FAQ about Mount Royal

Photo : © Michel Leblanc

Extending from the downtown core, the Mount Royal territory covers 10 km2 and includes residential neighborhoods, cemeteries, religious and health facilities, university campuses and Mount Royal Park. For more information on the lay of the land, see our section dedicated to the mountain’s territory.

At the present time, Mount Royal is a heritage site recognized by the Quebec government. In January 2017, the City of Montréal, supported by a number of groups including Les amis de la montagne, applied for Mount Royal’s inscription on Canada’s Tentative List for World Heritage Sites. On December 20, 2017, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna unveiled Canada’s 2017 Tentative List of World Heritage Sites and, unfortunately, Mount Royal was not selected as one of the Canadian sites proposed for UNESCO recognition. 

Les amis de la montagne remains convinced that Mount Royal is a unique territory worthy of UNESCO World Heritage standards. As such, we will do our utmost to fully understand the Environment Minister’s decision relative to Canada’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites in order to better position the mountain for possible UNESCO recognition in the future.

The answer is final and definitive: no, Mount Royal is not an ancient volcano. The mountain was formed underground 125 million years ago. Although a mass of magma solidified and hardened below the earth’s crust, it never surfaced as lava. Consequently, there was never any volcanic activity on Mount Royal. Millions of years of erosion shaped the mountain. Learn more about the mountain’s rocky past in our section on geology.

Based on most recent inventories, more than 180 species of birds, 20 species of mammals, two species of reptiles and two species of amphibians may be observed on Mount Royal. For more information on this wildlife, see our section on the mountain’s nature.

The natural habitats of the Mount Royal territory are rich in biodiversity: there are 700 vascular plant species (some of which are rare and endangered) including over 90 species of trees, some of which are over 100 years old. To learn more about the flora of Mount Royal, see the Nature section.

Absolutely! Although rare on the mountain, foxes are sometimes seen in the Mount Royal Cemetery or near the Université de Montréal. If you do see one, do not get close to it and do not feed it! It is much more pleasant for us and for them to keep our distances. To learn more about Mount Royal mammals, see the Nature section.

Beavers did in fact swim in Beaver Lake... about 11,000 years ago! During restoration work carried out by the City of Montréal in 2012-13, sediment cores (extracts) taken from the lake contained pieces of wood that had been gnawed on by mammals. The age of these pieces of wood was determined using the Carbon-14 dating method, which identified that beavers lived on Mount Royal 11,000 years ago, for about 1,400 years.

Indeed, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who was hired by the City of Montréal in 1874 to design Mount Royal Park, had won a design competition a few years earlier with the architect Calvert Vaux for the creation of Central Park in New York City. Olmsted designed many parks across North America. Find out more about Frederick Law Olmsted or the park’s creation in the history of Mount Royal.

Mount Royal Park was inaugurated on May 24, 1876. The park's plans were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, a well-known landscape architect at the time. To learn more about Olmsted and the park, read the history of Mount Royal.

No. Mount Royal Park regulations prohibit visitors from feeding animals for safety reasons and to ensure animal health. For more information on this issue, please see our information sheet on feeding wildlife.

First of all, for public health and safety reasons, it is very important to never touch or move dead or injured animals. 

If the animal is dead, call 311 to inform the City of Montréal and indicate the animal’s location.

If the animal is seriously injured and appears to need assistance, call 311 to inform the City of Montréal before communicating with Les amis de la montagne at 514 843-8240, ext. 0 so that we can take any necessary steps with relevant authorities

Harvesting plants, trees, shrubs or even insects is prohibited in Mount Royal Park to preserve the integrity of its natural habitats. As stipulated in city park rules, perpetrators may be fined up to $1,000.

Yes, dogs must be kept on a leash at all times in Mount Royal Park, under penalty of a fine. This rule ensures the safety of pets, as well as the safety of visitors and other animals in the park. What’s more, dog owners must clean up after their pet.

Outdoor fires are strictly prohibited in Mount Royal Park. Lighting a fire in the park can be extremely dangerous to the natural environment and is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. To find out more about the potential impacts of this action, see our information sheet on illegal fires on Mount Royal.

