's Day Action
And: Compare Tripadvisor's Best Hotel Deals in Montreal

Was the St. Paddy's Parade Always on Ste. Catherine Street?

Not in the beginning. Held on March 17 or (usually) on the Sunday closest to the day Ireland's patron saint is traditionally honored, Montreal's St. Patrick's Day Parade used to proceed along Notre-Dame Street in Old Montreal, blocks away from the community's historical home turf in Griffintown, which back then was gruff and industrial but today is sleek and gent.

But downtown's commercial artery, Ste. Catherine Street, is the place to be to catch the parade in modern times.

St. Paddy's in Montreal: A Wee History

The oldest St. Patrick's Day parade in Canada, the Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade has been held every single year since 1824, and no circumstance, from snowstorm to wartime to economic depression, has stopped it from marching on. Historian Don Pidgeon claims Montreal has been celebrating St. Paddy's Day decades earlier than that, since at least 1759, the year of the Conquest, just not in a parade format.

Is It the Longest-Running St. Paddy's Parade in North America?

Up until the 2009 edition, a widespread myth spotted in Montreal's major newspapers, in press releases and various news websites, that Montreal's St. Patrick's Day Parade was the longest-running in North America, was somehow established as fact.

BUT the title of longest running uninterrupted North American St. Paddy's parade, at least according to its organizers as well as National Geographic, The New York Times and a slew of other credible publications, actually belongs to New York City's procession, boasting over 250+ consecutive annual runs since 1762, 14 years before the Declaration of Independence.

Meanwhile, Boston lays claim to getting the first North American St. Patrick's Day Parade ball rolling decades earlier, in 1737. Boston did not keep it consecutive though, with 2017 marking its 116th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Sources: United Irish Societies of Montreal, The New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade & Celebration Committee, South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade