Exploring The Entertaining Activities From Mount-Royal Park
Developed by Frederick Law Olmsted (who is also responsible for the Central Park from New York City), Mount-Royal Park is one of the representative landmarks of Montreal. It is a common meeting point for both locals and tourists, but also a natural oasis of entertainment and relaxation. The park is better known for the beautiful views of the city. It is established on top of a hill, so it provides a lot of different places to admire the surroundings.
A brief history of Mount-Royal Park
Mount-Royal Park was initially opened in 1876 with the one and only purpose to provide the natives with a clean environment for specific open air activities. Overtime, it has been through a series of changes. Back then, people used to rely on a railroad in order to reach on top of the hill and admire downtown Montreal. However, the trains ran for 33 years only, until 1918. Today, they have been replaced by a road going through the middle of the hill. Therefore, those who travel with personal or rented cars can drive up and enjoy the bird view. On the other hand, people who love engaging into physical activities can just walk the numerous paths leading to the top.
The various lookouts were raised in the early 1900s. The innovation came with a lot of unique monuments as well. For example, the St. John Baptist Society is responsible for erecting the huge cross overlooking the hill. It happened in 1924 and stands more than a hundred feet in height. It is one of the representative monuments of Mount-Royal Park and is intensively lit whenever the sun goes down.
Later on, the park has been enriched with a man made recreational lake, trails, an art center for enthusiasts and a theater, among many others. Moreover, a wide part of this park is now a world renowned NHS (National Heritage Site).
General activities around Mount-Royal Park
There are a lot of different activities to engage into around Mont-Royal Park, especially if the weather is on your side. Walking around and relaxing are some of the most enticing ones. You can read a book, have some fun with a few friends or just admire the city. You will be surprised to find out that although they can get there everyday, locals love to crowd the place on sunny days. Biking and hiking are some of their favorite activities, but water activities are just as attractive. From this point of view, paddle boating around the local lake is the utmost form of entertainment, especially if you end up with a few ducks around you too.
On the other hand, the wintertime can bring in even more joy. Both Canadians and tourists will love ice skating, tobogganing or skiing. Fortunately, you do not even have to bring your gear with you because the local cabins have everything you might need for rent – paddle boats, sleds, bikes or skis.
Exploring the Smith House
Mont-Royal Park or Parc du Mont-Royal (like the French like to say) is also visited for the Smith House, which is hosted on site. Years ago, the Smith House was an exquisite art center explored by anyone who enjoyed finding more about the cultural lifestyle of Montreal. Today, it represents an informational office for tourists who need to find out more details about the park. Whether you want to learn more about the park history or you are trying to get some maps, this is your first stopping point.
Aside from the beautiful Smith House, the park also has a couple of chalets for recreational foods and drinks. One of them is located at the bottom of the hill, while the other one is at the top. You can buy cold drinks, snacks, sweets and coffee.
As a short final conclusion, Mont-Royal Park is definitely a must-visit landmark in Montreal. It really makes no difference how limited your time is. It also does not matter if you plan to spend a lot of time in Montreal. Sometimes, skipping downtown Montreal and opting for some open air activities might be the most appropriate decision, especially if you have a few kids too. Besides, the entrance is free, so no one will charge anything for just hanging around.