IN: Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue’s Morgan Arboretum
I have been frequenting the Morgan Arboretum for most of my life. I used to spend hours upon hours here with my dogs, with friends & family, or alone with my thoughts. At the Morgan Arboretum, you will find like-minded people out to enjoy an unspoiled corner of Montréal, with only nature in their sights. The Morgan Arboretum is a 245 hectare forested reserve owned by McGill and cared for by countless volunteers. Here you will find 30 species of mammals, 20 species of reptiles and amphibians, and over 170 species of migratory and overwintering birds (for the Birders among us). But most importantly you will find peace of mind and glorious nature at its soul-refreshing best.
- The Arboretum has been created, and curated, to be “au natural”. It really feels like you have stumbled into a wild forest.
- Ok, it’s not free, but it’s cheap, and the money goes directly to the care and maintenance of this wonderful oasis. I’m good spending money at places like this.
- While it is on the edge of the island, it is still reachable by public transit. You can take a bus (the 419) to within 10 minutes (walking) of the Arboretum. Depending on where you begin your public transit journey, that may not be
- The weather is supposed to be gloriously anti-mosquito this weekend but this place is known for its ferocious insects. Bring some spray just in case.
- Tics are a thing here. Wear long pants.
- You used to be able to let your dog run wild off leash, but not any more. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, I just miss that is all.
- Morgan Arboretum, 150 Chemin Des Pins, 514-398-7811.
- Official Website (and a direct link to the events page since they have quite a few cool ones coming up soon!)
- If you’re a serious Birder, then go ahead and download this little PDF to make the most of your trip.
- Once you’re all tuckered out from the Arboretum, do yourself a favour and head over the Galipeault Bridge to L’Île Perrot and grab some of the finest smoked meat in Québec at Smoke Meat Pete.
AROUND: Beau’s Oktoberfest
This coming Friday & Saturday is the 8th edition of the famous Beau’s Oktoberfest out in Vankleek Hill, Ontario and it’s shaping up to be another outstanding weekend. For those of you that don’t know Beau’s, it’s a fast-growing craft brewery from just over the Québec/Ontario border that brews incredible, unique, entertaining and very well designed organic beers. This event has everything that an Oktoberfest should have and everything it has is done with the usual Beau’s excellence (Canadian Geographic agrees). You will spend the entire day outside at the Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds, enjoying unique beer, food, games and music all in the name of charity. While an Oktoberfest does not usually conjure up images of “getting outside”, let me assure you that this event is 100% outside and will become a perennial powerhouse in your annual event calendar.
- Recycling & Composting: All of the “food stuff” used at Beau’s is either recyclable or compostable. All of it.
- Food: Everything, I mean everything, is glorious. You’ll have the 3 P’s – Pulled pork, poutine, polenta fries, as well as some S’s Schnitzel, sauerkraut, smoked meat, and at least a couple B’s – Baby back ribs, baked beans.
- Cask House: This is where the real magic happens. Every hour or so they’ll ring the bell and a new beer (from guest brewers) will be available for you.
- For an event whose enjoyment hinges on you drinking beer, it’s a tad far (hint: use the provided Mtl – Oktoberfest transportation).
- Since you’re in the middle of the fairgrounds, the wind can get a bit nippy (hint: layer up!).
- If you plan to experience the whole kit & kaboodle, it’ll get expensive.
- Beau’s Oktoberfest, Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds, 866-585-2337.
- Official Oktoberfest Website (and the regular Beau’s website)
- The event has its own iPhone and Android apps. That’s just cool.
- School of Bock: Check out the educational sessions they offer on Friday and Saturday. For the real beer nerds out there, you’ll love these!
“Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.”
– Jimmy Carter | b. 1924 | American President (retired)