One of the things that make summer in Montreal really stand out is its yearly International des Feux Loto-Québec, in other words, an international firework competition where various participating countries put on free firework shows in hopes of winning the coveted Jupiter Award. One of the most stunning pyrotechnical events in North America, it draws in huge crowds every summer, and locals come back year after year to root for their favorite countries. Many spots across the city give prime vantage points to observe this magical spectacle, which takes place on Saturday and Wednesday nights at 10 pm sharp, rain or shine.

This year, the 32nd edition of the International des Feux Loto-Québec runs from July 2 to 30 and features Chile, Canada, Switzerland, the United States, Spain and Sweden, as well as spectacular opening and closing shows. Each firework display has a theme and is synchronized to accompanying music, which can be tuned into on local radio station Rythme FM 105.7.

Here are the best locations to see the firework displays:

  1. La Ronde. This is really the best spot. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting La Ronde, Montreal’s amusement park, on a firework day, consider extending your stay there until evening and buying tickets to watch the fireworks (usually available for purchase along with your entrance ticket or sold on site an hour or two before the show starts for quite modest prices). You’ll gain access to a special viewing area with the absolute best outlook on the fireworks (which are being launched from the same island) and music being played directly on site.
  2. Old Port Clock Tower. Visiting Old Montreal on a firework day? Make your way towards the old clock tower on the eastern end of the Old Port around 9 pm and nab a spot to watch the fireworks, which will be taking place right across the water. You’ll get a stunning view of the illuminated clock tower and bridge along with the firework display.
  3. Jacques Cartier Bridge. If you don’t mind your view being slightly blocked by the bridges’ railings, this is one of the closest, most direct ways of watching the fireworks for free. The Jacques Cartier Bridge, which links the Island of Montreal to the South Shore, is completely closed to cars on firework evenings to allow thousands of spectators to walk up and enjoy the displays.
  4. Under the bridge. Last but not least, if you want a good view of the fireworks without the uphill walk and slight defects of the bridge, you can stay on ground level and simply walk east from Papineau metro along the waterfront. Bring a blanket or some camping chairs and take your position facing the opposite bank, where the fireworks will be launched from, and enjoy.
  5. leQube’s Rooftop Terrace. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the fireworks directly from leQube’s beautiful rooftop terrace. What a fabulous way to spend a warm summer evening directly from the comfort of your travel accommodation.

If you’re here in July, don’t miss this fabulous event! For more information about the displays and participating countries, visit the official website: