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. If you’d like to have an in-person guided running experience in Montreal, we highly recommend our friends at Go! Running Tours.
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.