In & Around /Volume 1 /Issue 36

September 8, 2016

This Week:
Jarry Park in Villeray
La Corniche in Parc national du Mont-Tremblant

IN: Villeray’s Jarry Park

Jarry Park has long been the heart & soul of getting outside in Montréal and, with an ongoing $4 million facelift, it’s only getting better. Notwithstanding the myriad baseball diamonds, soccer pitches and tennis courts, the park is teeming with outdoor city life at its best. Although it’s right under our noses, I had not been to Jarry Park in eons when I dropped in for a biking picnic with my son. I recommend to set up shop under one of the giant weeping willows that ring around the small lake. The air gently rolls through the trees, the fountains reflect the sun pouring through and laughter & BBQ fill the air. There are ducks aplenty for the young’uns to gawk at, as well as a little island you can walk to (over a fun little rock path). As well, surrounding the lake are bike paths, walking paths, children’s parks, and tons of open space for you to play soccer, frisbee, bocce, etc. Jarry Park really feels like the great wide open with its big skies and plenty of room to breathe. Go ahead and revisit an old friend this weekend.

Jarry Park

The Good: 

  1. Another very easy outside experience to get to via public transit.
  2. Enjoying the outdoors at Jarry Park is 100% free. Thank you very much.
  3. There is space en masse which means you can organize a day or afternoon or evening funtime with a large group. There’s just so much room – take advantage!

The Bad:

  1. I’ll say it again because it’s worth repeating – why can’t we swim in these city park lakes? Please, there’s got to be a solution here city planner people!
  2. If you happen to want to do a little jogging at the park on the walking paths, there are long stretches with zero shadow. It’s get hot. Very hot.
  3. General heads up: If you happen to go during Rogers Cup or another big tennis event, traffic around is a nightmare. 

The Useful:

  1. Jarry Park, 7920 boul. St-Laurent (Jarry x Faillon), 514-872-2043.
  2. Official Website (it’s the city website so pretty… meh.)
  3. A little visual enticement video for you.

Pro Tip:

  • Jarry Park has free Wi-Fi… so why not get outside right now and work remote from under a beautiful weeping willow? Just open up your Wi-Fi preferences and choose the Île-sans-Fil network and boom!

AROUND: Tremblant’s La Corniche Trail

Being 1.5 hours away from hiking in Parc national du Mont-Tremblant is one of the absolute greatest things about living in Montréal. In less time that it takes to feed a toddler, you can get to the doorstep of an absolute paradise full of naturally delightful trails, beaches, lakes, rivers and amenities, all for under $10. La Corniche Trail is an easier one, at 3.4km return with an elevation gain of about 230m. Along the way you’ll see a beautiful waterfall, a stream cross a bridge or two, and even ride atop a giraffe-like tree growing out of a rock (click here for the new-ish Sépaq app that will give you plenty of insight into this and other trail oddities). The ultimate reward though is a great viewing platform overlooking Lac Monroe, Petit Lac Monroe and, among others, Pic Johannsen. As well, you’ll be surrounded by rock faces to meander up and park your weary butts. While the trail is listed as intermediate, I’d go more with an “easy” grade on this one, except for maybe two or three slight steeps (I don’t recommend it but I did see a guy hiking in flip flops). Once you’ve finished up with the hike, I urge you to stop in at one of the two Lac Monroe beaches to bathe in the warm lake waters, fire up one of the permanent BBQs and enjoy your well-earned relaxation part of the day. 

La Corniche

The Good:

  1. It’s an easy, very accessible trail – good for everyone! I’ve never had such a high reward to effort ratio.
  2. If you want to make a much larger hike out of it, it’s simple to add on La Coulée and La Roche trails to really feel the burn.
  3. Once up on the lookout, peering out over the Tremblant area mountains, you’ll be enticed, nay, drawn to exploring the mountains around you. It’s… inspiring.

The Bad:

  1. The trailhead is quite dense and therefore quite mosquitoe-y. Nothing a little citronella spray won’t help with but still… ow.
  2. Parking is in short supply at the trailhead so be ready to park elsewhere (i.e. nearby beach, etc) and walk a little to begin your hike.
  3. Some of the gravel coverage is quite loose and you can lose your footing easily enough on the way down. As usual, just be aware of that and you’ll be all set.

The Useful:

Pro Tip:

  • Stop in and see Lorraine at Hop La Vie! in St-Faustin-Lac-Carré, grab a handmade chocolate, and ice cream and a latté to get you all sugared up for your ride home. You will not be disappointed. Have a look inside her little shop.

“He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.”
– Socrates | b. 470 BC | Classical Greek Philosopher

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