You could wander through Montreal’s world-famous gardens for days, experiencing the serene beauty of every acre – sadly, not everyone has time to do that. Culture Trip asks our local insiders to narrow down their must-visit garden suggestions in the city, for those who need to prioritize.
The city’s Parc Jean-Drapeau is home to many key attractions. When you visit, an afternoon stroll around the Jardins des Floralies should be right at the top of your priorities list. It was constructed for the 1980 International Floralies competition, and here, you’ll be able to enjoy several themed gardens from the world’s most prominent landscape designers from Canada, the USA, France, England, Mexico, Belgium and Italy. Footpaths wind through thousands of different plant species, landscaped beautifully around lagoons and other features. It’s easy to spend the best part of the day here, especially when the sun is shining and the garden’s colors are at their best. Recommended by local insider Caitlin Stall-Paquet
The Japanese Garden is part of Montreal’s Jardin Botanique. Designed by Ken Nakajima, the six-acre (2.5ha) space evokes a sense of harmony inspired by traditional Japanese landscaping, complete with stones, water features and other landscape elements deliberately placed to create a peaceful environment that transports visitors away from the stresses of modern life. If you need a break from the city for a while, the Japanese Garden is the perfect place to reflect quietly as you wander through pretty displays of rhododendrons, peonies and crab-apple trees to the soothing sounds of ponds and springs. Recommended by local insider Tess Boissonneault
Traditional Chinese landscape design centers around balance and contrast – yin and yang. Montreal’s Chinese Garden, also housed in the Jardin Botanique, is a stunning exploration of these principles. Originally designed in 1991 by renowned architect and landscaper Le Weizhong, the garden uses water features and stones, as well as traditional Chinese pagodas and pavilions, to create a uniquely asymmetrical, highly metaphorical space that stands in contrast with western conventions. Recommended by local insider Tess Boissonneault