camp site

Best Cities to Visit Around Montreal

While there are many great cities near Montreal that we excluded, we just had to pick our top 5. We hope that this list encourages you to visit one of these beautiful cities if you haven’t already!

 Mont-Tremblant

Known for being a snow sports haven and for its great national park, it’s an easy sell to any future visitors. During the summer, Tremblant is a great place for kayaking, biking, swimming, hiking and other outdoor activities.

Mont-Tremblant is about a 2-3hr trip from Montreal so you can easily plan a day trip if need be. If you’re interested for a longer time Tremblant has plenty to offer. From its mountain views to its quaint village design it truly does resemble a sort of Alpine dream village. The village features a variety of shops and nightlife that can make for a great night or weekend!

Photo by Jamshed Khedri

 

Baie-St-Paul

Most likely the least known location on our list, Baise-Saint-Paul is located in the Charlevoix region and is primarily known for its art galleries, various local product shops and great restaurant scene. It is regarded as a Quebecois cultural hub with many amenities to suit people of different tastes. The town is surrounded by mountain ranges where you can find multiple hiking trails if
that’s your thing! Baie-St-Paul is also home to quite a bit of farmland and you can actually visit these farms and purchase their local produce and products which are worth the trip alone!

 

Quebec City

Quebec City, Quebec’s national capital is probably one of the most famous locations here but with good reason. As some may know, Quebec City is a Unesco world heritage site and has about over 400 years of history to it. The city truly reflects this and also embraces while also embracing modernity creating a vibrant mix of charm.

Quebec City is known for a myriad of things including its unique French Canadian culture, historical sites, shopping, family activity, local food, bars while also providing the luxury of having nearby outdoors activities. It truly provides a hybrid flexibility to its visitors as there is always something to do regardless of the season or weather. Quebec City is also an incredibly beautiful city which attracts many photographers to work their magic.

Photo Benoit Debaix

Gatineau

Gatineau is one of Quebec’s major cities situated on the border of Quebec and Ontario. In fact it is only separated by the Ottawa river and once you’re there you can head over to Ottawa freely if you wish to do so!

Gatineau offers a unique urban vibe featuring a variety of restaurants, nightlife, local homemade products & crafts and microbreweries which are easily accessible by bike or walk due to its intricate paths. Among its other amenities it also features the Casino du Lac-Leamy, the Canadian Museum of History and Les Promenades Gatineau which is a huge newly renovated mall.

Photo Benoit Debaix

Montebello

Montebello is a city located at the eastern edge of the Outaouais region. It is mostly known for Le Château Montebello which is an extremely popular resort hotel and is the largest structure made out of logs in the world — truly a sight to see even if you aren’t staying there! The resort also has a track record of accommodating geo political leaders such as various American presidents and also played host to the G7 summit in 1981.

Photo by Pascal Bernardon

Away from the resort, and more in the city,  you can also find a whole heap of outdoor activities for all ages with an easily accessible main street which features small boutiques, microbreweries and restaurants. Montebello is also a popular destination for skiing, golf and boating and is also home to Montebello Rock which is an annual rock/metal festival usually featuring some big headliners.


Checkout related articles:

5 reasons to take a road trip to Quebec City

5 Best instagram photos of Montreal

Top 5 Quebecer Winter Comfort Food

Montreal is known to be a snapshot of European-inspired cities and this much like Europe includes its walkability factor. Montreal is an incredibly walkable city as it boasts beautiful sights and landmarks in which you can pretty much all access by walking!

Now, we don’t expect you to start walking around in the middle of a -20c January night,  there are better months suited to be comfortable and to fully maximize your walk-scapades in Montreal. We feel that the best months to visit Montreal would normally be from April to September to not only be able to enjoy all the cities wide amenities but also to see how incredible walkable Montreal really is.

Under normal circumstances, walking around during summertime would present a plethora of things to do whether it’s visiting markets, events, festivals or visiting some of our favourite spots!  For now, we have to settle with what we’ve got. The good news, however, is that Montreal has actually gotten even more walkable during the Covid-19 Pandemic as Mayor Valerie Plante has helped pedestrianize 3 of Montreal’s major streets which include St-Catherine during summertime, St-Laurent Boulevard, Mount-Royal Avenue, St-Denis and Christophe-Colombe with additional streets still planned to move towards a more walkable and bike-friendly city.

Montreal is also quite famous for our underground city which is basically a big walkable mall and is home to some great stores. This is also entirely accessible by foot and is also an alternative way to enjoy walking around Montreal!

