The Plateau Mont Royal area of Montreal is definitely a place you’re going to want to get familiar with. It’s the epitome of cool, with dozens of street front patios, an ever-evolving collection of street art, great co-working cafés, and some absolutely beautiful places (if you know where to look). Plateau Mont Royal is just north of Montreal’s downtown, and is actually a very well lived-in neighbourhood. Streets busy with shops and nightlife are just around the corner from tranquil, tree-lined neighbourhood streets with colourful houses. It’s definitely one of Montreal’s most photogenic areas, and I’ll point you in the right direction of a few of the best photography spots!
If you’re visiting Montreal for the first time, Plateau Mont Royal is a great place to enjoy an afternoon (and Mont Royal itself is a must). Repeat visitor like myself? This is a chance to discover another side of Montreal. I’ve put in many, many days of exploring Plateau Mont Royal by foot and by bike because my boyfriend lived in this area during an internship. This gave me a chance to uncover some of the best spots in Plateau Mont Royal Montreal.
- Plateau Mont Royal Montreal
- Plateau Mont Royal Murals
- Mont Royal Observation Deck
- Saint Louis Square
- Plateau Mont Royal: Beautiful Streets
- Dragon Flowers Shop
- Plateau Mont Royal Parks
- Plateau Mont Royal Cafés
- Plateau Mont Royal Patios and Restaurants
Montreal Travel Guides:
- What to do in Montreal for 3 Days: Suggested Itinerary & Travel Guide
- The Best of Old Montreal: Things to do, Sights, and Food
- Things to do in Montreal in the Winter: The Ultimate Guide to Winter Activities, Food, and Festivals
Plateau Mont Royal Montreal
Plateau Mont Royal Murals
There are murals scattered all over Plateau Mont Royal, and they’re constantly changing. The area even boasts a mural festival hosted annually in June. I went to it myself this summer. It’s a fun chance for vendors to come out and share their goods, and to get an unobstructed view of some of the beautiful murals. The 10 day event is primarily hosted on St Laurent Boulevard and includes concerts, art, and guided tours of the murals. Even when the festival isn’t on, go out and explore the murals on your own!
The most scenic option is definitely Duluth Street. There are a couple lovely murals, and some beautiful buildings here too. Map of Duluth Street
Saint Laurent Boulevard
There are murals all along this street! Just walk, and you will find plenty. There is also a very cool walk-in mural at Théâtre ESPACE GO, further north towards the Mile End area. Map of Saint Laurent Boulevard.
There are murals and art on the outside of cafés, restaurants, and shops. Map of Rachel Street.
Mont-Royal E & Rue de Bullion
There is small open lot with murals on two large walls at the intersection of these streets. Map to Mont Royal E & Rue de Bullion.
St-Dominique & Marie-Anne
There are beautiful murals surrounding Parc du Portugal. Marie-Anne intersects with Saint Laurent Boulevard a block over. Map to St- Dominique & Marie-Anne.
Mont Royal Observation Deck
Make the trek up to the lookout at the top of Mont Royal. If you only do one thing in the Plateau Mont Royal area, let this be it. The lookout is incredible and well worth the walk. It takes about 25 minutes to reach the top. I highly recommend walking up about 1.5 hours before the official sunset time so that you have a chance to enjoy the view as the sun goes down. Give yourself 30 minutes to get back down before sunset, though, because the trails do get incredibly dark after that.
This is a super special place in Montreal, and it’s included in my 3 Day Montreal itinerary!
Saint Louis Square
Plateau Mont Royal’s Saint Louis Square is probably the most picturesque spot in the entire area. Saint Louis Square is, as the name suggests, a beautiful little square surrounding a quaint park. The park has a water fountain, green space, and even an awesome little café with outdoor seating for you to sit down and relax your legs (because if you’ve been exploring Plateau Mont Royal, I can just about guarantee you’ve take a lot of steps).
The houses that line the northern side of Saint Louis Square have beautiful red, blue, and purple trim – they’re not only beautiful houses in the area, but this row is certainly the most iconic segment!
Plateau Mont Royal: Beautiful Streets
Walk any of these streets between Mont Royal Avenue and Saint Louis Square and you are guaranteed to find amazing front gardens, beautiful tree-lined streets, and fun colourful houses! Please remember that people do live in these houses, so if you’re bring your camera (like me) just try to be courteous, respectful, and quick about your photo taking.
Note: There is some construction going on in the area (Updated: July 2019) but at least on my walks, I was still able to go down all of the following streets.
This is the street of the infamous red and yellow house – I say infamous because Plateau Mont Royal houses is a fairly specific niche, but anyone that’s every posted a photo essay or guide to the area has definitely included this house. The rest of the street is just as beautiful!
