Lifestyle
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Urban nature: parks and gardens in Montreal

Published on
6/15/2022
Contributors
Myriam Jézéquel
Journalist, freelance
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Live in the city like in a garden? It's possible in the verdant metropolis of Montreal. Imagine your home overlooking a park, your children's school surrounded by trees, flower-filled terraces perched on high office towers, bike paths running alongside community gardens... All this urban nature may surprise the eye used to clusters of buildings. And yet, Montreal's parks and gardens are full of life and vitality! They beautify the city and relax the spirits. Discover the list of parks and green spaces where to escape in Montreal.

Montreal, the urban nature - a city where it is good to live with so much green space

 

Parks and green spaces in Montreal

Want to read in a garden, do yoga in a park or take a walk away from the hustle and bustle? You have a choice of neighborhood parks, large parks, nature parks and other natural spaces…

Montreal, the urban nature - Mount Royal - Beaver Lake

 

Among the most popular nature parks:

  • Mount-Royal Park, is the little green mountain of downtown and its famous views of the city from the Kondiaronk Belvedere and Camilien-Houde Belvedere. It is also home to the Smith House (heritage house, Café des Amis), Chalet du Mont-Royal (beautiful wood-paneled building), Pavillon du Lac-aux-Castors (beautiful modern architecture, sports equipment rental, Café des Amis), and is the place to enjoy all kinds of activities: tubing, cross-country skiing, biking, walking, snowshoeing, and skating at Lac-aux-Castors (refrigerated skating rink) For more information: Les Amis de la montagne's website and the official website of Mount Royal.
  • The historic site of the Lachine Canal takes us on a walk along the waterfront. It is appreciated for its bicycle path, its nautical activities, its picnic areas, its barge converted into a floating café-bar, its Atwater Market of local products, the remains of industrial buildings, 
  • The Botanical Garden attracts crowds from all over the world every year, drawn by the thirty or so gardens (alpine, Chinese, First Nations, the rose garden, etc.), the 10 greenhouses, the Biodôme zoological garden, the insectarium, the planetarium and the tropical rainforest.
  • Parc Jean Drapeau located on Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame provides access to facilities such as the Olympic Basin, the Casino de Montréal, La Ronde, the Calder Man sculpture, the Expo 67 pavilions and the Stewart Museum, the Biosphere and... the Floralies garden!
Montreal, the urban nature - the cross of the Mount-Royal which is adorned with autumn colors
Montreal, the urban nature - The Biosphere at Parc Jean-Drapeau

 

In the network of large urban parks, let's mention:

  • La Fontaine Park in the Plateau neighbourhood: an oasis crisscrossed with paths and playgrounds. A lively meeting place around the central fountain. An open-air performance stage at the Théâtre de Verdure. Surrounded by Mount Royal Avenue and Saint-Denis Street, it's a great place to recharge your batteries!
  • Jarry Park near Little Italy: a huge playground where tennis players (and Rogers Cup professionals), soccer players, kite flyers, swimmers and cyclists rub shoulders. The tables available to the public bring together families for picnics, friends celebrating a birthday, and groups of musicians. Shows are also available, such as those of the Repercussion Theatre.
  • Maisonneuve Park on the Pie IX side: a huge 63-hectare area facing the Olympic Park, with lawns, trees, bike paths, an ice rink and even a golf course!
  • Angrignon Park at the end of the green line of the Angrignon metro, in the southwest of Montreal: this 97-hectare park combines hiking, exploring and sports activities. We particularly like the ski trails, the pond, the Fort Angrignon trail and the turtles.

Neighbourhood parks are not left out. These include: 

  • Jeanne-Mance Park along Avenue du Parc at the foot of the "mountain", with its volleyball courts, tennis courts, soccer field, wading pool and children's playground.
  • Sir-Wilfrid-Laurier Park on lLaurier East Avenue, in the Plateau, close to stores, restaurants and cafés. A place for meetings and picnics, it is also a green space chosen for its tranquility, its dog park or its cultural activities, such as the outdoor cinema in summer.
  • Outremont Park in the heart of Montreal's upscale French-speaking district invites you to relax around its pond, in the shade of the trees. Surrounded by residences, it brings together local residents and school groups in the area.
  • Square Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier on Notre-Dame West in Saint-Henri neighbourhood, offers a place to relax not far from downtown and the opportunity to take a dip in its municipal pool.
  • Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Park in the neighbourhood of the same name is accessible to those who live or work on the Sherbrooke West side of the street, not far from boutiques, galleries and deluxe cafés.

We also suggest the Promenade-Bellerive Park along the St. Lawrence River ; the Parc des Rapides in Lasalle ; the René-Lévesque Park in Lachine.

Montreal, the urban nature - La Fontaine Park, a huge island of greenery in the Plateau

Squares and gardens

Looking for a break in the middle of a working day? You can choose from several squares and gardens throughout the city, such as: Place Émilie-Gamelin in Berri-UQAM ; Place de la Paix in the Quartier des spectacles ; Square Phillips inSainte-Catherine Street, in front of the Hudson's Bay department store ; Square Saint-Louis near Prince Arthur Street, Saint-Laurent Street and Saint-Denis Street ; Square Victoria in Old Montral, near the Square-Victoria-OACI metro station ; Square Dorchester – Place du Canada in the heart of downtown from where the tourist buses leave ; Place d’Armes in Old Montreal, in front of the basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal and the Bank of Montreal building.

 

The desire to get outdoors is real in Montreal and in all seasons!

Montreal, the urban nature - a walk in the park: nothing like it to recharge your batteries!
Montreal, the urban nature - bright colors for the tulip season

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