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Photo Essay: Street Art in Montreal

Posted by on August 7, 2013
Street Art

The Paria Crew take over the side of a building during the Mural Festival in Montreal.

Ever since my tour of New York City’s street art last fall, I’ve been looking at this art form in a completely new way. First off, I’m noticing it more, I didn’t realize how much of it actually exists. Secondly, I’m taking the time now to look at the pieces and the creativity that goes into making them instead of just walking past thinking, “oh that’s cool” as I once used to do.

Of all the cities in Canada, Montreal has the strongest street art scene. You don’t have to venture too far out your front door before you’re face to face with one of its forms (stencil, mural, wheat paste, and stickers). The city fully recognizes and encourages what street art can do for a neighbourhood or community. Just this past spring, the first annual Mural Festival was launched where close to 20 new murals were created by local and international artists over a period of 4 days transforming a 2km stretch of Rue St. Laurent into an outdoor gallery.

I was so excited to discover my trip to the city coincided with this festival. On the Friday when we arrived, we meandered our way along Rue St. Laurent (aka The Main) watching as the artists were slowly transforming huge sides of buildings. Each piece was different from the next and drew crowds of interested onlookers watching as the scenes were taking shape. On the Sunday before we left, we made our way back and were amazed at the finished products. I personally felt like my inner creativity was being awoken just viewing the different pieces and I loved the bright colours and vibrancy it brought to the area.

Other major cities should take note, because this in an amazing idea. It will be interesting to see what the 2nd installment of this festival brings and how it will (hopefully) grow and evolve in the coming years.

Below is a selection of some of the new pieces that were created during the Mural Festival along with some other pieces we came across during our time in Montreal.


Street Art Montreal

The scene slowly takes shape along Rue St. Laurent. Mural by A’Shop.

Montreal's Street Art

Still working on a lot of the details. Mural by En Masse.

Mural Street Art

From Friday to Sunday, it’s all about a card game by Other.

Street Art

Chris Dyer’s “Positive” creation.

Paria Crew Street Art

The Paria Crew working on their piece.

Mural Street Art

Don’t put yourself in a box. By Phlegm.

Street Art in Canada

Simple but effective. Mural by Omen.

Festivals in Montreal

A festival goer leaves their mark on the chalkboard installation.

If you want to check out these pieces created during the Mural Festival yourself (especially without the scissor lifts), take a stroll along Boulevard St. Laurent between Avenue Du Mont Royal and Rue Sherbrooke. Now for more street art:


Montreal's Street Art

Stikki Peaches’ wheat paste Batbond pops up all around Montreal.

Montreal's Street Art

A turkey, a ship, and a picnic bench.

Street Art in Quebec

Burning Rubber

Street Art

“Based on a True Story”

Montreal's Street Art

Anime Street Art

Things to See and Do in Montreal

Street art adorning the side of a laundromat.

Street Art in Montreal

The underwater themed exterior of Chez Jose restaurant.


What do you think of street art? Where is your favourite city to check it out?


  • JustChuckinIt

    WOW! I am so disappointed that it was raining all over Montreal when I was there, would have LOVED to see these. I love street art, probably my favorite kind of art actually, and I love more cities are beginning to embrace it!

    • Arienne

      Yeah we just managed to see the completed pieces on the Sunday before the rains came. I’m loving street art so much these days too! It really speaks to the people that make up the neighbourhood and I too love to see how cities are recognizing the benefits and importance of it.

  • eemusings (NZMuse)

    Those are some AMAZING murals. Seriously.

    Unfortunately we were only in Montreal overnight and only got to see it by dark, basically. I was surprised how funky it seemed to be though! And we did manage to visit La Banquise on the way out in the morning #win

    • Arienne

      Yeah, Canada has some amazing artists. I guess you’ll just have to go back and check out the city again :)

  • hikebiketravel

    Wonderful street art – and not something I would normally associate with Montreal. I saw some incredible street art in Bogota, Colombia this past year.
    I’ll be very pleased to link to you in my upcoming collaborative post.

    • Arienne

      Yes, Montreal has a very vibrant street art scene. This really only scratches the surface. Thanks so much for the inclusion!

  • Escape Hunter

    This street art is awesome!
    Montreal must be very very exciting from this point of view… amazing murals, great photos!