Mount Royal, A Territory to Discover

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Frederic Law Olmsted’s plan

Born in 1822 in Connecticut, Frederic Law Olmsted witnessed the beginning of the industrial revolution in the US and saw the negative side of urbanization and industrialization: pollution, overpopulation and unhealthy living conditions, interminable working hours.

His many travels at home and abroad also exposed him to human suffering (famines, slavery) and had a profound influence on his philosophy of life.
Frederic Law Olmsted was convinced of the therapeutic value of nature on people and prioritized making parks accessible to every social class.
In 1874, he accepted a commission to draw the plans for a park on Mount Royal, with the desire to “highlight the poetic charms of natural scenery.”

Olmsted designed a sinuous road that that enables visitors to enjoy vistas of natural beauty and to appreciate the distinct topographical areas of the mountain. He enhanced the mountainous aspect of Mount Royal by accentuating its natural characteristics and focusing on three key elements: forest, meadow and water. A network of paths weaves these elements together.

The park was inaugurated on May 24, 1876 and is recognized as one of his major accomplishments by the National Association for Olmsted Parks in the United States.

Did you know?

  • Frederick Law Olmsted is considered the father of North American landscape architecture.
  • Frederick Law Olmsted was 35 when he oversaw the creation of Central Park in New York City.


Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903)

Mount Royal Parck / Olmsted map (1877)

Small Bridge Near the Chalet
© Les amis de la montagne CollectionSmall Bridge Near the Chalet

Olmsted Trail
© Les amis de la montagne Collection

Frederick Low Olmsted Monument
© Les amis de la montagne Collection