Parc Jean-Drapeau and HoMa: Green Itinerary

© Biosphère, Environment Museum - Biosphère, Environment Museum© Montréal Botanical Garden, Michel Tremblay - Montréal Botanical Garden© Espace pour la vie - Montréal Botanical Garden

© Biosphère, Environment Museum - Biosphère, Environment Museum

August 1st, 2012 – Parc Jean-Drapeau has two islands to offer: Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame. Accessible by a variety of means, including bike, rollerblades, and Métro (Jean-Drapeau Station), the area offers you the chance to relax on the beach, enjoy nature trails, have a picnic, and even attend an outdoor concert.

At the Biosphère, Environment Museum, you will learn about some of the major environmental issues related to water, air, climatic changes, sustainable development, and responsible consumption for future generations, and obtain information on activities around the Parc, like self-guided walking tours in which you navigate using a GPS (Global Positioning System) device that is pre-programmed with photographs, audio clips, and diverse information relating to 25 points of interest on the two islands.

Now, hop on the Métro and disembark at the Viau Station, where Montréal’s nature museums await your discovery. The Montréal Biodôme offers a close encounter with its four Ecosystems of the Americas (Tropical Rainforest, Laurentian Maple Forest, Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Sub-Polar Regions). If you are feeling peckish, you can have lunch at La Brise, the Biodôme’s self-serve cafeteria.

Next, head to the Montréal Insectarium, the leading museum devoted to insects in North America, which opens a window to the often misunderstood universe of creepy crawlies! Close by is the Montréal Botanical Garden. Visitors from across the globe come to marvel at its extensive collection of plant species, cultivars, greenhouses, and thematic and cultural gardens devoted to, among others, Chinese, Japanese, and First Nations cultivating practices. The Tree House, in particular, offers fun activities related to making humans aware of the roles that trees play in different aspects of our lives.

You have just been exposed to a lot of information, so why not pair your thoughts with a 4 to 8 Cocktail Time at the Garden’s terrace, where you can enjoy botanical cocktails, tapas, and local flavours.

Take the opportunity to experience Vélopousse, a shuttle rickshaw system that can accommodate a maximum of two adults and one child. The route has five stops and brings you to some of HOMA's major cultural, gastronomic, and community sites.

For supper, head to the Latin Quarter for some healthy food choices, as well as an atmosphere of unique examples of mid-19th-century Victorian architecture. Le Commensal, on Saint-Denis Street, is a vegetarian restaurant extending over three floors in an inviting and relaxing ambiance. Among its specialties are the apple and beet salad, avocados in vinaigrette with capers, seitan bourguignon, lasagna, grilled ginger tofu, and maple syrup pie.

The restaurant ZÉRO8, just up the street, offers allergen-free, gluten-free dishes for all palates with signature meals, including duck breast with risotto, and vegetarian lasagna, served in a contemporary, jazzy locale. The wine list contains over 40 international selections, enough to send you back to your accommodations on a happy note!