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William Gray - Terrasse William Gray
Photograph: Daphne CaronWilliam Gray - Terrasse William Gray

21 best rooftop bars in Montreal right now

Spectacular views and next-level cocktails are raising the bar in Montreal, from high-rise watering holes to secret terrasses.

Written by
JP Karwacki
,
Amie Watson
,
Isa Tousignant
,
Tommy Dion
&
Laura Osborne
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UPDATE, June 2022: Montrealers are all about rooftop drinking. The minute the mercury starts to rise, you'll find us daydrinking on one of the best terrasses in Montreal—we earned it after a long winter. Throw a rooftop with a jaw-dropping view into the mix and things go up a notch. From afternoons spent (boozily) basking in the sun to secret bars perched high above the city, we love them all for a lofty brunch, some of the best cocktails or a trip to one of the best gay bars. What can we say? Rooftop bars are the best.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Montreal

Best rooftop bars in Montreal

Open all day for up to 100 guests, the brand new Belvu terrasse at this recently redesigned hotel in the downtown core serves up shareable plates on a sun-drenched deck. Clink glasses at happy hour over some crispy spicy tuna karaage with ponzu, or stay classic with a good ole burger, caesar salad or oysters on the half-shell.

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Both Muzique’s location on St-Laurent and its Sunday-night industry parties spinning R&B, top 40 and club anthems make it THE place for partying with bottle service. That and the VIP treatment for ladies. The best part is that there’s a spot to break off from the main party: a wooden rooftop patio with a sleek bar overlooking the street below.

Plants create a border around this Zebulon Perron-designed covered patio—think white leather banquettes and marble everything—Chef Marcus Samuelson’s brasserie menu breaks down the gastronomical walls between the places that make up his cultural heritage: New York, Ethiopia and Scandinavia. Expect it to be packed at breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.

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When this sleek cocktail lounge in the renovated Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel opened, the city nearly ran out of bourbon. Alright, that’s not true, but the number of Old Fashioneds made with Woodford Reserve definitely skyrocketed when cocktail-lovers started flocking to the hotel’s upper levels. Not into classics? No problem. The 28-page menu has a flavour wheel with 25 options from spicy to umami, sour, sweet and bitter.

Open from just 5 to 10 p.m., Tuesdays to Saturday, this hidden rooftop terrasse on top of the Société des Arts Technologiques always fills its communal tables (it’s first come, first served). You’ll want to get there early to join the after-work crowds sipping their way through a line-up of microbrews, natural wines and cocktails made with local liqueurs and seasonal fruit. Your soak in the sun and spirits can be accompanied by the incredible menu, where Quebec products are magnified by a frank, honest and fair cuisine.

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Located on the 9th floor of the impressive Humaniti complex, blocks away from Chinatown, Terrasse H3 offers a breathtaking view of the downtown area. There's dinner indoors, but the lounge section will make you want to stay outside, especially since the small dining menu is full of seasonal dishes to enjoy—not to mention the cocktails and wine list by the glass. Don't leave without at least one dessert.

Bivouac's rooftop terrasse is among the hottest spots in the Quartier des Spectacles, with over 3,500 square feet of urban jungle vibes, armchairs, high tables, a casual yet festive atmosphere, and an incredible view of the city. It's easy to see why this is the terrasse to discover this summer. Note that the dining menu, as well as the wine and cocktail list, are equally inviting, whether it's for an aperitif, for dinner or to spend a late evening as Montreal knows so well how to do.

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If you want to look down on Montreal from one of the highest points in town, you have three choices: Mount Royal, Portus 360 or Les Enfants Terribles Au Sommet. The first involves a hike up a large hill and the second is indoor-only,  making the sky-high location of Les Enfants Terribles the only heart-pumping dining and drinking option. This high-rise branch of this local bistro chain is both a bar and restaurant, but you’ve got to eat if you want to sit outside. Ties loosen as a younger crowd, ready to party, converges around indoor cocktail tables later in the evening.

