The Green Side of Montreal (Quebec)

Montreal is a large city (Great Montreal is 4 million people) but it offers quite a bit of green space in its core, including Mont Royal, Old Port of Montreal, Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame.  We had the opportunity to go there this April for the day and I was hoping to share sunny, first of spring like photos but we we didn't have much luck.  It was a warm day, good for walking around but with the grey skies it didn't make for a great photo experience.  But it reminded me that we had a great visit in 2017 so I thought I'd share some of those photos.  And our recent trip has just made us more motivated to return to Montreal soon to see the city in a much more colourful state - stay tuned!

If you are going to Montreal and would like to enjoy some of the city's greener areas - here are some of our recommendations:


Cemeteries on Mount Royal  

The whole of Mont Royal is beautiful - lots of paths: paved, gravel & dirt and beautiful scenery including a lookout showcasing downtown and Lac aux Castors to enjoy - whether resting in the grass, walking around the water feature or enjoying food at the restaurant overlooking this blue gem.

Included in this "green lung" of the city are two cemeteries (Cimetière Mont-Royal and Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges) that offer accessible quiet streets where visitors can wander around enjoying the beauty of these two well landscaped areas.  These spaces are a truly wonderful urban ecological experience in this built-up city as they provide greenspace for a variety of wildlife including owls and other birds and foxes, groundhogs and many other mammals and also include many heritage trees.  (Stay tuned for a special blog post about the Trilliums we found hidden in a wood stand within one of the cemeteries!)  We access the beautifully landscaped memorial space from Voie Camillien-Houde and Remembrance Road but there are a few entrances for both of these cemeteries.



Many small Downtown Parks

I love stumbling across small squares and unique city parks when I'm a tourist in a new location - they are so much fun to find and delight in!  One park I always enjoy visiting in Montreal is Square Saint-Louis.  We discovered a few new ones on our 2017 visit, including the one pictured above (an unnamed park across from the inter-city Bus Station), Parc Paul Dozois and Victoria Square!  I'd also recommend exploring church courtyards - make a mental note of their locations so that you can wander by a few as you go to specific destinations that are part of your city tour.

- Lovely sculpture in Parc Paul Dozois -

- Beautiful shaded space in Parc Paul Dozois -

- Domtar's landscaped front entrance (as of 2019 - no longer a park) -

- Small Park with Sculptures near Quartier des Spectacles -

- Beautiful Church Courtyard -

- Victoria Square (close to a favourite gelato spot of ours!) -



Old Port of Montreal

As mentioned in my other blog post about Montreal (2017) - it's such a lovely walkable and bikeable city and a wide multi-use pathway lines the port area and links to other areas of the city including the Lachine Canal (which we visited this April).  There are lots of big beautiful trees, lots of places to stop and rest, and a pond (bassin) to enjoy a stroll around.  We even spotted a Spa on the water (Bota Bota) and there were many sunning themselves on the deck!  What a great way to relax outdoors! 

- Red-winged Blackbirds in the heart of the city! - 

- Beautiful Treed Port of Old Montreal - 

What have been some of your favourite green finds when you visit other cities?

Check out our other "urban green" city tours here:



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