Mount Royal is Montreal’s “mountain” located right in the middle of the island. Mount Royal (French name: Mont Royal) is where Montreal acquired its name. At 234 meters, Mount Royal is not actually a mountain but a large hill. Even though it’s a hill, it is still the highest point in the city; in fact, no building is allowed to be taller than this hill. It is often referred to as “The Mountain” by locals and consists of 494 acres of forest and paths.
Mount Royal is a beautiful green oasis in the center of Montreal. Every visitor, tour bus, senior group, student field trip, boy scout troop, and young lover eventually stops for a visit to Mont Royal. It’s a quick, easy drive and the views are spectacular. The mountain contains two lookouts: one looking East over the St. Lawrence and the other, overlooking the Downtown Montreal Skyline.
Some of the best views of Montreal can be found on Mont Royal. The two panoramic lookouts on Mont Royal provide breathtaking views of the entire city. The “Chalet lookout” overlooks Montreal’s downtown core. This lookout provides amazing views of all the downtown skyline, the St-Laurent River and the Montérégie region. The lookout overlooking the Eastern part of Montreal is known as the “Camilien-Houde lookout”. This lookout provides wonderful views of the Olympic stadium, the Jacques-Cartier bridge, the St-Laurent river, the Plateau-Mont-Royal and Mile-End districts.
The mountain is the site of Mount Royal Park (In French: Parc du Mont-Royal), one of Montreal’s largest green spaces. Mount Royal Park is the preferred viewing spot for nature lovers, bird watchers, and sports enthusiasts of all ages. It is the perfect place for a walk, a run, a bicycle ride, a picnic, sporting activities or to simply admire the incredible views of the city on one of its two panoramic viewpoints.The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the famous landscape architect who also designed New York City’s Central Park.
At the top of Mount Royal sits the Mount Royal Cross (French name: Le Croix du Mont Royal), an illuminated cross that is lit up every night. The cross was erected in 1924 to replace a wooden cross that was first planted in 1643 by the founder of Montreal, Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve. Standing 31.4 meters (103 feet) high, is one of Montreal’s most iconic landmarks and it can be seen from anywhere in the city with a view to Mount Royal.
Mount Royal is considered by many to be the heart of Montreal. No visit to Montreal can be complete without a visit to Mount Royal!