Mont-Royal, just west of downtown Montreal, is one of Montreal’s most recognizable landmarks. This hill is a tableau on which to watch the changing seasons, from spring blooms to changing autumn leaves. It’s also a great vantage point for a panoramic view of the city below.
1. Beauty’s Luncheonette
To truly appreciate Mont-Royal’s natural bounty, take a hike up to the mountain top after a fortifying breakfast at Beauty’s Luncheonette. This is not the place for a fancy brunch, but you’re guaranteed to be full after noshing on the classic bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese, potato latkes or blintzes.
2. Mount Royal Cross
Heading up the hill, you’ll see the iconic, 30-metre high Mount Royal Cross, erected as a monument to the city in 1924. At night, the cross is illuminated in white, but can also be lit in other colours to commemorate events and holidays throughout the year.
3. Mont-Royal Park
The mountain also contains Mont-Royal Park, one of the city’s largest green spaces. It was designed by famed landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted, who also worked on New York’s Central Park. Truly an all-season spot for nature lovers, there are many outdoor activities to participate in depending on when you visit -- from snowshoeing, tobogganing and horse-drawn sleigh rides in winter to jogging trails and a children’s playground in the summer. Birdwatchers can spot 20 bird species amongst the park’s many trees.
4. George-Etienne Cartier Monument
On the east slope of the mountain is the George-Etienne Cartier Monument, which plays host on summer Sundays to the "Tam Tam Jam." It’s quite a sight -- a hand-drumming circle where hundreds of locals and visitors alike join in to play drums together and dance.
5. Bernard and Laurier Avenue
After several hours on the mountain, head down the northeastern side to the chic Upper Outremont neighbourhood and hit avenues Bernard and Laurier to relax with some boutique browsing and a glass of wine.