Canada

Montreal, QC

A comprehensive guide to running in Montreal, Quebec

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Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and one of the oldest cities in North America. 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’s an excellent variety of options for running in Montreal, with numerous large parks, attractive neighborhoods, and extensive multi-use paths along the St. Lawrence River and associated canals.

One of the best places to run in Montreal is on the Olmsted-designed Mount Royal park, which is in the heart of the city and can be accessed from downtown. It’s 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. Just outside the city center, nice running along the waterfront in Verdun along the Lachine Rapids Path, a combo run in Angringon Park and along the aqueduct, and very scenic waterfront running in Lachine. There are also nice waterside routes on Nun’s Island and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. On Montreal’s South Shore, there are waterside routes in Longeuil, Îles-de-Boucherville National Park, and the Estacade ice bridge with routes north and south of there. It’s also possible to run across the new, iconic Champlain Bridge! Scenic residential areas in Montreal for running are Westmount, Town of Mount Royal, and Outremont. On the west island, there’s nice running in Centennial Park and nearby Bois-de-Liesse Nature Park.

A few notes about running in Montreal. Winter is a defining element: Montreal is among the coldest and snowiest major cities in the world. 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. Also note that some sections of the city are very hilly and others are very flat. As for transport, there’s a an excellent metro and bus system, with commuter trains serving the suburbs.

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Some of our favorite runs in Montreal, QC

Mount Royal

The iconic Montreal run. Mount Royal defines the city, and this Olmsted-designed park offers numerous trail options,... more...

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Montreal has warm to hot summers and very cold winters. Runners will have to plan for a Montreal winter, where the average low temperature in January-February is in the single digits (F) and average annual snowfall is 85 inches with consistent snow/ice on the ground from December to March.

montreal-climate-graph

Montreal is a fairly compact city. Access to good running routes is available from the main downtown hotels. The heart of downtown is between Atwater to the west and Bleury to the east. One can access Mount Royal, Old Montreal, and the Lachine Canal from most downtown hotels.

montreal-hotels

Running Stores

Coin de Coureurs (Running Room). Three downtown locations. Great running store. Group Runs: Ave De Park and Marche Central run clubs Wednesday 6pm and Sunday 8:30am. Place Ville Marie location Wednesday 12pm & 6pm and Sunday 8:30am. Westmount location: Wed. 6:00 p.m. & Sun. 8:30 a.m.  Thanks to Chris for some of his help and advice!

New Balance Montreal

Adidas Store

Boutique Endurance. A great running store in the east end of Montreal that has been in operation for 30 years

Running Clubs

There are two main running clubs in Montreal.

Club Vainqueurs. More on the eastern end of the island.

Boreal Run Club. Serves more the western end of the city. Numerous group runs and some good additional running maps.