The 193rd St. Patrick's Day Parade took place Sunday in downtown Montreal amid a bright and chilly afternoon.

The United Irish Societies of Montreal estimated 500,000 people were at the event.

The parade made its way down Ste. Catherine Street, starting at Fort, and continuing on until Phillips Square.

montreal parade end

The crowd waits next to The Bay near the end of the parade route. (Jason Boychuk/CBC)

It's one of the oldest and biggest parades in North America, with more than 100 groups that take part.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre walked with the Irish Ambassador to Canada, Ray Bassett.

Coderre's maternal grandmother came from Ireland.

During the parade today he said, "Forty per cent of Quebecers have Irish roots and we are all Irish today."

CBC was there, meeting members of the crowd and giving keepsakes to people along the parade route.

The United Irish Societies of Montreal (UIS) have been organizing the parade since 1928.

The parade itself has been a fixture in Montreal since 1824.

It began in the Old Port and later moved to Ste. Catherine Street.