Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Natural Side of Montreal

Black Crowned Night Heron

In Monday's Gazette (montreal's english language newspaper) there was an article on Montreal's 17 major parks (just the ones within the island of montreal). Looked like a check list to us. We have been to small parts of Mount Royal (great views and adjacent cemetaries) and Jean Drapeau Parks (Grand Prix) but frankly hadn't even heard of the other 15. So we grabbed our bikes and off we went. Day One: Ile de la Visitation. This park is located on the northshore of Montreal on the Riviere des Prairies and also includes a small island. It has a wonderful set of walking and biking trails, overlooks onto the river, historic structures including an old general store, mills (ruins) and a cider press. The bistro (Le Bistro des Moulins) is located in the old general store, a building built in the 1700s. After our bike ride, we ate on the terasse and enjoyed a fruit salad with cheese and a delicious broccoli soup. Down in the rushing waters that flow through the old mill ruins were two black crowned night herons, patiently...oh so patiently...waiting to pounce on dinner. They were lovely and quite unpeturbed by our presence on the bridge above.
We will return to Ile de la Visitation because a) we didn't even get to the trails on the island and b) the food and the setting at Le Bistro was worth the trip alone. We were there mid-week and no "special events" were going on but apparently they have some kind of "train" weekends and "theme" dinners in the fall. For info: 514 280 6733 or

Jerry on one of several bridges spanning a side channel of the riviere des prairiesA hydroelectric dam over riviere de of the oldest dams still operating in Quebec...constructed in 1929

Detail of windows in the building that now houes the "old general store" and Le Bistro des Moulins. Built in the 1700s...started out life as a mill.

The Terrasse of Le Bistro des Moulins

No comments: