Mont Royal

June 15, 2019


Montreal, QC

Mt. Royal is a urban hill immediately next to downtown Montreal and thus, by no doubt the most popular “summit” in or around the city of Montreal. An ascent of Mt. Royal was rather just a tiny part of the major expedition to Mt. Caubvick in the Torngat Mountains. I had about 10 hours to kill between the Vancouver-Montreal and Montreal-Kuujjuaq flights. I landed in Montreal at around 12:30 am and made a spontaneous decision to explore the downtown and hike up Mt. Royal a few hours later. There was really no good place to sleep in the airport and I did want to at least see the downtown area. I spent close to an hour researching and eventually settled on a longer, but cheaper bus ride. I also had to spend $20 to leave my luggage in the airport’s locker.

There were only two or three passengers on the bus at 4 am in the morning. I unfortunately forgot to exchange for some coins (could not use credit card on the bus) but the driver let me on anyway so I essentially got a free ride into the downtown. The ride was close to an hour long and I got off at one of the stations closer to Mt. Royal and started the hike immediately. The sky was getting brighter at 5:30 am and the light was just enough that I did not need headlamp after entering the woods. The hike over a subsidiary bump to the true summit was uneventful but unfortunately there’s minimal to see from the highest point.

Got off the bus in downtown Montreal

Montreal at down

In some light drizzle I started hiking towards Mt. Royal

Without even bothering to take a photo I descended eastwards onto a trail with a few viewpoints following the Gaia GPS map. The best view of Montreal downtown was indeed from the viewpoints along the trail. By this point I still had about 2 hours to kill before returning to the airport so I decided to give McGill University a visit which was right in the downtown anyway. After walking back into downtown I went into a local Tim Horton for a breakfast and then took a more expensive bus ($10) back to the airport. This bus was faster because it travelled on the free way.

Past the true summit I came across this structure

The city of Montreal at sunrise time

This is the classic shot of downtown Montreal from Mt. Royal

Another photo of downtown Montreal, about half an hour later

Walking down the steep staircases back into the downtown

Exploring McGill University

More about McGill University

This is where I got onto the return bus to the airport

I was pretty tired after a sleepless night. The check in at First Air was fluent but I had to pay extra money for the second checked bag. And then I killed two more hours in the airport before resuming the expedition.