Lachine Canal

Escape city life without leaving the city

Bike

Beginner-friendly

Full day

Between downtown Montreal and Lac Saint-Louis is the Lachine Canal Bike Path, which lets you get where you need to go in the busy city without worrying about street lights, cars and crowds. It’s a nice way to forget that there’s a major metropolis minutes away. Start your route in Montreal’s Old Port and pass several parks along the way.

Lachine Canal

Lachine Canal, Montreal, QC, Canada

Get Directions

Planning your ride

Find some tranquil transportation in the city

When you set out

To help you plan, you can download a free map from the official website. But it’s not a tough route to follow – the bike path is more or less a straight line, hugging the waterway through some Montreal parks and neighbourhoods. Just start pedalling south; you can’t really make a wrong turn.

Grab and go

If you want to pick something up for a picnic lunch, we recommend the Atwater Market for the local vendors and old-fashioned, bazaar-like atmosphere. It’s just over 4km south from your starting point. Grab a banana to stash in your backpack or bike jersey for later, and if you need to fuel up before you keep going, the floating Canal Lounge is a new addition in the area for an evening bike ride (it’s open from 5–11pm).

 

Need a break?

If you want to stop and catch your breath, there are plenty of parks along the way. René Lévesque, another 10km south of the market, is home to a remarkable sculpture garden, while the Des Rapides is a calm spot to find nature in the city, and is a biodiverse sanctuary for migratory birds.

The trails

The bike path is completely flat with a crushed-rock surface, which makes for easy cycling. From end to end, the trip takes about an hour, but you could take longer if you’re riding at a leisurely pace, especially if you stop to enjoy the local snacks, art and scenery. Pack some picnic supplies in your pannier for a break before you turn around and head back.

There when you need them

All year long, the Lachine Canal bike paths are open to public from dawn until 11:00pm. They’re best to ride in summer and fall (since the city only maintains them between April and November). If you want to get a bit deeper in Montreal’s history, you can stop at any of the five working locks to learn more about their role in the city’s industrial history.

 

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