Everybody loves parks. Montreal has plenty of them. The Maisonneuve Park is one of my favorites. A few kilometres east of downtown, it sits just a stone’s throw away from the Botanical Garden, the Insectarium, the Olympic Stadium, the Biodôme and the Planetarium, all interesting attractions in their own right.
The park has been named in honour of Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, co-founder of Montréal (along with Jeanne Mance). Located in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough, the park covers an area of 80 hectares (including the golf course, which occupies 18 hectares). To put things in perspective, Hyde Park in London covers an area of 142 hectares.
Fun for all seasons
Since the park is open year-round, it allows activities for all seasons: cycling, jogging, reading, studying, walking, cross-country skiing, ice skating, picnicking, kissing your significant other, playing with your kids and practicing martial arts, among others. It’s also the site of the Quebec’s National Holiday celebrations (the Saint-Jean Baptiste, or St. John the Baptist Day, on June 24th).
I used to live very close to the park and I spent countless hours riding my bike there. It was the place where I could forget about the daily routine. You don’t hear that much of the city’s noises once you’re in there, so it feels like a haven. For that reason only, the Maisonneuve Park deserves a visit.