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The Parc La Fontaine

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Located in the neighborhood of Plateau Mont-Royal, the Parc La Fontaine is a popular place for picnics, strolls, and laying out in the sun. This is among the city’s largest parks, at 84 acres, and on summer weekends, you’ll find nearly every square inch of it occupied.

Parc Lafontaine Montreal

During the course of a normal year, Montrealers don’t get to enjoy a lot of warm weekends. So when that rare trifecta of Sunny + Summer + Weekend hits, it’s not like they’ll be content to spend the day chilling on the couch and binge-watching television. Nope, they’ll be outside. And a healthy percentage of them will be at the Parc La Fontaine.

Originally named Logan Park, this green space has been a municipal park since 1874, when the city purchased what had previously been farmland. Because of its location in the eastern part of the city, it was mostly popular with Montreal’s French-speaking citizens, so in 1901, it was renamed in honor of Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, the first francophone Prime Minister of the Province of Canada.

Parc Lafontaine Montreal

Parc La Fontaine is certainly an attractive place. There are twin ponds connected by a waterfall, a cultural center, restaurant, volleyball courts, playgrounds, and a couple monuments, including one of a giant slingshot. But most of the park is just open fields and green spaces, where visitors can spread out their blankets and while away the afternoon hours.

Speaking of “attractive”… while Montreal isn’t necessarily better-looking than other North American cities, it seems to have a weirdly elevated percentage of acrobats, thanks probably to the influence of the Cirque du Soleil. And many of them seem to congregate in this park to practice. I wouldn’t suggest you visit La Fontaine to ogle these ultra-fit athletes… that would be creepy! But if you happen to be walking by… they don’t do any damage to the park’s aesthetic beauty, that’s all I’m saying.

Location on our Map

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Parc Lafontaine Montreal
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June 14, 2016 at 10:19 pm Comments (0)

The Chalet du Mont Royal and Kondiaronk Belvedere

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Usually, the first thing we do after arriving in a city is ascend to its highest point for a birds-eye view. But we waited a full month before heading up Mont Royal, the hill (sorry, “mountain”) which provides Montreal its name. When the weather finally cleared up enough, we found that the view was worth the wait.

Belvedere Kondiaronk

The first truly nice day of the year happened to be on a Saturday, and the Parc du Mont-Royal was packed, the paths which wind around the slopes as crowded as a city street during rush hour. But we joined the throngs of joggers, bikers and families, and made our way from the park’s eastern slope all the way up to the Chalet du Mont Royal, where there’s a large platform with one of the city’s best views.

We started our trek up the hill (mountain!) at the memorial statue to Sir George-Étienne Cartier, a Quebecois statesman who was the father of the Canadian Confederation: the 1867 union of the four colonies of Quebec, Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. From this plaza, a wide path called the Chemin Olmsted winds gently up the slopes of Mont Royal.

We reached the Chalet du Mont Royal after an easy half-hour walk. There’s a law in Montreal restricting the height of skyscrapers to 200 meters, so that they remain underneath the summit. As a result, the view from the chalet’s Kondiaronk Belvedere is outstanding. The viewpoint is named for the great Huron chief who was instrumental in forming the Great Peace of 1701, which arguably saved the city from being wiped out during the Fur Wars.

The Chalet itself is large and curiously empty. It’s a beautiful building, with wood-carved squirrels supporting the arches of the roof… and nothing inside, apart from a few chairs, bathrooms and vending machines. It seems like a wasted opportunity for there not to be a restaurant or at least a cafe inside this building. But regardless, it’s a nice spot to relax after the ascent. And with downtown Montreal laid out before you, the view couldn’t be better.

Locations on our Map: Sir George-Étienne Cartier Statue | Chalet du Mont Royal

Framed Photos Of Montreal

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May 21, 2016 at 2:37 pm Comments (0)
The Parc La Fontaine Located in the neighborhood of Plateau Mont-Royal, the Parc La Fontaine is a popular place for picnics, strolls, and laying out in the sun. This is among the city's largest parks, at 84 acres, and on summer weekends, you'll find nearly every square inch of it occupied.
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