July 4, 2011 — A natural landmark, Mount Royal rises majestically above the city, a symbol of Montréal’s heritage and a four-season urban playground for all to enjoy. Boasting 190 hectares (110 are forested), 20 species of mammals, 180 species of birds, 20 km of cross-country ski trails, 3 exceptional buildings and public art sprinkled throughout, it’s no wonder that Mount Royal Park welcomes more than 4 million visitors per year. You make it 4 million and two! Let’s go!
Start your day with a walk (or bike, or snowshoe, or ski, or drive) up a mountain! Clearly visible from anywhere in downtown Montréal, Mount Royal (or simply the “Mountain”) is easily accessible: from downtown, take Peel Street, or from the Plateau, take Du Mont-Royal Avenue to meet one of the many paths to the top. Don’t forget to pack a picnic for a romantic lunch under a tree and away you go!
Walking to the summit of Mount Royal is a gentle grade of about 7 km, or approximately a 45-minute walk. Along the way, you will come across the Kondiaronk (Chalet) look-out that offers a stunning view of the city. On clear days, you can even see the Adirondacks! Beaver Lake is a man-made lake where you will find a playground, a pavilion, restaurant and restroom facilities and seasonal equipment rental. In the winter, the Lake is wonderfully maintained for outdoor ice skating; in the summer, it is overtaken by carefree pedal boats.
Starlight snowshoeing, complete with guide, is also available in the winter. On St. Valentine’s night, sparkling wine and chocolate are included to make the excursion even more romantic.
Summer Sundays on the Mountain mean Tam-Tams. Join the rhythmic bohemian fun as the tribal beat draws all walks of life together to drum, dance, and enjoy their city.
After your morning of fresh air, continue your walk up Du Parc Avenue until you reach Laurier Avenue West. Turn west, and get ready for some fabulous shopping! The street is lined with chic boutiques, art galleries and restaurants, as well as an amazing array of gourmet food stores and upscale kitchenware shops. Be sure to check out Boutique Royer with its one of a kind or limited editions – glassware, jewellery, ceramics, etc - created by local artists.
You’ll find many fine dining choices on Laurier Avenue; try Leméac for an upscale, Parisian feel. Afterwards, head a few steps north to classy Bernard Street to share a delectable pot of chocolate fondue or a cocktail at L’Assommoir. And of course, no summer evening in Montréal is complete without a gourmet ice cream from Bilboquet!