Montreal

What's happening to mark Montreal's 375th birthday

There are events planned throughout the day for Montreal's 375th birthday. In honour of the big day, bus and Metro service will be free on the island until 1 a.m.

Here's a list of what's happening for the city's celebrations

An image showing what the Montreal Avudo light show may look like in Montreal's Old Port in the summer of 2017. (Finzi Pasca, 375mtl)

Montreal is turning 375.

On May 17, 1642, the city was founded by Jeanne Mance and Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, who led French missionaries and settlers onto the island.

It's 375 years later and in honour of the big day, bus and Metro service will be free on the island until 1 a.m.

Here are the main anniversary events going on around the city today.

8:45 a.m.: Ringing of church bells. Saint Joseph's Oratory will be first to ring its bells, and will then be joined by the chiming of church bells around the city until 8:55 a.m. 

9 a.m.: Mass at Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal, celebrating Montreal's religious diversity and First Nations' roots. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Premier Philippe Couillard and Mayor Denis Coderre will be among those in attendance.

10:30 a.m.: Tribute to Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve at Place d'Armes. It includes a performance by the École supérieure de ballet du Québec called Merci Montréal, with First Nations singers and drummers playing a role. Trudeau will make a speech.

7 p.m.: The Bonne fête Montréal show at the Bell Centre, hosted by Radio-Canada personality Guy A. Lepage, will feature a number of performers, from musicians to comedians and more. Tickets can be bought on the evenko website.

8:30 p.m.: Montréal Avudo multimedia show at the King Edward Quay in the Old Port. The outdoor show on the water will showcase the St. Lawrence River's role over the centuries.

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      9:45 p.m.: The illumination of the Jacques Cartier Bridge.

      The bridge will be brought to life by Montreal's own Moment Factory in a 30-minute visual experience. The bridge will light up in sync with a soundtrack conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and featuring the Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra.

      The bridge will be closed to traffic Wednesday night from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 

      Project leaders describe it as "a unique interactive lighting concept activated in real time by the seasons and the energy of the city.” 2:58

      Protests planned

      The union representing Montreal police officers is organizing a protest outside Montreal City Hall Wednesday evening. 

      Montreal police have been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2014.

      Another protest targeting the city bylaws dealing with horse-drawn calèches, pit bull-type dogs and other animal control issues is also planned.