A guide to the best places to run in Montreal, Quebec. Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and one of the oldest cities in North America, founded in 1642. The city itself is an island, on the St. Lawrence River, and is framed by Mount Royal. Montreal has a very walkable downtown, filled with great restaurants, bars, and shops. With French as the predominant language, the city has a cosmopolitan flair. There is an excellent metro and bus system, with commuter trains serving the suburbs.
From a running perspective, Montreal is a city of running extremes. It can be either really hilly or really flat. It can be hot, or bitterly cold. But there are some wonderful running opportunities. The city is probably best defined by the Olmsted-designed Mount Royal, which is in the heart of the city and can be accessed from downtown. It is a thrill to run to the “Croix”, the cross at the summit. Other pleasant running is along the Lachine Canal, and also along the St. Lawrence River through Old Montreal and the Old Port. Winter is a defining element in Montreal. Is is among the coldest and snowiest major cities in the world, with temperatures reliably below freezing and snow on the ground from mid-November until late March. Montrealers embrace their severe but beautifully snowy winters, venturing out on X-C skis and yak-traks.
Note: In winter, the trails such as those along the Lachine Canal are not maintained, and are generally not run-able. On Mount Royal, there are enough runners and walkers that the snow gets packed — in fact, running there on a snowy night can be magical.