Mount Royal Park
Montreal is most definitely one of the buzziest and energetic cities in Canada. There is always something going on and one will rarely find themselves being bored due to the vast amount of entertainment that the city has to offer. Despite what can sometimes seem to be a hectic environment, there are many places within the city where people can go to in order to find a bit more of a quiet setting. One of those places is Mount Royal Park.
Surrounded by buildings and city infrastructure and just North of downtown Montreal is a small mountain by the name of Mount Royal Park. As you have probably guessed by now, the name Montreal comes from Mount Royal. The small mountain, or what many consider a big hill, is made up of three peaks with the highest one being 233 m. It offers a number of activities to do both in the summer and winter time and because of this it is normally filled with people of different backgrounds many of who study at one of the universities in the city. Here are the most popular things to do at the park that you may experience as a student in Montreal.
At the bottom of the mountain is a green park where people spend their days hosting picnics, kicking footballs and throwing frisbees. On Sunday’s this park turns into what is known as Tam Tams, an informal free festival where people gather around to play/listen to drums and other instruments while enjoying the hot summer days with picnics and beverages. Tam Tams is an open event in which anybody can simply show up and claim their spot on the park to enjoy the beautiful day and good music. Normally it takes place around the George-Etienne Cartier Monument which is simply a large statue in the heart of the lower end of the Mount Royal Park. Montrealers, however don’t have to wait until Sunday to enjoy the mountain. People are able to do the 45 minute hike up the mountain whenever they please. If hiking isn’t something that appeals to you then you can also reach the top through either one of the many bike trails or by taking public transportation. Once at the summit, you will be rewarded with a lookout that provides what might be considered the best view of Montreal. At the lookout, viewers can see most of the city and it makes for an especially beautiful view at night. Other than the different lookouts, the top of the mountain consists of Beaver Lake and the Smith House. Beaver Lake is a man-made lake that includes a playground as well as a restaurant and a rental store for outdoor equipment. The Smith House is the heritage building in which goers can learn more about the mountain as well as the history of the city.
During the Winter the park has less to offer than in the summer but it still remains a great place to visit. Perhaps the most popular winter activity that involves the mountain is cross country skiing. If you don’t own a pair of skies that is not a problem since there are many place around the mountain where you will be able to rent a pair for the day. This is a fantastic way to move around the mountain and see the simple yet charming nature of it. Events are also hosted at Mount Royal such as snow tube and snowshoe racing. However, you don’t have to wait for their to be an event in order to enjoy these activities since the park is free to access. If these type of winter activities don’t interest you, then it is still highly recommended to hike up the mountain during the winter. Although it might be a bit more difficult due to the snow, ice and cold, the hike is still well worth it and is a huge contrast to doing it in the summer. At the top you will still get to enjoy the amazing view of Montreal, but this time the city will be a winter wonderland.