Autumn is already on our doorstep, but the weather looks still promising in the next weeks. So, if you are looking for the best way to explore the city before the winter comes, Hotel Y Montréal recommends you to do just like the Montrealers do: to enjoy the cool and sunny days riding a bike.
If you are not convinced yet, Hotel Y Montréal guarantees that you are in the right place to try it, as Montreal is considered one of the most bike-friendly cities in North America and is also ranked among the 20 most suitable cities for cycling in the world. According to Velo Quebec, with over one million cyclists, the City has a very good infrastructure for bicycles with 296 kilometers of exclusive bicycle lanes, 2800 parking spaces for bicycles near subway stations, 765 other ones near to train stations and several rental services that can meet all needs.
Top 5 tours you can do by bike, from the Hotel Y Montréal
1) The Lachine Canal
The Lachine Canal is the number one cycling destination in the city and it is considered one of the most beautiful urban bike circuits in the world. This route is located in the southwest area of Montreal, between Saint-Louis lake and the Old Port, and it is accessible to everyone, no matter the physical condition, as the route is flat, straight and very safe.
The landscape is very diverse and dynamic along the way, offering visitors plenty of green space, a beautiful view of historic industrial buildings and some trendy gourmet options, such as a floating cafe and food trucks. To get to the Lachine Canal from Hotel Y Montréal, take the orange subway line to Lionel-Groulx station and walk to the Atwater Market, one of the most beautiful buildings in Montreal that you should absolutely visit. After enjoying the market local products, you will find nearby Ma Bicyclette, a rental bicycle place with numerous bike choices.
If you decide to pedal west, you will reach the Saint-Louis lake, there it is located the Lachine Museum and, a little further, the peninsula of Parc René-Lévesque, an open air art gallery. On the other hand, if you prefer to ride east, you could go to the Montreal Old Port, which is, in itself, one of the best places you shall visit by bike during your stay at Hotel Y Montréal.
2) Old Montreal
Are you a fan of historical places? This tour is for you. Old Montreal is the heart of local history, where it is located the city’s most important historical buildings, such as Bonsecours Market, City Hall, Place d’Armes and Place Jacques-Cartier.
To optimize your visit, Hotel Y Montréal reminds you that this could also be a great opportunity to explore dozens of souvenir shops, museums, Montreal Science Center, Notre Dame Basilica and enjoy a variety of street artists who can transform each visit into an unique experience.
If you prefer to rent a bike directly at the Old Montreal, just take the subway from Hotel Y Montréal and get off at Place d’Armes station or at Champ-de-Mars station. Then just head to Ça roule (http://caroulemontreal.com/en/) at the Old Port. You will certainly find a wide range of services, including guided tours and several kinds of bicycles and accessories you could need to pedal alone or with your friends.
Do you still have plenty of energy left to continue the tour? Why not extend your ride to Parc Jean-Drapeau?
3) Parc Jean-Drapeau
Composed by Sainte-Hélène and Notre-Dame islands, this precious Montréal park is accessible by bike mainly from the Old Port bicycle path, the Jacques-Cartier bridge or by subway.
If you are biking from Old Montreal, you must follow the bicycle lane to the Cité du Havre and continue pedaling on the Concorde bridge, which will take you directly to Sainte-Hélène island. You must stop at this bridge to appreciate the spectacular view of the river and the Jacques-Cartier bridge.
Once at the park, you have plenty of options to explore it, such as visiting Biosphère and its environmental museum, picnicking or practicing sports.
If you want to continue your bike tour, Hotel Y Montréal suggests you to head to Notre Dame Island to see Gilles Villeneuve Formula 1 circuit which is open to cyclists. Then you can’t miss the St. Lawrence Seaway where you can finish the day with a splendid view of downtown Montreal.
For those wishing to go to Parc Jean-Drapeau directly from Hotel Y Montréal and just do a relaxing bike tour at its two islands, the best option would be to take the subway to Berri-UQAM station and then change to the yellow line towards Jean-Drapeau station.
At the park, it’s possible to rent a Bixi, a popular self-service bike rental available all over the city. Another possibility would be to rent a different recreational item like a quadricycle, an electric bike, a tandem bike or a tridem at Ecorecreo.
If you want to discover a more trendy neighborhood, you can explore the Plateau-du-Mont-Royal and its vicinity such as Mile-End and Little Italy.
Plateau is an effervescent part of the city in terms of culture, gastronomy, fashion and music. So, follow your intuition and discover the green alleys and the graffiti murals. Don’t forget to stop once in a while at nice cafes, bars, thrift stores, bookstores, and a lot of creative businesses which are an important part of Montreal identity.
This tour is also the ideal choice for those who want to meet local people and observe their everyday habits or simply enjoy the good weather in a terrace.
To initiate your journey, a Bixi self-service station is located right next to Hotel Y Montréal, at the corner of Crescent Street and René-Levesque Boulevard. You just have to ride east, soon enough you will cross the Saint Laurent boulevard, where the Plateau starts.
If you choose to take the subway, the orange line will take you to Mont-Royal station. At the neighborhood there are many specialized shops for bicycle rental, such as Fitz and Follwell (https://www.fitzandfollwell.co/home) which also offers bike guided tours.
After exploring all Plateau particularities, you may want to continue your ride, so Hotel Y Montréal suggests you to climb the top of Mount Royal and appreciate one of the bests views of Montréal.
5) Parc du Mont-Royal
Mont-Royal is one of the most popular parks between Montrealers who seek to enjoy nature and practice sports, season after season. Visited by more than three million people each year, it comprises three summits, the main one being the Belvedere Kondiaronk.
Climbing the mountain by bike is a classic challenge for those who are motivated to spend energy, but there is also a route that everyone is able to take going to the observatory Kondiaronk.
For a pleasant and easy itinerary, you can rent a bike at Fitz and Follwell, at Mont-Royal avenue, and pedal to Olmsted Road, a bike path that starts at the statue of George-Étienne Cartier on the Parc Avenue. The bike lane passes in front of Beaver Lake and leads you to the Chalet du Mont-Royal and the main summit. Upon arrival, you will be rewarded with the magnificent view of downtown Montreal and the Monteregie’s Hills.
Put simply, plenty of bike tours are available according to your taste and there are infinity reasons to explore Montreal by bike. Whether it is for fun, to stay in shape, to reduce your environmental footprint or even just because you like to find hidden places, cycling is the ideal transport here. Just choose where to rent your bike and start exploring the city during your stay at Hotel Y Montreal.
Some tips from Hôtel Y Montreal
• If you want to use public transportation with your bike, pay attention the allowed hours. The bikes are accepted in the subway from 10 AM to 3 AM and after 7 PM, on weekdays. On weekends, the cyclists are admited at any time.
• Don’t be afraid to dare and explore Montreal Bycicle paths maps by yourself in order to create a customized itinerary.
• For a more technological tour, download the free app Mon RésoVélo, conceived by Ville de Montréal. The application will show you all the bicycle paths in the island and also record information about your itinerary using the GPS from your smartphone. Available with Android or IOS.
Written by Luciana Leite