According to park regulations, it is forbidden to consume alcoholic beverages in public spaces, except during outdoor meals in designated picnic areas of the park. Note that Café des Amis restaurants in Beaver Lake Pavilion and Smith House offer alcoholic drinks that can be enjoyed with a meal taken indoors or outdoors

If you witnessed an event or incident that might affect the natural environment in Mount Royal Park, please call 311, the city services hotline, before communicating with Les amis de la montagne to let us know. 

If you have any comments about services offered in the park (restaurants, activities, rental services, hospitality, exhibitions, etc.) that Les amis de la montagne is responsible for, please contact Les amis de la montagne at 514 843-8240 ext. 0 or by filling out this online form.

No. Both downhill skiing and snowboarding are prohibited in Mount Royal Park. The City of Montréal does not provide the required facilities and services for the practice of such sports on the mountain. Furthermore, such sports are detrimental to the natural environment. 

It should be noted that Mount Royal Park faces major challenges with regards to environmental conservation, public safety and usage conflicts. The need to make wise choices about activities that may be practised and those that must be prohibited on Mount Royal is vital for the sustainability of the site. The winter sports and activities for which the City of Montréal deploys resources on Mount Royal include walking, running, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and snow tubing. These activities were selected for their compatibility with the site in accordance with rules in place.

In order to preserve the natural habitats of Mount Royal and to ensure a healthy coexistence between all park users, certain activities and sports are forbidden in the Mount Royal forest. Check out our information sheet on mountain biking to find out about the impacts of this sport on the mountain or see the map to locate biking trails on Mount Royal.

You can make your way to Mount Royal Park on foot, by bike, by public transport or by car. Metered parking managed by Stationnement de Montréal is available at Smith House and the Beaver Lake Pavilion. Please note that there are no bike-sharing stations at the top of Mount Royal. Visit our “Getting Here” section for all the details.

The three public buildings located in Mount Royal Park—Mount Royal Chalet, Beaver Lake Pavilion and Smith House—are accessible to persons with reduced mobility. To get to the Mount Royal Chalet and Kondiaronk Belvedere from the Smith House parking lot, it is a 600-m walk along Olmsted Path, a slightly inclined gravel path that can be difficult for a person in a wheelchair or with reduced mobility. Please note that wheelchair rental services are not offered in Mount Royal Park.

No. It is not possible to drive to the Mount Royal Chalet, which is accessible only by Olmsted Path, a wide gravel trail reserved for pedestrians and cyclists. You must leave your car at the Smith House parking lot and walk five minutes up the path to the Mount Royal Chalet and Kondiaronk Belvedere. See our “Getting Here” section for more details.

If you have requested a permit to organize a special event at this location and wish to obtain permission to drive to the Mount Royal Chalet, please contact the City of Montréal (French only).

As a heritage site, Mount Royal Park is governed by rules that serve to protect the site.

Permits are not required for picnics in Mount Royal Park gathering fewer than 50 people and requiring no special installation.

To organize an event of medium or large scale in Mount Royal Park, please refer to City of Montréal guidelines (French only).

Please note that Les amis de la montagne is not responsible for authorizing events in Mount Royal Park as this falls under the City of Montréal’s authority. Les amis de la montagne plays an advisory role with the City. To learn more about our role in Mount Royal Park, read up on the mission of our NPO.

There are three main picnic areas in Mount Royal Park: next to Smith House, around Beaver Lake and in the grassy area behind the Mount Royal Chalet. Propane barbecues are not permitted in these three areas. Charcoal barbecues, however, are permitted but only next to Beaver Lake, as ash must be disposed of in containers provided for this purpose. Please note that no cooking equipment is available in Mount Royal Park. Out of respect for the environment and other visitors, please limit the waste produced during your picnic and make sure to dispose of it properly.

Whether for a party, a wedding, a picnic or a barbecue, it is not possible to reserve, block off or restrict access to any outdoor space in Mount Royal Park.

No amplified sound or music or other public nuisance is permitted in Mount Royal Park. Moreover, in accordance with applicable regulations for park preservation, it is forbidden to hang balloons, banners, canvases, etc., on trees or infrastructure, and no tents are allowed in the park.

