Mount Royal Park
Camillien-Houde Drive and Remembrance Road
Submitted by: Sarah Dougherty
This urban park is located smack in the middle of Montreal on 545 hilly acres.
Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year as a formal park, Mount Royal Park was originally laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted. It is heavily used year-round by walkers, ice skaters, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, bird watchers, tobagganers and miniature sailboat enthusiasts. It is also a place for cultural events including concerts and art exhibitions. A lookout at the top offers a panoramic view of the whole city.
What Makes Mount Royal Park a Great Place?
This park is easily accessible by foot, bike or public transport. There is also parking that is pretty unobtrusive. You can see the mountain from most points in the city, so it is a natural magnet for anyone looking for exercise or just fresh air. Paths have been thoughtfully laid out to allow people to join a crowd or be alone in the woods. The mountain reaches to the city streets with entrances on all sides.
Well - I have never heard of much crime on the mountain, mostly because it is so heavily used. The three public buildings - an art/cultural centre, a recreation /cafeteria building and reception hall - have been renovated or are in the process of being renovated. One, dating back to 1858, is a lovely stone building. Great care has been taken to plant different kinds of trees, shrubs and flowers and prevent or repair erosion. There is also lighting for walking, skiiing etc at night.
People use the mountain to walk, bike, dog walk, ski, skate, snowshoe, bird watch, tobaggan and see the mounted police horses. Educational activities are offered for school groups. A cultural centre offers historical and art exhibits. A large hall on top of the mountain is used for concerts and public receptions.
As I've mentioned, people from all over the city come to the mountain. It is probably the first place they think of going when they want to really get a taste of fresh air without leaving the city. Because it draws people from all neighbourhoods, it is a great classless meeting place where all sorts of languages can be heard.