Nature in the City

Jean Drapeau Park

photo_jeanDrapeauA jewel set amidst the St. Lawrence River, Parc Jean-Drapeau is without doubt one of Montréal's most precious assets. Discover the richness of this animated urban park spread amongst Sainte-Hélène and Notre-Dame islands.

Points of interest:

  • Olympic Basin
  • Aquatic complex - Outdoor open swim
  • Stewart Museum
  • Cycling and in-line skating, including on the Gilles-Villeneuve Formula 1 circuit (25 km in total)
  • Beach
  • Floralies garden

Access:

Jean Drapeau Metro Station
River Shuttle from the Old Port
(Possibility to bring bicycles along or to rent a Bixi bicycle directly on the island)

See : Jean Drapeau Park

Lafontaine Park

For more than 100 years, this stylish urban park, an intricate part of Montréal’s cultural life, has represented the Plateau’s heritage. Surrounded by Victorian buildings, the park is home to immense trees, picturesque spots, works of public art, and two ponds connected by a waterfall. From the first days of spring, the park’s outdoor theatre, the Théâtre de Verdure, offers a free and highly diverse set of performances in music, dance and film. It is also a gathering point for cyclists. Its two bike paths form the starting point for Québec’s bike network, the Route Verte.

Points of interest:

  • Verdure Theater
  • Bike path 1 km
  • Walking 12 km
  • Wading pool (2)
  • Sports fields
  • Observation of birds

Access:

Sherbrooke Metro Station and bus 24 East

See: Lafontaine Park

Mount-Royal Park

Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it is practically impossible to visit Montréal without seeing Mont Royal and enjoying the view from its summit.  To Montrealers, the Mont Royal is much more than a mountain. It’s a testimony to their city’s evolution, a precious gem that they were able to preserve from urban development. They are proud of it, and rightly so. On this triple-peaked mountain, Mount Royal Park occupies a privileged 200-hectare space, with breathtaking views of the urban centre that surrounds it. The park was designed by the celebrated landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York’s Central Park. This father of modern landscape architecture wanted to offer citizens the “charm of natural landscapes” on the mountain to counteract the unhealthy effects of urban life. The Parc du Mont Royal, like Parc Jeanne-Mance, is part of the Mont Royal National and Historic District, which provides it with increased protection. Since the park opened in 1876, it has changed, grown and undergone restoration work to preserve its beauty. Its location and the four million eight hundred thousand people who visit the park this year pose a number of challenges for the city. Montréal’s municipal administration and the provincial government have invested nearly $30 million over the past two decades in this popular nature spot. The city around the “green gem” has also changed, but one thing remains constant: Montrealers’ love for their mountain in the heart of the city.

Points of interest:

  • Beaver lake food service pavilion
  • Smith House Café
  • Tricycle and pedal boats renting
  • Hiking, cycling and walking paths
  • Kondiaronk breathtaking view over Montreal
  • Mount-Royal Cross

Access:

Mount-Royal Metro Station and Bus 11 West

See: Mount-Royal park

For more information about Montreal’ parks, please consult the following Internet link:

Montreal Parks