Hidden gems in Montreal

Montreal: The vibrant and creative city that has something to offer to everyone. But, what is it about Montreal that makes it such a special place to visit? While many visitors focus on the architecture and museums, this Quebecois city has much more to offer, like outdoor activities in nature and off-the-beaten-track experiences.

Some of us choose to explore less-visited areas of the city, and, as a result, we’re here to assist you in discovering Montreal's hidden gems! In case you’re looking for a place to store your luggage in Montreal and enjoy your walk, check out Stasher’s convenient service.

Parc Jean-Drapeau

The Parc Jean-Drapeau is regarded as a hidden treasure by Montrealers and offers a wide range of recreational activities just minutes from the city center. The park includes two islands in the midst of the St. Lawrence River and welcomes worldwide activities year-round, from festivals and concerts to athletic events.

With a 25-kilometer network of multi-disciplinary pathways winding through a scenic terrain sprinkled with public artworks and vistas of Montréal's cityscape, this green oasis is a haven for sports, recreation, nature, and culture. In the park, there's also a hidden waterfall that's worth visiting, especially in the summer.

Parc-nature de l'Île-de-la-Visitation

Spend a half-day exploring the paths that run through Parc-nature de l'Île-de-la-Visitation and onto Gouin Boulevard in Montréal-Nord. Ile de la Visitation is connected to Montreal Island by three bridges. Note that the Île-de-la-Visitation park has the benefit of being easily accessible by public transportation.

The 84-acre heritage park is located on the Rivière de Prairies, and visitors can stroll, bike, cross-country ski, or snowshoe along the many paths and small bridges that follow the coastline and meander through the forests of Maple, Poplar, and Willow trees.

Summit Woods

Summit Woods Park is a wonderful area to visit when in Montreal. It's a great place for people with dogs as it's full of greenery and numerous paths to walk. The forest is wonderfully enthralling, making you wonder if you're still in Montreal. Reward yourself with a beautiful view of Montreal from the Westmount top, which is located at the base of Summit Park, after your trek.

Van Horne Bridge

In general, Montreal is a highly green city as well as a city with a lot of street art. So, the Van Horne Bridge is a fantastic place to see both. However, the bridge is merely an unsightly flyover that connects the Little Italy and Mile End areas. There are, however, some hidden spots to be discovered on and around it.

You can take a walk across the bridge at sunset for a spectacular vista of Mile End and admire the mural "Walla Volla” which is the center of attention. Take the stairs down to the Parc Linéaire du Réseau Vert, a great place to hang out with your friends or just relax and read your book. You can also walk along the train lines for 3 kilometers, ending up at Masson Street's stores and restaurants or the Van Horne skate park.

Saint-Laurent Boulevard

Saint-Laurent Boulevard resembles a living museum in many ways. At every intersection, massive murals adorn the buildings, and each June, artists from all over the world go to the city to redecorate this famous boulevard.

There, urban art is lauded as a valid form of expression that enhances art's accessibility. So, every June, Montreal hosts the Mural Festival, which invites urban painters from all over the world to express their artistic spirit on Saint Laurent Boulevard. Strolling down Saint Laurent Boulevard is an adventure in itself, whether you're bouncing between the trendy bars or shopping at the chic boutiques.

And, if you’re looking for an affordable and safe spot to store your belongings, check Stasher’s locations around Saint-Laurent Boulevard and in many other locations in Montreal!

Atwater Cocktail Club

This is a pub that is hidden from the street and has completely black external walls. There's only a bright door to indicate that something’s happening behind the wall. Atwater Cocktail Club is located there and their trick lies in magic!

Instead of making a normal cocktail, the bartenders will ask you what you prefer, and a few minutes later, you'll notice someone behind the bar painstakingly picking bottles, spices, and fruits, to create something unique for you.

Comptoir Sainte-Cécile Take-Out Food

Comptoir Sainte-Cécile is a combination of a neighborhood store, a lunch counter, and a well-kept secret among Villeray locals. It's also a terrific place for breakfast. The fresh herb pancake with salmon gravlax is a must-try. For the time being, it's solely takeout, although you can enjoy your meal on their patio.

Cocoa Locale Bakery

This home-style bakery has a lovely owner and a charming decor, but it's the unusual ingredients that set Cocoa Locale apart. You'll find basics like lemon and vanilla, but the bakery also has ginger, cayenne, tea, and red peppers in her repertoire. Her delectable cupcakes, pies, and other sweet treats have a devoted following, some of whom may travel long distances to have a taste.

Cafe Myriade

Cafe Myriade has been a Montreal classic since 2008, delivering some of the best-handcrafted coffee beverages. It is located on Saint-Denis Street and it’s definitely worth a visit for its large, airy interior, trendy white-painted brick, and a charming terrace. Also, don't forget to taste the delicious cookies!


The Société des Arts Technologiques is a multifunctional space that was founded in 1996 as a laboratory to foster a new generation of digital-era researchers.

The "satosphere," a large dome dedicated to the production and presentation of 360° immersive experiences, is the site's most spectacular and unique feature. Also, the Foodlab, a gourmet creative lab with open kitchens and a fantastic rooftop patio, is a terrific place to meet up with friends for a drink at sunset.

River Rafting & Surfing

There aren't many rivers in the world with waves large enough to draw water-sports enthusiasts. In LaSalle, be ready for an amazing trip on the Lachine Rapids by jet boat or raft. There are numerous companies that offer various rafting and surfing activities there. Surfers will be enjoying the standing wave a little further down the Saint Lawrence River, near Habitat 67. Surf lessons are available there if you wish to give them a try!

Photo: Jp Valery, Unsplash