Montreal has been slowly changing how Montrealers maneuver around the city and while there are pros and cons to everything we believe that getting your steps in especially with all of the sitting we’ve been doing is definitely a good thing looking forward!

view from the top of Mont royal

Best 5 spots to go for a walk, in Montreal

With a not-so-ideal summer ahead of us, it’s a good time to be cherishing the little moments of life that we can get. One of the best ways we find to accomplish this goal is to go on a solo walk or walk with friends and family at a great spot you may have never been to before. Taking in new sceneries is a great way to feel refresh your brain and feel like a tourist in your own city all and can make for a fun afternoon or evening out. Walking is also a great way to not only keep healthy so why not do it with some incentives! but it’s a good chance to be a tourist in your own city once again.

Here are the top 5 spots to go for a nice walk in the city of Montreal:

1. Old Port

Old Montreal offers a great place to walk around and discover where Montreal’s roots came from. The Old Port offers a little bit for everyone as its scenery is able to transport you back centuries as you walk through the cobblestone streets and get to discover historical landmarks such as Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal. If you want a break from walking there are also Segway tours, paddle boat tours, and a handful of different activities to do. At the same time, the Old Port is also home to some of Montreal’s trendiest restaurants, stores, and bars which we can all hopefully enjoy to its full extent once again. Our pro tip is to walk around and find the Queues De Castor and enjoy the sights!

2. Mount Royal Park

One of Montreal’s green paradises, Mount Royal Park is the classic Montreal park for amazing and most scenics of walks. Mont-Royal Park is a great place to bring your family and friends to spend an afternoon and while you can definitely have small gatherings for bbq or just general social gatherings there are also walking paths to follow to the top of the mountain. If you’re looking to keep yourself in shape or just going to take in some views Mont-Royal will not disappoint. Making your way to the top offers up great nature scenery on the trail and eventually leading to the top where you get one of if not the best view of Montreal.

3. La Fontaine Park

La Fontaine Park is one of Montreal’s most interesting parks to walk, as it is quite large and kind of like the Old Port, in the sense that there is something for everyone. For general walking purposes, it is a great place to come for a stroll because of its many places for shade, great views, and awesome gardens. It also features very spacious greenery and has enough room for picnics and gatherings which makes it a great place to bring family but also offers up sports courts for tennis and volleyball for those who are looking to get a dose of sports. La Fontaine Park is located in the Plateau district where you can find trendy bars and of course two of Montreal’s favorite restaurants La Banquise and Ma Poule Mouillée. A pro tip would be to take either to go and enjoy it at the park for an unforgettable day.

4. Lachine Canal

The Lachine Canal is another classic walking spot in Montreal. Once the industrial beating heart of Montreal, it is now been mostly abandoned and transformed into beautiful looking condos. The city has taken care of it quite a bit as they have really aim to develop the canal into something a little more modernized. The Canal usually has a lot of visitors and is a welcome place of relaxation from the usual hustle and bustle of the city. The Canal itself is a multi-functional attraction that is welcoming to many different activities. While it has a dedicated bike and pedestrian lane that can take you from the Old Port all the way until Lake St. Louis, there is also entertainment and activities to do along the way ranging from Kayaking to stopping by the Atwater Market. The Canal walk itself is a great way to spend a couple of hours and also has areas to do a small picnic so it is a great way to spend an afternoon while taking in the sights. While this doesn’t have nature’s endless bounties it offers people a different vibe. The view along the Canal offers up different cityscapes as well as learning some history along the way making it a truly unique scenic walking trail.

lachine canal

5. Maisonneuve Park

Maisonneuve Park is located in the east end borough of Montreal, right next to the Olympic stadium, and is also a stone’s throw away from Montreal’s Botanical Gardens. The park itself is an amazing space with a massive amount of room and is of course a great place to walk around. The park can sometimes feel so big because of its vast openness and its natural surroundings and at times gives a feeling of a peaceful secluded area to yourself.It is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening or just for a bit of solo time. The park is also very well maintained as it features tons of picnic benches, tables, sitting structures, and plenty of great places to rest under some trees. Overall it promises for a good day no matter what you go there for!

Park in Montreal

This summer, choose your own adventure, be active while you can still enjoy our beautiful summer weather, and explore different parts of Montreal with your own two feet.


Related posts:

Best Spots to Fly a Kite in Montreal
5 Favourite Spots for a BBQ in Montreal
Top 5 Provincial Parks Near Montreal
Top 5 Cross Country Ski Experiences in Montreal

Pokète Sweatshirts & Scarves | Finally Pockets for Women!

Product Feature: Pokète sweatshirts & Scarves

Montreal Designed Sweaters and Scarves

Pokète sweatshirts and scarves allow women to carry their own stuff in the most comfortable, practical and pretty way possible. In their very own pockets!  No need to carry a purse, just be able to go wherever and whenever, hands-free. Historically, most women’s clothing either have unusable pockets or none whatsoever which leaves them with nowhere to put even their most basic essentials! 

Women wearing a Pokète sweatshirts and scarves

Canadian Born Brand

Pokète is a new Canadian brand born out of the need for women to have functional and practical clothing and accessories with pockets. Its focus is on making women’s lives easier. The styling is timeless and great quality because women should love what they wear and be able to keep clothing for many many years. All styles feature hidden zip pockets to keep valuables safe. 

Inspired by Everyday Experiences

Pokète’s collection is inspired by a few common and everyday experiences. These include travelling (or not), taking the dog for a walk or going to play in the park with kids, all without having to drag an oversized bag. Also, wearing clothing and accessories with pockets that look great and are not clumsy or bulky is a nice addition to the wardrobe.

The Founder

Andrea Majnemer is the founder and “Head Pokèteer” behind the brand. She used her extensive years in the fashion industry to bring this idea to fruition. The lightbulb moment to jumpstart the project was her lifechanging cornea transplant that restored her vision. This event propelled her desire to see as much of the world as possible and instilled immense gratitude for her recovered independence.  She sees Pokète evolving into offering more items, ideas and services around making all women’s lives easier. 

 

 


 

The Products are useful in so many situations:Girl wearing Pokète sweatshirts and scarves

  • Run all errands hands free with a place to put your essentials (keys, credit card, ID and phone)
  • Hold someone’s hand without having to constantly adjust a purse strap
  • Play with your kids without a bag dragging you down
  • Going for a walk with your dog and always having a place for the “bag”
  • Have your passport and boarding pass readily available for airport security (when that happens again)
  • Commute to work with all you need in your pocket
  • Feel safe from pick pocketers with your valuables safely hidden on you
  • No need to dig under your seat or in an overhead bin for your earphones while traveling
  • Keep needed medications on you
  • Bike ride with a functional pocket
  • Go to music festivals and free up your hands
  • Any time you just don’t want to carry a purse! 

 

You can see all of Pokète’s styles on their website www.pokete.net

 

After surviving another cold, long and relentless winter, Montreal always finds a way to bounce back come summer. It almost turns into a different city when the heat rolls around. As Montrealers, we want to use all the energy we’ve been conserving from our hibernation and take advantage of any half-decent weather.

That being said, while there is a plethora of things to do in the rest of Montreal this summer, there is a black-sheep among the neighbourhoods on the island: the East-End. The East-End often gets overlooked by visitors and locals alike because it doesn’t have the flash and glamour that downtown Montreal and Old Montreal has, but you know what, that’s perfectly okay with us because the East-end is about getting back to basics and enjoying the simpler things in life!

 

Here are 5 of the best things to do this 2020 summer in Montreal’s East-End

 

  1. Food truck festival “First Fridays” at the Olympic Stadium

 

As the name suggests, the food truck festival named First Fridays takes place every first Friday of the month between June 7th to October 4th (June 7, July 5th, August 2nd, September 6th and October 4th) and operates between 4:00pm to 11:00pm.

There are many ways to access the festival grounds as well. You can go by car and make use of the underground parking at the Olympic stadium, but travellers be wary – there will be a fee. You can also travel by bike or Bixi, but the easiest way is to take the metro (green-line) to either Viau or Pie-IX station and take a short walk towards all the hubbub.

First Fridays is one of, if not the biggest collection of food trucks in Canada. That being so, the crowds are big and some lines tend to require a patient constitution, but fret not, it is totally worth the wait. It boasts 50 food trucks from around the city and as Montreal is known as a food haven you can expect some amazing eats from every one of them. The site offers 500 spaces to sit around at themed terraces to eat with a total of 3,000 seats available around the entire festival site. Just when you think it couldn’t get better, there is no entrance fee to join the festival!

With 50 food trucks available at your disposal It has a wide range of food options to satisfy any of those knacking cravings. From poutines, tacos, burgers, Asian cuisine and desserts there is something for everyone here. Based on past years they’ve also had many vegan options as well! 

If the food wasn’t enough to entice you, there is also the SAQ (Société des alcools du Québec) and a handful of microbreweries on standby that offer something to cool your throat to go along with the copious amount of food you definitely won’t be able to stop devouring. First Fridays are a perfect date spot or just a simple evening with family and friends. Eat drink and be merry we say and if that doesn’t call for a perfect summer evening in Montreal, we don’t know what does!

Food Truck in Montreal

Photo by Should Wang on Unsplash

2. Spend an afternoon or evening at Parc de la Promenade-Bellerive

Located in the Mercier-Est borough, Parc de la Promenade-Bellerive is one of the more unique parks located on the island. It is hard to believe that a park like this exists in the middle of Montreal. It really offers something for everybody and here are a couple of our favorite ideas on how best to spend your time here!

