La Fontaine Park, located just north of Montreal’s Gay Village, is an 84-acre green space where locals come to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Built in 1845 on what was once farmland, the park now boasts walking and bike paths, picnic areas, ponds, a dog park, tennis and pétanque courts, and outdoor swimming pools.
A short 15-minute ride from Downtown Montreal, La Fontaine Park is often a feature on summer bike tours, which typically also include a stop or two for a bite to eat. Alternatively, a private tour offers the flexibility to tack La Fontaine Park onto a customized itinerary. As an ideal spot to relax, picnic, or play sports, exploring the park at a leisurely pace will really let you get to know its ambience.
Things to Know Before You Go
- La Fontaine Park is a must for families with children, nature lovers, and dog owners.
- Espace La Fontaine offers sit-down and takeaway options, but the neighborhood has plenty of other cafes and eateries, including the famed poutine joint La Banquise.
- Bathrooms are located in the swimming pool and ice skating pavilions.
- Street signs, including parking and traffic signs, are written in French. Metered street parking is available, but it’s often limited.
How to Get There
La Fontaine Park is easily accessible using Montreal’s comprehensive public transit system. Bus routes 24, 29, and 45 have stops in front of the park. In addition to bicycle racks within the park, a BIXI bike share dock is located two blocks west on the corner of St André and Duluth.
When to Get There
La Fontaine Park is at its busiest in spring and summer, but at 84 acres, it rarely feels overly crowded. Visit during the warm-weather months for activities such as picnics, outdoor theater, swimming, and tennis. In winter, the ponds are transformed into ice rinks with an adjacent skate-rental pavilion.
A Skating Spot Loved By Locals
Every winter from December to March, the ponds in La Fontaine Park are transformed into a natural ice skating space, free of charge to the public. Unlike the crowded ice rinks in Downtown or the Old Port, La Fontaine is tucked away from tourist hubs and rarely feels overly crowded. Skates are available to rent for $10.45 at the pavilion, and you can take skating lessons, too.