Artsy and laid-back, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, aka the Plateau, captures the spirit of Montreal perhaps more than any other neighborhood. Spiraling iron staircases crawl up Victorian-era residences on tree-lined streets, while magnificent street murals add color to commercial thoroughfares. Restaurants, cafés, bars, and boutiques abound.
To understand Montreal, a visit to Plateau-Mont-Royal is a must. Many visitors explore the Plateau’s main thoroughfares—Saint-Laurent Boulevard and St. Denis Street (between Sherbrooke and Van Horne) and Mont Royal Avenue—as part of guided walking tours and bike tours.
Food tours of Montreal, including niche tea and chocolate-themed tours, also tend to center on the Plateau because of its high concentration of restaurants and coffee shops. Mile End, home to the city’s legendary bagel producers, St-Viateur and Fairmont, proves especially popular on food tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Exploring the Plateau is a must for anyone who wants to get a feel for life in Montreal.
- The Plateau is littered with small cafés and bakeries, meaning you’re never far from your next caffeine or sugar hit.
- Most parts of the Plateau have curb cuts for wheelchair users, though the quality of streets and sidewalks is variable. Some have large potholes and uneven surfaces.
How to Get There
Take the metro (orange line) to Mont Royal or Laurier stations. Bixi bike-sharing stations can be found throughout the Plateau during the summer months, while the 55 bus runs north up Saint-Laurent, also known as the Main—the buzzing shop-lined heart of the neighborhood.
When to Get There
The Plateau is at its best in summer, when Montrealers take to the streets to soak up the sunshine. Bars and restaurants set up temporary pavement terraces. Sections of major streets are often closed to traffic during special summer events, including the Mural Festival, which takes place in June on Saint-Laurent. Later in the summer, a four-day street festival takes place on Mont Royal Avenue.
LaFontaine Park (Parc LaFontaine)
The Plateau’s biggest green space, Parc LaFontaine is the third-largest in the city, with only Mount Royal Park (Parc du Mont-Royal) and Maisonneuve Park (Parc Maisonneuve) taking up more space. In winter, its lake serves as an ice-skating rink and local families go tubing down its slopes, while in summer, it’s the domain of picnickers, with open-air plays at the Théatre de Verdure and cinema screenings attracting evening crowds.