We provide an overview of spectator sports and recreation in Montreal and created a listing of local sports teams to get you up and running. Playing team sports in a new city is a fantastic way to find like-minded people after moving to Canada, so push yourself to get out and meet new people as much as possible. If you know of any more options concerning sports and recreation in Montreal, please get in touch and we will add them to this page.
Sports and recreation in Montreal: Watch
Hockey: Hockey is religion in Montreal, and locals begin in each season convinced that the Montreal Canadiens (nicknamed “Les Habs” or “The Habs”) are going to win the NHL’s Stanley Cup. Any ticket available for less than $100 should be seen as good value, though scalpers often drop their prices just as games begin. Tickets become more expensive as the playoffs loom, but you get what you pay for – a game at the Bell Centre can be quite an experience. The Canadiens form the centrepiece of sports in Montreal. Click here to find out the schedule. (Métro: Lucien L’Allier)
Soccer: The beautiful game is growing in popularity here all the time, with Montreal Impact now in their second MLS season. Their home is Saputo Stadium, right next to the Olympic Stadium east of downtown. Click here to find out the schedule. (Métro: Viau, Pie-XI)
CFL: The Alouettes, commonly known as the Als, represent Montreal in Canada’s version of football, which is similar to the American version more familiar internationally. They play at Molson Stadium and tickets are usually available on the day at reasonable prices. Click here to find out the schedule. (Métro: McGill)
Motor racing: The highlight of the sporting calendar is when Formula One comes to town in June, with the Canadian Grand Prix held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Ile Notre-Dame. Tickets come in all sorts of combinations, from one-day general admission to Friday practice and Saturday qualifying to full weekend tickets. NASCAR races have also been held at the course. Tickets and information. (Métro: Jean-Drapeau)
Tennis: The Canadian Open, currently sponsored as the Rogers Cup, is held jointly with Toronto, with the men’s and women’s tournaments alternating each year between the two cities. The tournament is held in August at Stade Uniprix in Jarry Park. For tickets, click here. (Métro: Parc)
Sports and recreation in Montreal: Team
Soccer: While Canadians are not noted for their fervent soccer support, Montreal’s cosmopolitan population means that amateur men’s and women’s leagues run throughout the year. For winter and spring, the state-of-the-art Catalogna SoccerPlexe in Lachine runs internal leagues as well as providing a training base for clubs that compete during the summer and autumn. A lot of teams are composed of players of the same nationality, but they will usually be happy to welcome new players from other backgrounds provided they have ability.
GAA: The Montreal Shamrocks have dominated the local GAA scene since their foundation in 1948 and are happy to hear from anybody interested in playing the national sports of Ireland. Competing mainly against other GAA sides in Quebec and Southern Ontario, the Shamrocks welcome newcomers from across the world. They have also recently begun to play Australian Rules football under the same name.
Rugby: The Montreal Irish RFC was established in 1957 and is one of the premier rugby clubs in Quebec. The ‘Irish’ have three senior men’s teams and two women’s teams as well as a junior program and are always welcoming new players to join the club. The Irish have a team for all skill levels, from beginners to Premier Division. It’s also a great way to get fit and the teams train midweek downtown during winter and near downtown during the summer, both locations are near Métro stops. Games are on Saturday afternoons. They also have regular social events all throughout the year and even take tours to other cities in Canada, US and further afield. The regular playing season runs from May-September with indoor training starting in early February. You can join the club at any time in the year. Contact Mark Gallagher ([email protected]/514-805-3243) for more details.
Sports and recreation in Montreal: Individual
Golf: When the snow melts, the golf clubs come out. From casual pitch-and-putt up to some of the finest courses in the country, the Greater Montreal area is perfect for a round. Golf Town is a chain that sells top-of-the-range clubs, attire and merchandise and has locations across the city for those looking to set themselves up for the season, which generally runs from April to November depending on the weather. Click here for a list of public courses.
Skating: Public ice rinks can be seen all over the city during the winter. Montrealers, and indeed most Canadians, learn to skate around the time they learn to walk, so why not join them? Some public rinks close to downtown are listed and described here.
Tennis: Click here for a list of public courts around the city.
Rock Climbing: Click here for information on indoor and outdoor rock climbing.
This is a city that offers so much and this page is by no means exhaustive, so after you move to Canada ask around about other sports and recreation in Montreal. There are always new teams and opportunities each season, so get involved.