Mount-Royal (Mont-Royal) is a large hill located in the middle of Montreal. At 234 meters, Mount Royal is the highest point in Montreal. It is affectionately called The Mountain by Montreal locals. Montreal is named after this 761 foot hill, which also houses the famous Mount-Royal Park (Parc du Mont-Royal), one of Montreal’s largest green spaces. From the top of Mount-Royal, you will get some impressive views of downtown Montreal and the surrounding area.
Mount-Royal: Perfect Views of the City
Some of the most stunning views of the city of Montreal can be found atop of Mount-Royal. Mount-Royal provides two stunning panoramic viewpoints of the city of Montreal. The viewpoint overlooking Eastern Montreal is known as The Camilien-Houde lookout. From this viewpoint, you can see famous attractions such as the Olympic Stadium, the Jacques-Cartier bridge, the St. Lawrence River, as well as the Plateau-Mont-Royal and Mile-End districts. This is the spot where most of the stunning pictures of Montreal are taken. The other viewpoint is known as The Kondiaronk Chalet lookout. From this viewpoint, you have a terrific view of Montreal’s downtown buildings, the St. Lawrence River, the Montérégie region and, on a clear sunny day, a part of Vermont in the United States. From this lookout, you can even see the fireworks competition in the summer.
Design of Mount-Royal, Beaver Lake and the Mount-Royal Cross
Designed by architect Frederick Law Olmstead (the same guy who designed Central Park in New York City and Cherokee Park in Louisville), Mount-Royal was officially designated a park in 1876. Mount-Royal features a cross known as the Mount Royal Cross. It was first placed on the Mountain in 1643 by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, the founder of the city of Montreal. Mount-Royal also contains a large man-made lake called Beaver Lake (Lac aux Castors). During the winter, Beaver Lake offers a great skating rink with a large heated pavilion beside it that includes restrooms, a changing area and a restaurant.
Access to Mount-Royal
You can reach Mount Royal by car, public transportation, bicycle or on foot. There are various public buses that pass through Mount-Royal and there is even a Metro station called Mount-Royal. On top of Mount-Royal sits a large beautiful family park known as Mount-Royal Park (Parc du Mont-Royal). Mount-Royal Park happens to be Montreal’s largest and most accessible park. Mount Royal also contains two large cemeteries. Because it is located in the middle of downtown, it is a very accessible park. Many hikers often take hikes from downtown up to the mountain. Mont-Royal is also quite popular with cyclist and roller-blade enthusiasts. Mount Royal has many trails for hikers and cyclists. You’ll find people biking, walking their dogs, jogging, rollerblading , picnicking families, nature lovers and so much more. During the winter, many people use Mount-Royal to practice cross-country skiing on the many trails available in Mount-Royal Park.
The Mount-Royal Cross
The Mount -oyal Cross, located atop of mount Royal, is one of the most recognizable symbols of Montreal. This cross has stood proudly over the mountain southern area since the earliest days of Montreal’s existence. It was originally placed there by Maisonneuve, Montreal’s founder to thank God for having spared the colony from a flood. The current cross that sits atop of mount Royal was built in 1924, and lights up Montreal’s Mountainside with nearly 240 lightbulbs.
Tam-Tam Jams on Mount-Royal
Every Sunday during the summer, Montreal locals gather on Mount-Royal Park for what is known locally as the Tam-Tam Jams (Tam-Tams). Tam-tam jams feature a large crowd of people sitting around playing hand drums and enjoying the summer sun. However, the event is not limited to just drums and dancing. You’ll find many musicians, dancers and artists of many disciplines having fun in Mont-Royal Park on Sundays.