Possibly THE most popular tourist attraction in Montreal is the view of Montreal city in all its glory from the observatory at the top of Mont-Royal. Funnily enough, I stumbled across this view! Although it was on my ‘to-visit’ list, I hadn’t envisioned visiting it that day. As I was casually walking around downtown, I came across the park and found myself following the steps up to the top! I had walked from McGill university towards what appeared like the back entrance of the park.
The further I walked, the quieter the city became, and the more distant the hustle and bustle of city life felt. It was as if I was all of a sudden in the country, a less urban area. This is amazing in itself, considering Mont-Royal is located in the heart of Montreal’s island. As I approached the trail of stairs steeply spiralling upwards, I came across MANY runners pacing up and down the stairs. Kudos to them, I couldn’t even walk up them without panting, let alone run up and down repeatedly!
The path upwards was very obvious and easy to follow (mentally follow – not physically!). It was very clean and simply a fresh of breath air (literally). As I walked up with ease of course, I paused multiple times (to take photos obviously). I have since discovered that the number 11 bus takes you up close to the Mont-Royal observatory (from Mont Royal metro station), saving you from trekking up. Once I reached the top, the view was absolutely phenomenal! It was one of those moments where you and your thoughts pause in order to absorb the beauty in front of you! In comparison with the skyline of Toronto, Montreal seemed to have a significantly fewer number of sky scrapers and condominium-style buildings.
Surprisingly, I didn’t even get the chance to take many photos as I was so engrossed in taking in the view – truly spectacular! The area around the observatory was not too busy and relatively empty for a hot tourist attractions. There is a small cafe and an outdoors piano where anyone from the public can sit and play a short piece. Overall, I absolutely LOVED exploring Mont-Royal and would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Montreal.
As you can see from the map in the first image, Parc du Mont-Royal covers a very large area. I was able to capture some beautiful pictures of the sunset across Montreal from the other side of the observatory (close of University de Montreal). I stalked the sunset for about an hour and captured the image on the left just before sunset, and the image on the right just after sunset. Truly amazing!
Whenever I visit a new city, one of the first things I like to do is go up a really tall building and get an overview of the skyline – who else seeks this view in every city they visit?
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