Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Empire State Building in New York City, Mount Royal (Mont Royal—pronounced mawn-row-yal in French) is a natural landmark in Montreal. The year-round public park also rewards those who make their way to the summit with a wonderful view of the city. The Mont Royal summit has a lookout and park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, famous for his work on Central Park in New York City.
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Mount Royal Highlights
Mount Royal Park has many historic sites, picnic spots, and scenic areas, especially around Beaver Lake.
- The Smith House is a heritage building that offers education and reception services to visitors. This entry point to Mount Royal Park also has the Café Smith restaurant-terrace.
- Beaver Lake (Lac aux Castors) has a man-made lake where you can also find a playground and pavilion with a restaurant-bistro and seasonal rental counter for outdoor equipment.
- Lookouts: Camillien-Houde Drive, Kondiaronk (Chalet), and the Crags Trail.
- Bird feeder Circuit: Birdwatchers should walk the circuit that runs along Olmsted Road from November to April for prime wildlife viewing.
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Don't miss the Tam Tams—an outdoors drum jam—on Sunday mornings between May and October at the east base of Mont Royal, around the monument to Sir George-Étienne Cartier. Don't be surprised if you detect a certain herbal smell wafting through the air; the crowd tends to be diverse but heavy on the hippies.
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Getting to Mount Royal Lookout
There a number of options for getting to Mount Royal and the lookout, including walking, biking, taking a bus, or driving. Consider the time you have to spend and your fitness level and mobility when deciding.
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Walk to Mount Royal Summit
Several walking paths and Olmsted Road lead to parc du Mont-Royal (Mount Royal Park). Walking to the summit of Mont Royal is about a 45-minute walk. Mount Royal is clearly visible from anywhere in downtown Montreal, so if you head up almost any hill and you’ll eventually run into one of these paths.
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- Walk up Peel Street and choose from a meandering path known as the “serpentine” road or a more direct route.
- Meet up with Olmsted Road via Park Ave. (Avenue du Parc) at the corner of Rachel
- From Côte-des-Neiges Road, via the Trafalgar staircase or Remembrance Road
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Bike to Mount Royal Summit
Olmsted Road has a wide bicycle path that starts at the George-Étienne-Cartier monument on Park Avenue. Rachel St. links it to Montreal’s network of bicycle paths.
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Bus to Mount Royal Summit
The No. 11 bus (STM bus schedule) runs to the summit of the park from Metro Mont-Royal and Côte-des-Neiges Road.
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Drive to Mount Royal Summit
Take Camillien-Houde Drive or Remembrance Road. Parking is located by Beaver Lake, the Smith House, and the Camillien-Houde look-out for a small fee. Parking is available on some of the streets around the park.