Every season at the Jardin Botanique de Montréal (Montréal Botanical Gardens), you'll be captivated by the colors and fragrances of flowers and plants as you move from garden to garden, many inspired by different parts of the world. Explore the Sonoran desert, wander into the Chinese or French Garden, and finally relax in the tranquility of the Japanese Garden. The Montreal Botanical Garden contains 12,000 plant species and cultivators, ten exhibition greenhouses, about 30 thematic gardens and a large arboretum.
Montréal Insectarium is an interpretative nature center and museum, the only one of its kind in North America that presents both preserved insect collections and live insects for viewing by the general public. They also have a spectacular live butterfly garden in the summer. For those with an adventurous spirit, try the insect tasting events held twice a year with a local chef preparing recipes that feature insects.
Frederick Law Olmsted, of Central Park fame, designed Mount Royal Park. It is easy to forget that you are in the middle of a huge metropolis when walking or cross-country skiing on the park's many well-signposted trails: chief downtown access points are from Parc Jeanne-Mance and Drummond Street, just west of Royal Victoria Hospital. Beaver Lake features skating, tobogganing, and even a small ski hill and chairlift, while Mount Royal Cemetery is one of the continent's largest.
The namesake of the city and one of its most recognizable landmarks, Mount Royal is the city of Montreal's highest point. The volcanic hill is a part of the Monteregian Hills, nestled between the Appalachian Mountains and the Laurentians, its highest summit measuring at 233 meters (764 feet). At its highest point sits the Mount Royal Cross, originally installed in 1643 by the city's founder, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, in honor of Mother Mary who he believes saved the colony from a potentially devastating flood. The existing, illuminated cross was added in 1924. Beaver Lake and the Mount Royal Park are other popular features of the hill, just west of Downtown. The park, in particular, is renown as one of the city's largest, originally designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, and the venue of the weekly Tam-Tam Jams. For unmatched views of the city, Mount Royal's Camilien-Houde and Kondiaronk Chalet lookouts offer sweeping vistas over Downtown and East Montreal.
Centre de la nature is a green oasis located within the metropolitan area of Laval. This is more than just a regular city park and offers something for everyone. Its lovely gardens and lawns complete with serene surroundings are ideal for relaxing with your favorite book. For the outdoorsy types, the Centre de la nature features host of activities ranging from hiking, biking, kayaking, skateboarding; from summer to winter sports, a wide scope is covered here. The nature lovers can explore the deer park or the country-side farm featuring farm animals like cows, chickens and horses. That's not it, Centre de la nature also conducts variety of sporting and cultural events throughout the year. And, such a picturesque locale makes for an ideal backdrop for wedding photography; with prior permission you can arrange for wedding photography session here. For entry fees, hours of facilities and event schedule, check website or call ahead.
The Angrignon Park is named to honor, J.-B. Arthur Angrignon who was the city councilor of Côte Saint-Paul. This green land bestowed with a lovely pond, is equipped with picnic tables, playground, a separate walking path and so forth. From this park, you can also catch a glimpse of the Fort Angrignon, which is no longer open to visitors.
Saint Helen's Island or the Île Sainte-Hélène is a lovely island on the Saint Lawrence River. Visitors can explore attractions like Stewart Museum, Biosphere and so forth.
This underground water reservoir is a part of the McGill University and is commonly referred to as Rutherford Park.
The Montreal Biodome is a science center and ecological zoo that recreates four of the Americas' ecosystems at the city's Olympic Park. Originally constructed as a velodrome for the 1976 Olympics, the building was renovated and repurposed to accommodate replicas of a lush Tropical Forest, the temperate Laurentian Forest, the Saint Lawrence Marine Ecosystem, and the Sub-Polar Region. Each habitat is a realistic depiction of their counterparts in the real world, complete with wildlife that is native to the regions they represent. While the Tropical Forest brings to life the rainforests of South America and the Laurentian Forest is a slice of the North American Wilderness, the Saint Lawrence Marine Ecosystem encapsulates the estuarian habitat of the eponymous gulf and the Sub-Polar Region recreates the environments of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. A tour of the Montreal Biodome is a rare experience indeed; a chance to get a taste of the varied habitats of the Americas under a single roof.