Mount Royal is the hill standing to the west above downtown Montreal. Volcanic in origin, like the other Monteregian Hill sitting out isolated to the east above the St Lawrence Lowlands, monadnocks left over from an earlier age. There are three peaks to the hill though they are not particularly prominent – Colline de la Croix is the highest at 233 meters/764 feet surrounded by trees and planted with a huge communication tower that is somewhat truncated to make it easier for air traffic at nearby Trudeau International.
The hills are protected by a park that takes up roughly half of the ground – most of the other half is taken up by two large cemeteries. The University of Montreal drapes the western flanks with the Oratory of St Joseph to the south. McGill University hugs the eastern base separating the hill and park from downtown.
The park was designed by Frederick Olmstead of Central Park fame and was inaugurated in 1876 though many of his plans were omitted as the Park took shape. There are lots of trails, stairways and carriage-ways that meander through the forests. A couple of streets separate the park from the cemeteries – actually, the same street with a couple of different names. You can drive up and park in one of the lots on the summit plateau or you can leave the car behind and simply walk up from downtown or any of the other surrounding neighborhoods.
A huge illuminated cross stands on the north edge of the hill – 1924. There is a Beaver Lake dating back to 1938 – not the result of beavers but a work project for unemployed workers. The trails become cross country ski trails in winter. The main overlook is the Belvedere Kondiaronk -1906 – named for a Petun chief who signed a peace treaty with the French in 1701. The view from here is magnificent, especially on a sunny day in autumn with all that color! In fact, the hardest thing about the park – besides the many stairs – is getting a spot along the edge of the Belvedere to enjoy that view from!
Mount Royal is a large hill or small mountain in the city of Montreal, immediately west of downtown Montreal. The hill is part of the Monteregian Hills situated between the Laurentians and the Appalachians. The hill consists of three peaks: Colline de la Croix (or Mont Royal proper) at 764 ft, Colline d'Outremont (or Mount Murray), at 692 ft, and Westmount Summit at 659 ft above sea level.
The mountain is the site of Mount Royal Park, one of Montreal's largest green spaces. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also co-designed New York's Central Park, and inaugurated in 1876, although not completed to his design.
There was a section to drive to and view the Olympic Stadium. Although there were signs not to; many cars full of families arrived, filled the garbage cans and fed the three large and friendly raccoon.
The park contains two belvederes, the more prominent of which is the Kondiaronk Belvedere, a 100 year old semicircular plaza with a chalet, overlooking downtown Montreal. As of 2009, the Kondiaronk chalet's snack bar is being shut, there is a small gift shop, bathrooms and snack machines inside. There were Adirondack chairs to sit on and watch the sunset over Montreal.
Overlooking the plane town of Montreal, the hill of Mount Royal (that gave name to the city) is at the same time, the "lungs" and the best sightseeing point of it.
Small lakes and statues embellish this recreational area of Montreal
The park provides fantastic views of the city below, the best in town. It takes considerable effort to get up to the view points and you should not attempt it if you are not in shape but once up the views are worth the effort.
The first time I was in Montreal was in the middle of May, in 1996; I stopped there while driving back from Boston to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I was there again sixteen years later, in November 2012, for a professional conference - and on both occasions I climbed the big hill that gives the city its name.
Mont-Royal Park is an excellent place for a stroll. You're only a few minutes away from the commercial center of Quebec, but you have the feeling of being in the middle of an enchanted forest. (At least you do if you have a rich imagination.) There was a little more green in May than in November - but not all that musch more! Growing season in Montreal is short. (There is a way to drive up to the top, but to me that seems like cheating.)
Its a long but mostly manageable climb up to Mont Royal (not a mountain, just 692 feet high) and a good first thing to do in the city. There are great views of the city from up here as well as a nice park with trails. It is a quiet escape from the bustling city below.
If you are in Montreal on a Sunday, during summer time, you will be crazy to miss one of the greatest music gatherings or festivals ,held in Mont Royal park from 1pm till 6 pm.People just gather to play tam tam and dance, in a free spirited and energetic ambiance...DO NOT MISS IT !!
Another must-see in Montreal is the Lookout on Mount Royal. A few minutes walk from the parking lot gives you breathtaking view of the entire city. Last time I visited, they were shooting part of a movie there.
If you walk a little further down the dirt path, you will come upon the cross. This is lit up at night and can be viewed by most of Montreal.
The park was designed by Frederick Olmsted, the same designer of Central Park in NYC.
The Mont-Royal is the lung of Montreal. Located in the middle of the city, it is always the perfect place for a walk, a run, a bicycle ride, a picnic, to play a sport or simply admire the incredible views of this city on the two panoramic viewpoints.
Up on the Mont-Royal, there is two panoramic viewpoints. The one in front of the downtown area is called "the Chalet lookout". Here you have a magnific view of all the buildings, the St-Laurent river, the Montérégie region and, when there is a blue sky, a part of Vermont in the States.
If you come to Montreal for at least a week, take a break of all the action and come to admire this view.
Up on the Mont-Royal, there is two panoramic viewpoints. The one in front of the east part of Montreal is called "The Camilien-Houde lookout". Each day, many cars crossing the mount stop here to take a break and also take many pictures. There you have a wonderfull view of the Olympic stadium, the Jacques-Cartier bridge, the St-Laurent river, the Plateau-Mont-Royal and Mile-End districts. It is also possible to walk from the other viewpoint to this one.
At night, be sure to find many couples kissing. The perfect spot for a little love.
Mont-Royal is a hill that is immediately north of the city downtown.
The mountain is part of the Monteregian mountain chain situated between the Laurentians and the Appalachians. This hill (or small mountain) is just over 200 meters high.
I wonderful way to spend a morning is to take a slow walk up the meandering path to the summit of the mountain. At the top is a really nice view of the city Montreal. I was really happy to have walked my way up. Besides the huge viewing balcony, there are many gift shops and paths along the hill for walking.