Montreal has plenty of nature in and around the city to explore. Here are some of the most notable spots, from smaller municipal parks to big provincial parks.
The Top Parks in Montreal
This article contains a list of a variety of parks. Some of them are a lot bigger than others, some are near the city centre while others are a bit outside of Montreal. What ties them together is that they’re all worth visiting and are great places to enjoy nature.
Located at 3400 Trinitaires Boulevard in the Le Sud-Ouest neighbourhood, Angrignon is one of the biggest parks within Montreal’s city limits. The park is nearly 250 acres in size and contains around 20,000 trees. The design is modelled after the classic English gardens of the 19th century. There is a large lake in the middle surrounded by a number of walking paths, playgrounds and open areas. During the winter this is a popular spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
For more information visit the Angrignon Park webpage.
Iles-de-Boucherville National Park
Iles-de-Boucherville is a provincial park less than a 30-minute drive from the city centre, so it’s an easy spot to get to. The park is made up of five small islands sitting in the St. Lawrence River, making it a fairly unique location. Given its setting, Iles-de-Boucherville is quite popular amongst those who enjoy water activities. There are beautiful water routes for kayaking and canoeing, and for those who prefer to stay on land there are over 35 km of walking trails along with popular summer campsites.
To learn more click Iles-de-Boucherville National Park.
Located at 285 Gary-Carter Street, Jarry Park contains IGA Stadium which hosts the Canadian Open tennis tournament each year. The park might be smaller than a lot of the others on this list but it contains a wide variety of sports facilities. Along with tennis courts there are soccer and baseball fields, basketball and beach volleyball courts and an outdoor swimming pool. A number of picnic tables and large trees that provide shade makes this a popular spot for families.
To learn more check out the Jarry Park webpage.
Jean-Drapeau Park is most known for being the site of Expo 67, the World’s Fair held in the city in 1967. The park is made up of two islands on the St. Lawrence River right near downtown. One of those islands (Notre Dame Island) is entirely artificial and was made specifically for Expo 67. Today, the park is home to the Montreal Biosphere and La Ronde amusement park, and is also the site of the popular Osheaga and Montreal Snow festivals.
For more information see our Jean-Drapeau Park article.
A National Historic Site of Canada, Lachine Canal stretches over 14 km from the Old Port of Montreal through to Lake Saint-Louis. You can rent boats to explore the waters yourself, or take in the sights from the shore on a calm day or as a spectator for the annual dragon boats races. One of the biggest bike paths in the city follows the route of the canal, and the Atwater Market sits right next to Lachine in the Saint-Henri neighbourhood. The canal is a good place to skate in the winter as well.
For more information check out the Lachine Canal webpage.
La Fontaine Park
One of the prettiest urban parks around, La Fontaine is located at 3819 Calixa-Lavallée Avenue in the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood. The park is quite a popular spot to relax in the summer with a pond in the centre and plenty of grassy areas. There’s also the outdoor Théâtre de Verdure, an open-air theatre that puts on free shows in the warmer seasons. During the winter, the pond freezes over and becomes a much-used public skating rink.
To learn more click La Fontaine Park.
Another one of Montreal’s biggest city parks, Maisonneuve is split into three different sections. The main section (located at 4365 Sherbrooke Street East) is mostly an open-area with picnic tables and long, winding bike and foot paths, as well as a designated ice rink. The other two sections are a nine-hole golf course and a community garden. The biggest Saint-Jean Baptiste Day events usually take place in Maisonneuve Park, as well as an annual Ice Bike race during the winter.
For more information check out the Maisonneuve Park webpage.
Montreal Botanical Garden
This place does charge admission, but it’s important enough to deserve a mention. The Montreal Botanical Garden borders Maisonneuve Park at 4101 Sherbrooke Street East and is one of the most famous gardens of its kind in the world. It’s a National Historic Site of Canada and home to tens of thousands of different species of plants. For those who don’t want to visit the main site there are a few outdoor gardens around the grounds that can be accessed for free.
To learn more visit the Montreal Botanical Garden website.
Mount Royal Park
One of the biggest open spaces in the city at nearly 700 acres, this park sits on Mount Royal, the small mountain that serves as a Montreal landmark. The elevation makes the park a perfect place to hike and take in beautiful views of the city. During the winter there is plenty of tobogganing for people of all ages down the various slopes. The park itself was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, most famous for designing Central Park in New York City.
To learn more check out the Mount Royal website.
Oka National Park
Despite its name, Oka National Park is a provincial park, and not a federal one (although it’s still quite impressive). It’s located about 60 km from downtown Montreal, meaning it’s a bit of a drive to get there but can be done in under an hour. The park contains some of the best beaches in the region along with numerous walking trails and some historic sites including the Calvaire d’Oka shrine. For bird-lovers, Oka is also home to one of the biggest heronries in the province.
For more information click Oka National Park.
For more information on Montreal parks and nature visit the City of Montreal website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following: