Classic Attraction: Parc Jean-Drapeau
A microcosm of Montréal’s eclectic tastes and fantastic cultural beacons, this 700-acre park is possibly the country’s most exhaustive family destination. The attractions spread out across Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame.
Here, you’ll have your pick of the iconic Expo ’67 geodesic Biosphere (an environmental museum), the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve racetrack (open to cyclists and pedestrians), La Ronde amusement park (from roller-coasters to teacups), English-style gardens, public art, a beach, an aquatic complex and a bevy of summer festivals.
“Old Montréal becomes an extension of my kitchen. I might start with a glass of champagne or an extra-dry martini on one of the six barstools at the Bartini in the W Montréal. Then maybe have some yummy Italian on the beautiful terrace at Da Emma. Or go to Accords, known for their very original concept of proposing a wine that goes with your food and one that does not… And, for some fresh air, I go to Place Jean-Paul Riopelle, named after the most famous Canadian artist, and enjoy the fire and water fountain.”
–Marie Saint Pierre, iconic fashion designer
“I love Murray Hill Park, ideally when the sun is almost setting. There’s a clock tower by the soccer fields, and you can go up on the balcony and see out over the whole park and the city around it. I’ve been going there since I was four with my family, and now I go there with friends because it’s so familiar and comforting. We just bring a blanket, grab a salad or something from Mimi & Coco or the fromagerie over on Rue Sherbrooke, hang out on the grass and have a picnic.”
–Nikki Yanofsky, jazz-pop prodigy and philanthropist
“My daughters and I have a great tradition. We take a breath of fresh air by climbing Mont Royal. What an experience! It’s incredible to think we have a mountain in the centre of the city. It makes us feel alive. We finish our day by having a picnic at ’Les tam tams du Mont Royal,’ [the locally loved Sunday music fest] by the Sir Georges Étienne Cartier monument. It’s pure fun!”
–Geneviève Grandbois, proprietor of Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois