Just because Montreal is a cosmopolitan, urban, melting pot of a city, doesn’t mean you can’t get back to nature every now and again. If you’re craving fresh air, the outdoors and maybe even a little exercise, you can slip into that workout gear and hit up these three awesome spots, all right within city limits!
Lachine Canal: Just a few steps from the main downtown core lies a protected Parks Canada National Historic Site, in the form of a canal and waterside path that stretches for more than 14.5 kilometres from the Old Port to Lake St. Louise. All along it’s length is an ‘urban park’ where picnickers, dog-walkers, joggers and rollerbladers enjoy a break from the busy downtown. And if you get thirsty along the way? Make a stop at the terrace of the St. Ambroise brewery, which lies by the water just a few minutes west of Atwater market another great stop for refreshments).
Parc Jean Drapeau: Feel like splashing around on a hot day? Jean Drapeau Park on St. Helen’s Island (Take the yellow line metro) should be on your itinerary then. It’s got a huge pool on one side of the park, and a small beach on the other. You can play volleyball on the sand, kayak, and cycle some great paths lined with woods and looking out onto the St. Lawrence river.
Mont Royal: A visit to Montreal wouldn’t be complete without a trip up what locals affectionately call “the mountain” (though you could argue it’s more of a large hill….!) You can bike, walk, or drive up to the summit, which offers a stunning view of the city and out past the river to the South Shore on a clear day (see if you can spot the Olympic Stadium!). Near the top, there’s also a huge park and lake, and depending on the time of day you’ll be greeted by curious squirrels, confident raccoons (be careful of your sandwiches), shy chimpmunks, and beautiful fireflies.