If there were a hierarchy in Old Port hotels, Nelligan would be at the top in terms of swank, but its rooftop terrace is all about relaxed  fun. As the sun sets, dinner plates are replaced with bottles of Grey Goose and their usual accoutrements, which is when you might start wondering which is more sparkling: The Edison bulbs strung up above, or the pitchers of bubbly white sangria. What the space lacks in elevation it makes up for with an eye-level view of the Notre-Dame Basilica. Those begging forgiveness for overindulging the night before will appreciate return trips for brunches of benedicts and blackberry naan pizzas to go with watermelon mimosas. 

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It takes cajones to have two different rooftop bars in a single Montreal hotel, but since you used to have to fight tooth and nail to get a seat on the Old Port’s William Gray Terrasse, many a sigh of relief echoed when the Perché Bar-Terrasse opened on the hotel’s fourth floor rooftop. Sip an Ungava G&T while enjoying a view of the Old Port and, if it’s a Wednesday or Saturday night in summer, maybe even some world-class fireworks.

What more do you need to know than there’s a pool? Maybe that it’s heated? Or that it was the first rooftop swimming pool in Canada? Turns out there are lots more things to know, including that the hotel was built for Expo 67, meaning it was going for the whole streamlined/modern look, with a koi pond and lush gardens – which, coincidentally, is the view from the rooftop and poolside bar.

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This Californian lounge’s got a stellar menu to go with its drinks, with poké bowls and ground duck and pork dumplings. Perché, the second terrace bar/restaurant at the William Gray Hotel, is an aloe-bedecked spot with a globetrotting wine list, summery cocktails and mocktails. A no-reservations policy after 4 p.m. gives you a better chance of snagging a seat.

Owned by the same restaurant group as the Nelligan, this place is one of the buzziest 5 à 7 (happy hour) destinations in the Old Port, especially on Thursdays and Fridays when folks off the clock stick around for burgers and mushroom ravioli. They’re to be joined later by a dressed-to-impress clientele sipping raspberry mojitos. Earlier in the day, lunches are meant for lingering over chorizo Caesar salads and pricey cocktails.

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This heated and covered patio atop the Renaissance Montreal Downtown Hotel is one of the rare rooftop bars that takes reservations, which is important when you want to schedule a date with its plunge pool. Open April to December, the terrace temperatures here are never too chilly for their mojito or too hot for their pulled pork poutine.

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A tri-level nightclub, some folks might think the VIP lounge is where the action's at, but nope: This Village destination's best floor is its rooftop terrasse, hands down. Is it the magnificent views of the city skyline? The easy access to drinks? All of the good music with (not to knock anyone's tastes) the extra sweaty dancefloors on a super humid night? Maybe it's all of the above and more.

Located squarely on the corner of one of the city’s major crossroads for nightlife—Sherbrooke Street and St-Laurent Boulevard—this open-air rooftop address connected to the boutique hotel Hotel 10 is one of the more exclusive clubbing locations in its immediate area. It also affords a spacious outdoor area where you can take in a view that’s got the best of both worlds: The low-lying buildings of neighbourhoods of the Plateau and Quartier Latin, plus the towers of downtown. Expect a line-up to get in on hot summer nights, and wait it out at their wine bar Le Bar20.

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It’s no birds-eye view of the city, but this second floor terrace overlooking Duluth Avenue is the best rooftop brewpub in the city. Throw in a house-brewed IPA or Milk Stout and some former fine dining pros serving everything from glammed up grilled cheeses to seasonal small plates and you’ve got yourself a perfect Montreal afternoon, evening or brunch. Don’t miss the French toast.

Music lovers and skaters rejoiced when the former Sapphire night club’s two-floor dance club received ramps and a bowl, becoming the city’s premier skating bar. Lest we forget, this place sports a backdoor terrace, which feels like the apartment patio all Montrealers wish they had. It’s all over the top and off the rails.

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If you couldn’t tell from the name, this Village four-floor LGBTQ+-friendly dance club might be best known for its rooftop terrace. Good for drinking sangria while waiting for the cavernous downstairs dance floors to fill up, the patio is also handy for breaks once the crowd reaches capacity. There’s also a pool and hot tub, but those are mostly for show.

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