I mentioned this street earlier as a great place for murals. It’s a really lovely street to walk along, and runs perpendicular to all the other streets here.
There are all kinds of houses with pretty exterior colours on Drolet Street – purple, red, and different shades of blue all in a row!
Henri-Julien Street includes the corner near Saint Louis Square with the beautiful trimmed houses. Houses along the rest of the street walking towards Mont Royal Avenue are just as beautiful!
I love a nice overgrown wall, and Bullion Street has plenty. Coloured houses, not so much, but this street provides shade and lots of lovely gardens.
Dragon Flowers Shop
This one is, admittedly, a bit of a walk from the others. It’s part of a very small zone called Mile End that broadly falls in to the Plateau Mont Royal area. On the walk to Dragon Flowers, stop for a few bites to eat using my Mile End food tour guide!
Dragon Flowers is one of Montreal’s most photogenic store fronts. The hanging birdcages and flower baskets create a whimsical space. It’s amazing to come around the corner and see it! If you’re local and are able to, please consider buying flowers to support Dragon Flowers. The shop is run by one lovely woman – it’s actually her home – that wanted to create something special. I had the pleasure of talking to her after taking my own photos.
Plateau Mont Royal Parks
Jeanne-Mance Park is at the base of Mont Royal, so you can flake out on the grass and look up at the impressive span above you. It’s a popular local spot for picnics and just straight up relaxing. There are occasionally events and tournaments here, too.
The beautiful Lahaie Park has a stunning fountain in the middle that makes for an amazing photo. It’s a shaded park with lots of benches, so it’s the perfect place to bring a snack, coffee, or a book if you’re looking for some peace and quite. Just something to be conscious of if you’re visiting, the stair case towards the back is also a popular spot for the local homeless community to spend the night.
La Fontaine Park
This park was on my personal Montreal summer bucket list – it’s beautiful, shaded, and has a lovely fountain in the middle! Come winter the pond becomes a skating rink (that I can’t wait to revisit and skate on). There are bixi bike stations all around the edge of the park, so I rented a bike and went for a ride on the trails that wind through La Fontain Park. It’s a really nice, leisurely ride around the lake – especially on a really hot day! Most importantly, there were lots of cute dogs at this park.
Plateau Mont Royal Cafés
I love cafés, and in a Montreal summer, an air conditioned work space is a necessity. There is no shortage of cafés in the Plateau Mont Royal. I spent a lot of time working in cafés this summer (writing blog posts like this one). The mural trend is also continued here – all of these cafés either have a mural on their exterior or one very nearby, and inside they all have very distinct styles.
Café Névé serves delicious drinks, hot and cold, and has great seating for individuals or pairs of people. I love their iced tea! Location.
Replika is not only a great café, but a great spot for lunch! I had a sandwich bagel that was delicious. Go with a friend to chat, or alone and find a place at the co-working table. Location.
Right on Saint Laurent Street, Dispatch Coffee is a great place to pop in to whether you’re looking for a fresh espresso. Dispatch specializes in responsibility sourced coffee and roasts fresh. Location.
Want to take your morning brew outside? Noble is a cute, counter-serve café with lots of options and outdoor seating. Location.
Le Moineau Masqué
This beautiful café includes a terrace for you to relax on with your cold brew coffee and a fresh pastry. There’s also homemade ice cream available some days! Location.
Plateau Mont Royal Patios and Restaurants
All this exploring is definitely going to make you hungry! Here are some of my favourite places in Plateau Mont Royal to grab a bite or enjoy a drink.
Shaker is one of many fantastic patios on Saint Laurent Boulevard. I love it because the cocktail menu is unreal – they host a cocktail competition annually so there are some really fun creations to choose from! Location.
La Panthère Verte
Montreal’s best vegan food is at La Panthère Verte. I love getting the traditional falafel trio – a delicious vegan falafel, spicy sweet potato fries, and a house iced tea. 2 locations!
Go on a stroll through the Mile End region for a self-guided food tour, or book a formal, guided food tour that includes samples and history. The cool thing about Mile End is that a lot of places offer small servings and walk-up style so you can snack as you explore.
Delicious and decked out with an awesome mural, omnivore is a great place for lunch. I love the chicken shawarma platter (their garlic sauce is amazing!) and have heard the sandwiches are awesome too. Location.
If you only went for dinner once in Montreal… this is the place. It took me by surprise at first but a few bites in I was smitten. Ichigo Ichie specializes in ramen so to get start, order that. They’ll give you a piece of paper with some boxes to fill out, so you can customize your own. It’s not often that I repeat restaurants twice in a a big city (because there are just so many great places to try!) but for Ichigo Ichie, I made an exception. Location.