Planning on navigating around Montreal on Friday?

You might want to give it a complete rethink – because hundreds of thousands of climate marchers will hit the streets and create traffic chaos pretty much all day. The City of Montreal says it is planning for as many as 300,000 people to take part.

Even Mobilite Montreal says getting around town will be particularly brutal from noon onwards.

The Transport Ministry will shut down major sections of the highway network to keep motorists away from the downtown core. Public transit will also be significantly affected, though it will be free for users in Montreal, Longueuil and Laval.

While the demonstration’s route has not been finalized, participants are expected to start gathering at the George-Etienne-Cartier statue on Mount Royal at 11 a.m. with the march officially beginning at noon.

Marchers will head south on Parc Avenue, east on Sherbrooke, go south on St-Laurent and then continue west on Rene-Levesque, a source tells CTV Montreal.


Top traffic tips, starting at noon:
  • Police say they expect the area between Berri, Peel, St-Joseph and de la Commune to be heavily congested
  • Robert-Bourassa Blvd and the Bonaventure expressway closed completely in both directions, along with the access from the Ville-Marie expressway
  • All lanes closed on the inbound Victoria Bridge, two lanes open to the South Shore
  • Expect very high volumes of passengers on the orange, green and yellow Metro lines
  • Almost 50 STM, RTL bus lines and trains will be affected or cancelled
  • The downtown and Mansfield stations will not be in use because buses will not be able to access the Bonaventure Expressway, so they will be redirected to the Longueuil and Angrignon metro stations

Marchers will likely end up at their final destination somewhere downtown around 4 p.m. There will be speeches and performances, including a speech from climate activist Greta Thunberg, before the event finally officially wraps up at 7 p.m.

However, that doesn’t mean the city’s network will get back to normal at 7 p.m. Expect the system to be in flux. Montreal police will be in close communication with Transport Quebec that evening, according to a ministry spokesperson. Only once police give the all clear, will the city’s road network and public transit slowly get back to normal.