For all inquiries concerning the rental or use of Mount Royal Chalet, please contact the City of Montréal’s department in charge of public events (French only). Les amis de la montagne is not responsible for the management of this location.

Until further notice, it will not be possible to reserve a room at Smith House, and it is not possible to hold an event or privatize a room at the Beaver Lake pavilion. This page will be updated as soon as these options are again available (updated May 30, 2023).

For details on filming on Mount Royal, visit our section containing information filming on the mountain.

From Beaver Lake to the Mount Royal Cross, by way of the magnificent Mount Royal Chalet and Kondiaronk Belvedere, there is plenty to see and do on Mount Royal! To find out about the sites and monuments not to be missed, both in the park and elsewhere on the mountain, visit “Attractions and Points of Interest” or take a look at the map of the park.

Les amis de la montagne is pleased to offer a wide range of educational, cultural and outdoor activities for people of all ages in Mount Royal Park or elsewhere on Mount Royal. Take a look at our upcoming programming for a glimpse at the activities organized by Les amis de la montagne throughout the seasons. 

The hill overlooking Beaver Lake includes a free groomed sliding lane for kids and grownups with their own sled in addition to reserved corridors for snow tubes, which are available at a fee at our rental desk. Find out about snow tubing rentals in the “Mount Royal Park Services” section.

Les amis de la montagne runs an outdoor equipment rental service at the Beaver Lake Pavilion as well as a rental desk in one of the leaning houses next to Beaver Lake. It is possible to rent sports equipment in the winter (skates, cross-country skiing, snowshoes, etc.) and rowboats in the summer. Please note that there is no bike rental service available in Mount Royal Park. 

Check out “Park Services” section for rates, business hours and other details on rentals.

The City of Montréal is responsible for the maintenance of the skating rink and of the 22 km of cross-country ski trails and 2.5 km of snowshoe trails on Mount Royal. Find out about skating and skiing conditions in Mount Royal Park, which we update daily based on observations made on site, or get the lowdown from the City of Montréal (French only). You can also check out our map of trails and paths in Mount Royal Park.

No. It is not possible to swim in Beaver Lake and there are no swimming facilities in Mount Royal Park.

Three Café des Amis outposts aim to enhance visitors’ experience in the park by offering a spectacular setting for a pause and a bite to eat. Located in Smith House, the Beaver Lake Pavilion and the Mount Royal Chalet, each Café des Amis offers its distinct menu. 

During the summer, three-wheel scooters operated by Les amis sell frozen products around Beaver Lake and the Mount Royal Chalet. These are the only three-wheel scooters authorized by the City of Montréal in Mount Royal Park. 

Please note that there is no ATM in the park.

You can purchase cards, toys, seasonal clothing and other original souvenirs at the gift shop operated by Les amis de la montagne in Smith House and the Mount Royal Chalet.

There are no hotel accommodations in Mount Royal Park and camping is prohibited.

Objects lost and found in Mount Royal Park or its public buildings are gathered at the reception desk manned by the City of Montréal in the Mount Royal Chalet. You can contact them at 514 280-8989, every day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Trees are planted only during activities planned by Les amis de la montagne. 

Mount Royal Park is part of the Mount Royal Historic and Natural District and its natural heritage is protected. All actions carried out on the territory are planned, and it is not possible to proceed with tree planting on the mountain without formal authorization from the appropriate public authorities.

Every year, Les amis de la montagne organizes several tree planting events with groups of volunteers as part of our environmental actions. Tree planting activities conform to ecological green space management standards. If you would like to take part in one of the upcoming plantings, see our Environmental Stewardship Program. Note that it is not possible to add corporate signs or custom panels near planted trees. 

You can also make a donation to Les amis de la montagne on behalf of the person you wish to pay tribute to. This donation will contribute to the preservation and improvement of Mount Royal and its park. Visit our “Donate” section for more information.

The Tam-Tams of Mount Royal are an informal event that has been taking place for decades at the foot of Mount Royal. The event does not have an official organizer, but the City of Montréal ensures the smooth running and security of the event. Les amis de la montagne is in no way associated. The activity takes place on Avenue du Parc, next to the Monument to Sir George-Étienne Cartier, on Sunday afternoons from May to September.

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