Montreal is known for its abundance of art, and its importance in the international art world. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée d’art contemporain are world-renowned institutions, which many Montrealers are familiar with. However, our city has so much more to offer–we’re lucky enough to have an incredible amount of galleries showing art by some of the world’s most celebrated, valued, and rising contemporary artists. This, mixed with an awesome street art culture, makes our city an artistic hub.
That being said, we know it is sometimes intimidating and confusing to navigate this scene. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite galleries and institutions in the city which we think everyone should pay a visit to. All of these galleries enthusiastically welcome all visitors. Even better, each of them have rotating exhibitions, and are thus always changing. Trust us–you’ll never run out of art to see in Montreal with this friendly guide!
2020 rue William
Arsenal Montreal is a hidden gem in Griffintown, and one of our all-time favourite places to visit. Inside of a massive warehouse building, you feel as if you have been transported into a “sculptural forest.” Arsenal also features monumental, travelling special exhibitions, like David Spriggs’ PRISM, and hosts special events in its massive space. If you want to be wowed, this is the place to go. Visit the gallery’s website here.
2020 rue William
Just up the stairs from Arsenal, in the same building, is a smaller, but no less compelling, contemporary art gallery. Division Gallery is constantly presenting shows which include up-and-coming international contemporary artists and engage with relevant themes like digital art and popular culture, such as You Won’t Believe (…). Visit their website here.
1892 Rue Payette
Just around the corner from Arsenal and Division is Antoine Ertaskiran Gallery. Showing constantly changing exhibitions from top contemporary artists, this is the perfect place to round off a day of visiting Griffintown’s many gallery spaces. Check out their website here.
1515 Saint Catherine Street West
Stop by FOFA to see exhibitions by Concordia’s current and past students. The gallery shows rotating exhibitions by the incredible talents that their school, one of the best fine arts programs in the country, has produced. Find more info on exhibitions here.
Canadian Centre for Architecture
1920 Rue Baile
Although a bit different than the other galleries here, the CCA is definitely a must-see. They display both a permanent collection and special exhibitions about architecture and its important role in society. What’s more, its inside a gorgeous building. Visit their website here.
3550 Rue Saint Antoine West
Parisian Laundry is one of Montreal’s leading contemporary art galleries. Located in a 15,000 square foot, refurbished industrial building, they are constantly presenting exhibitions with some of the world’s most celebrated artists. They also present satellite programs in places like New York and Berlin, and are active in the international art scene. Check out their website here.
3523 Boul. St-Laurent
A Saint Laurent staple, Station 16 shows works from renowned street artists like Kevin Ledo, TAVA, and Stikki Peaches. Stop by for a look at their rad pieces, and grab a sticker pack or print by your favourite artist. Check out their website here.
451 Saint Jean Street
Located in Old Montreal, DHC/ART is a non-profit gallery which presents award-winning exhibitions by incredible artists. If there is a show on there, it is probably a must-see. Just make sure to check their website before going–the gallery closes between exhibitions!