Biking

For those of you who want to take your bikes to the East-End make sure to take advantage of the bike path here. If you look at the park on a map, it doesn’t seem that you would be here long but it is bigger than the image suggests! The path is traditional in the sense that it circles the park but what sets it apart from the others is the incredible view as you bike alongside the St-Lawrence river. With boats passing by and the noises of it all, you can really get immersed in all of it. The park also has a lot of kite-flyers on nice days so you will have a great view for your entire bike ride. 

Picnic

For those preferring a more relaxing experience, why not spend the day outside and have a picnic! At the park, there are plenty of tables and gazebos in which you can bring a lunch or supper and enjoy it by the waterfront. You can eat and watch the boats pass by and enjoy some alone time and of course, you are encouraged to bring family and friends! 

Visit during the evening 

If you chose to go during the evening, you can sometimes catch local bands playing in the gazebos which can be a lot of fun as quite a bit of people end up showing up and having a good time. 

Park in Montreal

Photo by Krisztina Papp on Unsplash

  1. Take the Promenade Bellerive-Boucherville Ferry

If you’ve got more time on your hands and are looking for a bit more adventure, look no further! Bellerive park also provides you access to Charron Island!  At the southern edge of the park, you will find the ferry which will take you across. The ferry will run you about $10 Canadian and takes about 15 minutes to cross. Once on Charron island, you’ll have a few options on what to do! You can check out Longueuil Beach, A disk golf center or our top recommendation of visiting Îles-de-Boucherville National Park

Here you can really take advantage and do a ton  of different activities. From taking a picnic to biking, canoeing, and kayaking it can be a daunting task on what to do. Asking the friendly staff members or getting yourself a map of the island can help plan your day ahead. It also has quite a bit of wildlife to be found ranging from deer, birds, and beavers so if you have an interest in photography, this can be a great spot for you. The island is also big so be prepared with the essentials when arriving!

 

  1. Check out Village au Pied-Du-Courant

Village au Pied-Du-Courant is a very unique event that happens in the East-End during summer. It is located on Notre-Dame Street East, almost under the Jacques-Cartier bridge. The village started back in 2015 and was a creative way in which Montreal used its empty space. This reinvented public space was the product of many collaborators across the city that made this happen. It really has encouraged the communities to get together which creates a very attractive atmosphere to be a part of.

 

The village is a fantastic way to spend a day or evening, however, make sure to check the hours of operations as they still have not released the information. (Assuming they do the same hours as last year it goes as follows. Mondays to-Wednesdays they are closed. Thursday 4-9 pm, Friday 5 pm-12 am Saturday 4 pm-12 am, Sunday 3-11 pm). It is important to note that Pied-Du-Courant is absolutely free!

 

The village really has a beach-themed/boardwalk feel to it with features like (you are quite literally walking on sand) live music, barbeque, a bar inside, food trucks with various activities present on-site throughout the day. It is also very much a kid-friendly environment providing family spaces and activities for kids and family alike. During the day, it is generally accepted that it is for everybody of all ages as the vibe and environment changes a little as it gets later.

  

 During the evening you will have a bit of a different experience than earlier in the day. At night, the village slowly turns into more of a loungy party area, which is a great time if you are looking to let loose a little and have a unique date idea or outing with friends. A mix of the gathering people, the cool summer breeze, the atmosphere, and the view of the Jacques Cartier bridge, LaRonde and the St-Lawrence scream Montreal at its finest. If you truly want to round out your night out, plan to go on a Saturday night where LaRonde will have its fireworks show which is sure to create some great memories for Summer 2020.

P.S You are not allowed to bring your own alcohol and make sure to bring cash as they do not have debit or credit card machines on everything!

Village au Pied-Du-Courant

Photo by Jenns Johnssnon on Unsplash

 

  1. Saint-Leonard Cavern

For those of you wanting to do something different and adventurous have you ever thought of spelunking right here in Montreal, let alone right here in the East-End? That’s right, in the St-Leonard borough there’s a cave that was used as a weapons armory during the 19th century. It is now turned into an explorable cave in which you can visit and pay tour guides to take you around. 

The tour is short, but is very informative. It is something you never really think about doing, but once you actually try it out you realize how unique and enriching of an activity it could be. It’s a great experience for all ages and something else to knock off that bucket list. 

Here you have it, the 5 best things to do in Montreal’s East-End in summer 2020. As we all eagerly await another beautiful summer in Montreal, try to plan something new this year and come back to simpler times in Montreal’s East-End!