Amidst sizzling temperatures and crowded highways, the best thing to come to Montreal this summer has been a preternatural strip of soft sand that reads high on the barometer of cool. Clock Tower Beach, so named because of its location adjacent to the forty-five metre stone tower, just opened this past June and has been buzzing with the kind of happy energy one can only expect from a place reserved for lying under the warm sun with friends.
Making your way to the beach is simple; walk to Marche Bonsecours on De La Commune, where, facing south, you'll see the impressive white clock tower in your sightline. This structure, built by Montreal engineer Paul Leclaire in 1922, marks the entrance to the port and apparently contains an "extremely precise clock mechanism made in England by Gillett and Johnston, which replicates that of the Big Ben in London." (Hows that for your daily random Montreal fact? lol.) Once you make your way over to the tower (or park your car in the lot just in front), you'll see the entrance to the beach just to its left.
For six dollars per adult (three for children above 6 and free for those under 5), one has access to the beach, complete with its bright blue aluminum parasols and comfy reclining muskoka chairs, free of added charge. Brand new washrooms and "Buvette par Apollo" are also amongst the amenities, the latter of which is a beach inspired terrasse conceptualized by chef Giovanni Apollo where one can grab drinks or snack on food until sundown.
The beach is open until 7 pm, and later during evenings with fireworks and private events like Red Bull's Summer Solstice, which took place a month ago. After you're done, grab some food on a patio over at le Bremner or Communion, or grab a quick bite outdoors at Muvbox (for lobster) or Porchetta (italian braised pork). Both are solar powered shipping containers that have nestled themselves on the boardwalk just off McGill and are open until nine pm. Enjoy!
Clock Tower Beach | Rue Quai de l'Horloge (off de la Commune E, just south of Marche Bonsecours) | Open daily June 16 to September 2 |
| 10:30am to 7:30pm | late closing at 11pm on Fireworks night |