Montreal offers runners of all levels a range of routes and circuits that allow for varied and often scenic workouts at any time of the day. Here are some of the best running routes in the city—along with a couple of well-kept secrets.
For a long, flat run, the Lachine Canal is one of the best bets for marathon trainers in particular. The Canal starts at the Atwater Market and reaches for around 12 miles. Of course, you can turn back at any time as you build endurance and vary the length of your runs, but reaching the end of the route at Parc René-Lévesque is definitely worth it, especially around sunset.
The Old Port, in addition to being one of the most popular tourist spots in the city, is a beautiful and much-frequented route for Montreal’s runners. You can start at Place Jacques Cartier and head down toward the Promenade du Vieux-Port. The promenade can be a little chaotic over the weekends when the weather is nice, so it might be best to check out this path for an early-morning weekday run instead.
Mont Royal offers a great thigh-burning workout for runners, cyclists, and other outdoor exercisers throughout the year. For the best results, start at the prominent Georges-Étienne Cartier monument and work your way around the mountain by following the main gravel road up to the lookout. If it’s not too ghoulish for you, runners also often head along the beautiful cemetery road on the other side of the mountain. You can also add around 2.2 km by doing the cross loop, or even venture into the wooded trails that feed off the main track.
Just across from Mont Royal, Parc Jeanne-Mance is a hotspot for many summer athletics, including beach volleyball, tennis, softball, soccer, and more. There are also many joggers who use the park’s one-mile loop for their daily workouts, circling it multiple times in order to reach their distance goals.
Parc Lafontaine consists of an approximately 3.3 km loop through the rolling green space, reaching from Rue Rachel to Rue Sherbrooke. If you just run the perimeter, it’s 2.4 km—making it a good option for tempo workouts or short, basic runs. Mostly flat, there is one gradual slope about halfway though the circuit.
Parc de la Cité-du-Havre
Found beside Parc Jean Drapeau, which is popular for a number of outdoor activities (mainly cycling) and festivals, Parc Cité-du-Havre is a hidden treasure in Montreal that offers one of the best views of the city’s skyline. The terrain is mostly flat, perfect for a well-paced run that also takes in the surrounding urban scenery.
Parc de la Promenade-Bellerive
Situated in the east end of the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough of Montreal, the peaceful Parc de la Promenade-Bellerive offers a view of the St. Lawrence river with its passing boats and ships as well as the nearby Boucherville Islands and Charron Island. From this vantage point on your run, the Promenade-Bellerive gives the impression that you’re actually far away from the city. This is great for a focused, scenic run in the morning or evening.
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