Parks and Recreation

By Robyn Rees

Montreal is a beautifully diverse city full of colour and life. Dispersed amongst the hustle and bustle of the urban environment are some wonderfully large parks and many small and quaint green spaces as well. These areas provide room for active play, space for mental repose, and places for people to congregate. They also supply valuable ecological services to the community, cleaning the air, filtering water, and providing homes for a wealth of species. On the Island of Montreal, there are seventeen large parks, ten of which are eco-territories. There are also two woodlands and hundreds of small parks on the island.

Montreal and Nature

Montreal, surrounded by rivers, is home to a number of plant, bird, frog, turtle, mammal and other species (download a map of Montreal's Biodversity!). Recognizing the value of biodiversity, over the years, the City of Montreal has created various policies to protect these species' natural habitats (for example, within the Montreal Master Plan).

The city has also put together two educational and informative websites:
Montreal's "Biodiversity" site includes the city's commitments, actions, polices, and partners in this domain, as well as some general information about biodiversity, what citizens can do to protect it, and events related to it.
Montreal's "Nature in the City" site includes information about Montreal's natural habitats, trees, as well as their orientations, programs, and policies. Reference documents are also available.

For information on the ecological and landscape attributes of Montreal's ecoterritories and what the city's conservation objectives are click here

The Secretariat on the Convention for Biodiversity is based in Montreal.

Organic gardening is one way citizens can get involved in the protection of biodiversity. If you don't have a garden, find a community garden near you.

Montreal and Parks

Parks are some of Montreal's most important assets. Not only do they add life to the city, but they improve city life by providing beautiful spaces for people to congregate, which plays an important role in keeping Montreal's unique community spirit alive.

There are 17 parks that make up Montreal's Network of Large Parks, each with it's own special attributes. On the website you can discover the educational, sport, and leisure activities the parks have to offer, as well as learn about the ecosystem management approach the city is using to take care of the parks. Also available on the site are the park regulations, and other more fun facts, such as what films have been shot in the parks. For a wealth of information on each of the parks visit this interactive map.  

There are also hundreds of small parks around the island. For a list of the parks in each borough, click here and use the drop-down menu to select a borough.

In Montreal, dogs are only allowed to be let off their leads in dog parks. Click here to see a list of Montreal's dog parks.






La Fete des Neiges de Montreal (January - February)

Outdoor and Travel Festival (May)

Piknic Electronik (May - September)

Festival Heavy Montreal (July)

Les Weed-ends du Monde au Parc Jean Drape au (July)

Montreal International Dragon Boat Race Festival (July)

Montreal International Festival of Merengue and Latin Music (July)

Montreal International Reggae Festival (July)

Starlight Concerts and Screenings (July)

La Fete des Enfants de Montreal (August)

The Hellenic Flame (August)



Joyeux Decembre (December)



Montreal Folk Festival (August)

Christmas in the park (December)

PARC MAISONNEUVE Fete Nationale du Quebec (June)



Danses Plein-Air (Folk Festival) (April - September)

Montreal Tam Tams (May - September)

Festivale de la Marche (October) 



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