We took advantage of the sun and Kasm’s “pedogogical” day and decided to get a nice long walk in the city today. So as promised here’s an “off-the-beaten-path” route in one of the neighbourhoods we love.
We started the walk at the Mont-Royal Metro station (Orange line) . The Metro system in Montreal is pretty simple to navigate. When you exit the metro you will be on Avenue Mont-Royal. This is one of the “most” happening streets in the city. Full of funky little shops, cafes and restaurants. I love walking on this street as it’s a feast for the eyes!
Be prepared for the smell of delicious Portuguese roast chicken to tickle your senses as you walk out of the metro! Scooby snack !!!! But no…. Must walk first.
Ok enough about that.. let’s get our walk started!
Take a left on Avenue Mont-Royal and walk towards the Mountain. You can’t miss it! Big giant mountain in the middle of the city. At this point you get to decide how you want to do this walk, stop at every corner and snap photos, find a cool little place to have a bite to eat, maybe do some shopping, or just simply walk and soak in the surroundings! We love to do all those things!
If you feel the need for a caffeine boost to walk up the hill, why not stop by this little place – Café La Distributrice and get yourself a java for the walk! We didn’t try it so I can’t give you a review but it looked like a cool place and gets decent reviews. I tried to be discrete taking this photo. Snap and run!
Now that you are well caffeinated, start making that trek up the hill. Keep an eye open for some cool graffiti in the alleyways. I think they are worth a pause!
By this point you should be crossing rue Drolet. That’s when you are going to see the somewhat bizzare artwork above. To your left just before rue Henri Julien you’ll come across Patisserie Au Kouign Amann, one of the BEST pastry shops EVER… Notice the CAPS. Yup, that is on purpose. They make this layered butter and sugar cake which is heavenly. I highly recommend a pit stop here. It’s tiny, so chances of getting a table is pretty slim but you can get yourself a treat to enjoy at the end of the walk.
By now you’ve had your coffee, a little yummy snack in the bag for later, so let’s keep walking. You should be getting close to St. Laurent street. The walk from the metro to St-Laurent Blvd shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes but with all the little stops, it will probably have taken you a little longer.
But before you hit St-Laurent. There are still some neat sites to enjoy.
This is a vegan restaurant. They make amazing Falafal sandwiches. Don’t forget to get one of their cookies. The ChocoChipMonk is delicious.
These balconies looked rather inviting. I wouldn’t mind sitting there sipping a glass of wine and do some people watching.
Little yellow store on Mont-Royal featuring a selection of records, DVDs, magazines & music memorabilia
By now you should be crossing St-Laurent. There will be a Tim Hortons on the corner. Let’s called it a “Canadian” landmark even though the company is no longer Canadian. Next major street you’ll be crossing is St-Urbain but before you get there , you’ll notice a little shop called Curio. Why not stop in and check it out. They have some pretty cool stuff.
Cross St-Urbain street and continue your walk up the hill. The next major street you’ll cross is Parc Ave. You’ll notice the mountain to your left. It’s pretty impossible to miss. You’ll want to take a right on Chemin de la Cote Sainte-Catherine. We’re going to do a little meandering through a residential area, the town of Outremont. You’ll be coming across some pretty nice mansions. Continue down this street for a little while and take a left on Ave Fernhill just after the Lebanon Consulate. I don’t have a picture of it to post here but it’s a pretty impressive building. The walk up Fernhill is rather steep but it’s worth it. You’ll notice how suddenly serene it becomes. You’ll feel like you are out in the countryside by now. It’s amazing that all you have to do is walk 10-15 minutes and you can get away from the bustling busyness of the city!
Fernhill will eventually meet back up with Mont-Royal. Once you get back on Mont-Royal turn right and continue down the road for a little while. Spring has barely arrived here so not a lot of green to be found. This path might look a little different in the summer time once the trees are in full bloom
Now that you’ve seen a No-so-appropriate graffiti and taken a photo of it, continue down the path and take a right on Ave. Gorman. The homes you’ll encounter on this walk are stunning. They seem to have the best of both worlds! On one had, just minutes walk from one the hippest areas in Montreal and on the other, they have the serenity that only countryside can offer.
Take a left on Maplewood and continue down the street.
Keep an eye open for a set of stairs on the right hand side of the street across from 51 Maplewood. Go up the stairs and take an immediate right. You’ll be on a little alley called Ruelle Maplewood. We came across this tiny alley few years ago and I just fell in love with it. I was thinking how cool it would be to live there until I saw the house prices. I’ll stick to the South Shore, thank you!
The Alley ends at McCulloch where you’ll want to turn left towards the woods. At the end of the street it meets up with Mont-Royal. Cross the street onto the trail which we’ll be taking towards the Park
The trail should be much greener in the summer time. This part of the walk took a little longer for us as Kasm had some rock inspecting to do. He was pretty excited to find some fossils in the rocks. More for his collection!
And of-course one must climb some broken trees.
Continue on the trail which runs parallel to Mont-Royal Rd. You’ll need to exit the path at the corner of Mont-Royal and Camillien Houde Way and cross the street to get back on to the path again. Be very careful here – crossing can be dangerous, fast traffic. Once you are back on the path you’ll come across a three-way sign. Follow the directions towards Rachel.
This path will bring you to the Monument in the park. Now it’s time to take a little break and enjoy that treat you got yourself at the Kouign Amann. This place is pretty popular on Sundays for Tam-tams, a gathering of drum players, dancers, vendors and visitors of all sorts. I highly suggest doing this walk on a Sunday and time it to be around the monument early afternoon to enjoy the festivities.
Alright, I think it’s time to head home. You have a couple of options. You can go back to Mount-Royal street and walk to the metro or cross the street in-front of the monument and walk down Rachel. It’s not as exciting as walking on Mont-Royal but a nice way to see another part of town. That’s what we did and came across this art work on Rachel. Now we know where we can park our Piano
We walked down Rachel to St. Denis and back to Mont-Royal Metro with a quick stop at Menchies as per Kasm’s request for an ice cream treat.
Hope you’ll enjoy this walk as much as we did. Be sure to let us know how it was.