Parc Mont Royal

Parc Mont Royal, which rises 766 ft (233 m) over the city, is still largely as Olmsted designed it: an urban sanctuary for recreation, seclusion and contemplation. Much of it is dense forest, where small animals and birds make their homes. The Grand Chalet, a seigneurial-style hall built at its center in 1931, offers refreshments and respite and is often used for the city’s special events, as well as charity balls and other socials. The chalet’s terrace overlooking the city below affords a panoramic view of the St. Lawrence and even Vermont’s Green Mountains in the distance. Just 15 minutes west of the chalet lies Lac-auxCastors (Beaver Lake), where toddlers wade and children sail their toy boats under the watchful eyes of sunning parents. In winter, it’s crowded with skaters, who are joined on the mountain by crosscountry skiers and snowshoers taking advantage of the hills and trails along this “mountain”.

On the southern edge of the park is the Oratoire St-Joseph, dedicated to the patron saint of Canada, but in reality a memorial to brother Andre of SaintCroix, who healed miraculously. He was only beatified by the Church. The Oratci re is a place of pilgrimage for Andre is burried here. Nearby is the Musee Historique Canadien, a wax museum with historic figures and scenes. Nearby are the grounds of the University of Montreal. To the south of the Mont Royal is the district of Westmount (metro station: Atwater), whose park was designed in 1966 by Mies van der Rohe.

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