An easy escape plan from Montreal city downtown? Move away from the center on the opposite direction from Mount Royal, cross the not-so-interesting Griffintown – just my personal opinion – and you will reach the water or the ice, depending on the season. Of course you are not yet on the Saint Lawrence River but in Bassin Peel. Follow the canal in the opposite direction of the old town. You may take a tiny break and enjoy the post industrial landscape, take a few pictures and join the stream of walking, running, cycling people or skiing in the winter.
I really like this flat area, the canal, the bike path and grass or snow in between. It’s a great escape path from the city downtown, perfect for jogging toward the unknown following the water and coming back later with the view on Mount Royal and the skyline.
Of course you may not be in a sporty mood; in that case, don’t worry: there are solutions and you don’t need to walk all along the canal. You can simply stop at the Atwater Market or for the more adventurous, go until the Terrasse Saint Ambroise, a local brewery with – you guessed it – a great beer selection and a lovely terrasse to enjoy your drink and the sun. The terrace being closed in the winter, you can still enjoy a hoppy drink indoors at the annexe located behind the terrasse.