Montréal’s history is inseparable from the river that runs through it. The Saint Lawrence has borne witness to the arrival of the first explorers, the development of agriculture, and the growth of industry along its shores. In fact, it was because of that industrial development that Montrealers began to leave the water’s edge in order to live a little farther from the factories.
After years of turning their backs on the river, in part because of a somewhat excessive industrial presence, Montréal and its residents have started taking back the Saint Lawrence and its surroundings. Revitalization efforts have been put in place to transform the unused former industrial sectors through real estate projects and urban and landscape development.
Drawing on Montréal’s history and current design trends, a number of projects have been launched to bring a renewed focus to water’s role in the city. For instance, Montréal will soon have a new quay that not only boasts improved docking facilities to welcome incoming cruise ships, but also re-establishes direct access to the water from Old Montréal. Two new urban beaches in Pointe-aux-Trembles and Verdun are currently being developed, along with some new bike paths. And finally, all kinds of fun riverside activities are now available along both the Saint Lawrence and the Rivière des Prairies — so you can now explore Montréal by kayak, paddleboard, or in small boats that offer a unique perspective on Québec's biggest city.
Up for a dip in the river?