Lafontaine Park is one of the larger parks in the city, after Mount Royal. At 80 acres, the park has two linked ponds with a fountain and waterfalls, sports fields, beach volleyball, pétanque, picnic areas and playgrounds, wading pools, several pieces of memorial statuary, and many trees, notably several large poplars. The park has a welcome center for cyclists with a cafe, as well as Espace La Fontaine, a cafe-gallery.
It’s a pleasant green space in the middle of an urban area. One can do 1.5-2 miles around its multiple paths. A paved bike path runs along the western edge. It’s the start point of the Montreal Marathon. Also enjoyable in winter, with good lighting and stately trees. The ponds are turned into a skating rink.
The park is a good anchor for a longer run. Some good options:
- Plateau area. Good neighborhood to get a taste of urban residential Montreal, including the famous outdoor staircases. The side streets just to the north of the park, are good for running, with wide sidewalks, nice trees, traditional Montreal duplexes with outside staircases, and not too much traffic. Incorporate the small Park Laurier and Parc Père-Marquette.
- Bagel run: End up at the famous Fairmont Bagel. It’s 2.5k from the park, using Rue Rachel and Boul. St. Laurent. These streets are more commercial but have some fun shops and restaurants.
- St. Helen’s Island. Run south of the park, along Avenue Papineau, through Parc des Faubourgs, and over the river on the bike path paralleling the Jacques Cartier Bridge.