Montréal Parks & Gardens, Canada
Montréal Botanical Garden
An oasis in the middle of the city for over 80 years, the Montréal Botanical Garden is recognized as one of the largest and most beautiful in the world. Its rich collection of 22,000 plant species and cultivars, its 10 exhibition greenhouses, Tree House, and some 30 thematic gardens including Chinese, Japanese, First Nations, traditional French, a rose garden make the venue exceptional. The scientists offer advice based on their leading edge research on using plants and trees in urban environments. Studies are also done here on using aquatic plants for waste water filtration and treatment systems.
The Gardens serve as Montréal's environmental watchdog with its public awareness campaigns aimed at more tree planting and managing and promoting green spaces. The staff also give information on specific topics such as how to grow a bonsai or African violet, garden pests, planting and pruning trees and shrubs and toxic plants. Solitary meditation, romantic rendezvous, guided tours, family get-togethers—these are just a few of the many ways to sample the delights of the Garden.
Mount Royal Park
Inaugurated in 1876, the splendid Mount Royal Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the highly skilled designer behind New York's Central Park and many other major parks in the U.S. It is an ideal site for admiring a wide variety of plants and birds or for enjoying outdoor activities. Les amis de la montagne offer a variety of services and activities that provide wonderful opportunities to discover the beauty and wealth of resources that the park has to offer, including the new permanent exhibition at the Maison Smith.
Spanning two islands in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, the Parc Jean-Drapeau is home to a multitude of facilities and recreational opportunities. This green oasis is a haven for sports, recreation, nature and culture. A network of multi-disciplinary trails–25 km (15 miles) of which are cycling paths–wind through a lush natural setting accentuated throughout by valuable public artworks and open up to magnificent panoramas of the river and the adjacent downtown skyline. Come summer, the park offers a beach, three heated outdoor pools, La Ronde amusement park, two museums and a casino. This exceptional location hosts a variety of festivals and events all year long.
Thrills, spills and bragging rights are what it's all about on a visit to La Ronde. Part of the Six Flags family of amusement parks, the facility, opened as part of Montréal Expo '67, features 40 rides and attractions, including the Goliath, one of North America's highest and fastest roller coasters. Check the thrill rating for each ride online before you arrive. At night, the 15-storey tower of Vol Ultime is illuminated by hundreds of multi-colored LED lights adding to the magic and excitement. This large amusement park, located close to downtown, produces and presents L'International des Feux Loto-Québec, the annual Montréal International Fireworks Competition. La Ronde also presents its annual Halloween Fright Fest every weekend of October.