Some of the most common questions with Osheaga deal with getting around Montreal for the festival. Luckily, Osheaga is in a great location and getting to the festival is fairly easy. This article will go over everything you need to know with getting around Montreal and how to get to Osheaga.
Obviously you can stay somewhere besides Montreal, but in general people who go to Osheaga stay in Montreal. If you are flying into Montreal you are in luck, as there is a 24/7/365 bus route that goes from the airport to downtown directly. This is by far the easiest and most cost effective method for getting to downtown Montreal. If you want all the information you should check out the official page at http://www.admtl.com/en/access/transports/buses-747-express. Generally if you are staying in downtown Montreal it will have a stop near your hotel. The bus is $10 each way so it will cost you just $20 for the entire Osheaga weekend, which is fairly reasonable.
Now let’s talk about getting from Montreal to Osheaga. There are many ways to get to Osheaga from Montreal given how close the downtown/metro area is to the festival. The main ones are driving, taking the metro, biking, Uber/rideshare and good old fashioned walking. I will now discuss each of these options.
Don’t do it. Let’s move on. OK, just kidding, but seriously driving to Osheaga is a poor option, but ultimately Canada is a free country and you can choose to go this route if you choose. If you do choose to drive there is parking available at Osheaga at Parc Jean-Drapeau. It should be noted that Osheaga does not run the parking – the park that hosts Osheaga has parking that will be used for the festival.
You can read all the information at http://www.parcjeandrapeau.com/en/parking/. For special events like Osheaga parking will cost you $25 for the day, assuming it is still available. Just note that tens of thousands of people will be heading to Osheaga so expect traffic, especially those last couple miles and finding parking. If you do drive I strongly suggest going early. However, in general I advise against driving to Osheaga because there are a lot better options.
The recommended method by the festival themselves is to take the Metro (Montreal’s subway) to Osheaga. Osheaga is right by the Jean-Drapeau stop on the Yellow Line. The Yellow Line runs from 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. on weekdays/Sundays and 1:30 a.m. on Saturday. Thus this will be running all during Osheaga’s hours so it’s a great way to get to the festival. Furthermore it runs every 5 minutes during peak hours (7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm) and every 5-10 minutes at other times, so you should never be waiting long to get on.
The map above shows the Montreal subway system. The Yellow Line has only a few stops, but most importantly it has one in downtown Montreal. Thus, regardless of where you stay in the city you will be able to take another line to get on the Yellow. Once you get on the yellow line take it to Jean-Drapeau and you will be just a few minutes walk from Osheaga.
The Metro is really reasonably priced in Montreal with one way fares starting at just $3.25. This is your cheapest option for getting to Osheaga besides for walking. I highly suggest purchasing round trip fare before going to Osheaga, or you will be stuck in a long line to purchase passes on the way out. Again, this is the easiest and most cost effective way to get to Osheaga, so I highly recommend considering going this route for your Osheaga weekend.
Bicyling to Osheaga is also a very popular and practical option. Parc Jean-Drapeau offers bicycle parking near Osheaga so you won’t need to go far on foot once you get to the park. There are two main ways to get to Osheaga and Parc Jean-Drapeau by bicycle from Montreal:
Personally I really recommend doing the first option and just cycling over the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. It’s the quickest route to Osheaga, there is a dedicated bike lane on the bridge so it’s not intimidating, and it’s only about a 20-minute ride, which isn’t too bad at all. Riding a bike is especially nice at night after Osheaga as you will not need to wait in bad traffic or a absolutely packed subway – you just find your bike and head on your merry way. One tip is be sure to make a point to remember where you parked your bike. A lot of people ride their bikes to Osheaga so it’s easy to lose your bike in the horde of bicycles. There are plenty of places to rent a bicycle in downtown Montreal, and most of them can be had for around $20 a day. Montreal also has a bike sharing program, which allows you to pick up a bike at any station in the city and drop it off at any other station. It’s called Bixi and is rather convenient for tourists. There are hundreds of stations throughout downtown Montreal and even stations right by Osheaga. You can see all of the available stations at https://secure.bixi.com/map/. You can get all the information on pricing at https://montreal.bixi.com/en/pricing. Basically if you do short rides it’s very convenient and cost effective – if you pick up your bike and head straight for Osheaga you can basically get the bike for the day for under $10. I would definitely recommend looking into Bixi before you rent a bike for three days, which will likely be more expensive.
Uber is an option in Montreal, but I really don’t recommend doing this for Osheaga. Going to Osheaga may not be that bad, but Ubering home at the end of the night is sure to have highly increased rates. I know in years past its not uncommon to see 400%+ rates, so if you want to Uber you can just be ready to pay a premium. Taking the Metro is a much cheaper option, and honestly probably not that much slower given the car traffic at Osheaga.
Depending on where you stay in Montreal, walking to Osheaga may be an option. If you stay on the north end of downtown Montreal you can walk across the Jacques-Carter Bridge, which is actually a pretty nice walk with some really great views. The bridge is pedestrian friendly and has a private pedestrian only walkway that is about 1.5 meters wide. Note that this is separate from the bicycle only path as well (the bridge has both a private pedestrian and bicycle walkway). If you are staying on the north end of downtown Montreal this will be about a 25-30 minute walk, so it is a hike, but it’s a beautiful walk and honestly not that far. If you are a person who doesn’t mind a walk this is definitely a good option to getting to Osheaga, and obviously the cheapest.
Osheaga is in a great location near a major city. This means there are a lot of options for getting around. In my opinion, the best travel options at Osheaga are either the Metro or renting a bike. Both are cost effective and will get you in and out of Osheaga much quicker than driving or using an Uber. Walking is really only an option if you are near the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, or else its quite the hike. Hopefully this helps you decide how you will be getting to Osheaga and if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me at Shawn@EventTrk.com and I will add your question to this guide to help out future visitors.