Commuters in Montreal are being encouraged to leave their cars at home for the day and use public transit to mark the city's annual car-free day.

Several downtown streets were closed to traffic on Monday within a perimeter delimited by McGill College and St-Urbain streets, and René-Lévesque Boulevard and Maisonneuve Street.

Streets within the perimeter are off-limits to cars between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Parking lots inside the sector are accessible by cars before 9:30 a.m. and after 3:30 p.m.

Place des Arts is shut to vehicular traffic between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., as is St-Catherine Street between Jeanne-Mance and St-Urbain streets until midnight.

The city is hosting activities throughout the day to encourage public transit use.

Cars generate about half of Montreal's annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to city figures.