Parc la fontaine
Parc La Fontaine might just be the best-kept-secret for McGill students who want to explore Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood. Considered by many to be the most peaceful of the city’s large parks, it is only around a 20-minute walk from campus. Whether or not you agree, it is a picturesque park with plenty to offer for a fun day outside the campus bubble
3819 Avenue Calixa-Lavallee, Montreal, QC, H2L 3A7
Location in Montreal: Plateau
Distance From McGill: 20 minutes
Summer Activities: Outdoor tennis, playing field with recreational sports equipment, cycling, in-line skating, hiking trails, live shows at the amphitheatre,
Winter Activities: ice skating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, snowmobiling,
Overall Amenities: massive fountain, rental kiosks for activities, body of water, large walking trails, tremendous environmental location, panoramic view, free wifi
Food and Drink: on-premises restaurant and cafe, picnic area, BBQ friendly, snack bar, nearby many other restaurants in the Plateau district
Covering an expansive 89 acres and including two human-made ponds joined by an incredible waterfall, La Fontaine is a lovely spot to get a calm breath of fresh air. Its peak time of year may be in autumn, when the trees’ glorious fall colours are in full view, but it is a beautiful place to take in no matter what season. The park is bordered on the north and west by attractive Victorian homes and tree-lined boulevards, making the journey to La Fontaine much more rewarding. Overall, if you need a break from your chaotic school schedule, look no further than Parc La Fontaine! Get pumped for an array of fun activities you can do with friends while basking in the beauty of this landscape in the Plateau area.
Parc La Fontaine offers many different activities throughout the year. These include taking a walk down one of the many paths (or cycling and in-line skating, if that’s more your speed) as well as swimming in the outdoor pool during specific seasons. There are multiple baseball diamonds and tennis courts and plenty of spots to kick a soccer ball or toss a frisbee. From spring through summer, you can enjoy a variety of free entertainment at the park's outdoor theatre, including movies, musical performances, and other art displays. If you would like to take advantage of the bike trails, rent a BIXI Bike from any of the seven stations located around the edge of the park.
During the winter months, the skating is impeccable, with a rental service available on the property so you can take your friends for a fun study break. One of the ponds also features a fountain highlighted with coloured floodlights at night for a real sight to behold! The rink does become a popular attraction during the weekends, so if you have some time in between classes, try to seek out this slice of fun during the weekdays when the weather is solid.
Montreal park life and picnic culture are exceptional, but during COVID-19 times, these great big glorious public green spaces have become more important than ever for some outdoor time away from online school. If you're out here, remember to maintain 2 meters of distance and bring a mask so you can be respectful of other people's health and comfort. Aside from that, you can continue to enjoy the shade and bask in the leafy sun!
Food and Fun
Parc La Fontaine is the perfect spot for a picnic! Bring takeout from any of the incredible restaurants within a 10-minute walk on streets such as Boul. Saint-Laurent and Rue Saint-Denis, or look for food at the park. Espace La Fontaine is a charming café/resto in the heart of the location, which has light café options mixed in with plenty of takeout choices if you are hungry for something a bit bigger. If you’d rather eat on the way to the park, the Plateau food scene offers many hidden gems. La Banquise is just around the corner, which is a comfy place to grab some poutine and enjoy the atmosphere."
With all of these amazing amenities, it is weird that Parc La Fontaine is still known as a hidden gem to many incoming freshmen. Now that you know about this hidden slice of fun in the Plateau area, consider visiting it the next time you have the need for a change of pace from school life!