If you are visiting Montreal and I highly encourage you to do so, it’ll be difficult to miss the mountain smack middle of our city. What you may not know is that we got a lake up there that can be on your places to visit in any season of the year.
This man-made lake was constructed on an existing swamp and we have the beavers to thank for the name, as their dam was discovered during the work. Although you won’t see any beavers up there now. The lake was designed by Frederick Todd and it has been a place of gathering for many Montrealers since 1938.
[The Lake is ] “Long about 200 metres (660 ft) of 150 metres (490 ft), Beaver Lake is shaped like a four-leaf clover. Shallow, it is emptied in winter to serve as outdoor rink. The surroundings of the lake are equipped for various recreational activities: skating and sliding in the winter, vast lawns summer.” – wikipedia entry
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In the warmer months of the year, you can lounge on the grass surrounding the lake and soak in the sun or perhaps get a BBQ going with friends and family. And of course, there is always the paddle boats you can rent and meander your way around the ducks and swans in the lake.
One of my favourite times to go up to the lake is in the fall when the air is crisp and trees have been painted with beautiful red and golden colours.
Beaver Lake, one of Montreal’s gems adorably tucked away at the top of Mount-Royal. It’s so beautiful, it almost makes you wonder who thought it would be a good idea to name it “Beaver Lake.”
Forget the fact that I’ve been hanging out there my whole life and have never seen a beaver. I’ve seen plenty of raccoons but “Raccoon Lake” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
But never mind all that, take a look at how gorgeous Beaver Lake can be in the Fall though the eyes of legendary Montreal photographer Eric Branover:
If snow, ice, and the chilly weather is your thing (I prefer to hibernate), you can go up to the lake for some skating as they empty the lake during the winter months of the year.
It’s true that winter in Montreal can be kind of harsh. But we’re Montrealers; we’ve been dealing with winter for a while, so we know how to do it right.
And there’s nothing more right in the wintertime than going for a skate, TBH. Montreal has tons of skating rinks to glide through; but honestly, none are more quintessentially Montreal than the one at Mount-Royal’s Beaver Lake.
How To Get To Beaver Lake
You can drive up to the lake and there is paid parking available.
The address is :
1260 chemin Remembrance Montreal H3H 1A2 (the gray box just off Chemin Remembrance located to the left of the lake is the parking lot)
My favourite way of enjoying any city is by walking and Montreal is definitely a great city for that. You can get to the lake easily by walking up the hill from downtown. There are trails that will lead you up the mountain and eventually to the lake and are very well marked.
- Peel Street ends at Avenue des Pins and you will see a path leading up to the top. You’ll have two options here, you can either take the meandering path known as the “serpentine or use the stairs. This is my favourite walk up the mountain and perhaps it has to be with the fact my husband proposed to me just at the start of the trail many many moons ago 🙂
- Another path that will lead you to the top starts at Avenue du Parc at the corner of Rachel
Hope you enjoy your visit to our beautiful city and do tell us about your favourite spots.