Longueuil is a suburb of Montreal, and it is right across the St. Lawrence River from the city. It is a commercial, residential, and industrial city, and it has been around since 1657.
Longueuil has many things to see and do, but travelers often forget about it. Even more so because it is close to Montreal. But there is a lot to see in the city, even if you only have a day.
Let’s look at Longueuil’s best things to do:
1. Go cross-country skiing or hiking for a day
Go to the huge 1,850,000-square-meter Parc Michel-Chartrand at any time of the year. This is the city’s biggest and most well-known park. It has three lakes, a marsh, a playground, and a beautiful garden.
Most people know Parc Michel-Chartrand for its 12.5 km cross-country skiing trail. It also has an ice rink and a sledding hill.
If you go when the weather is nice, make sure to hike along the 10 km of trails. There are also places to picnic and play pétanque.
2. Go to a wildlife park
Boisé du Tremblay is a wooded area at the northeast corner of the city. The Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife has protected this area because it has a lot of different kinds of life.
Even if you don’t like nature, you should visit the 267-hectare area. It is home to a lot of interesting plant and animal species, like the Western chorus frog.
Boisé du Tremblay has a beautiful trail that lets people see all of the great plants and animals that live there. The trail is open all year, and there is a parking lot at the beginning.
3. Listen to music played live
The well-known International Percussion Festival is a must-see for anyone going to Longueuil or anywhere nearby. The festival lasts for six days every July, and more than 500 musicians take part.
Every year, more than 200,000 people go to the International Percussion Festival, which is one of the most famous cultural events in the city. At the festival, musicians from Quebec and other parts of the country play. There are also many musicians from other countries who come every year.
The theme of the four-stage festival changes every year. One thing that never changes is that it is always a lot of fun.
4. Go to a small island
Charron Island is part of the Îles de Boucherville archipelago. It is between Boucherville and Montreal in the St. Lawrence River. The French governor René Gaultier used to own the island, but now it is a green space.
The Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine Bridge-Tunnel connects Charron Island to both Montreal and Longueuil. It is also the main way to get to the other islands in the group.
There are parks and green areas on the island, as well as a beautiful beach. You can drive to the beach or take a ferry across the river.
5. Learn about the important women in Quebec’s history.
The women of the city and the rest of Quebec are honored at the Musée De La Femme. It is part of the Women’s Museums Network, which raises awareness of the role women have played in making the world a better place.
Both permanent and temporary galleries at the museum show photos, paintings, newspaper articles, and other items. There are also talks and classes available.
You can not only walk through the Musée De La Femme, but you can also look at the building it is in. The house is in the style of a bungalow and is on a quiet street. It shows how women used to take care of their homes.
6. Go to a park for the afternoon
Longueuil has a few parks, but Parc de la Cité is one of the most popular ones. This big park is in the borough of Saint-Hubert. It has a lake, a big field, and a hill with a view of the park and the city.
In the summer, you can ride a bike, rollerblade, or walk along the eight kilometers of trails. In the winter, you can ice skate on the lake at Parc de la Cité.
Every year, events like the Fête nationale and the Lac en fête take place in Parc de la Cité. It also has movies, concerts, and other activities that the whole family can enjoy.
7. Gaze at art
Longueuil has a pretty active art scene, with plenty for any art lover to enjoy. For starters, there are sculptures by local artists in a number of the city’s parks and public buildings.
At the Société historique et culturelle du Marigot, you can find a list of all the public art that can be seen around the city. This will make it very easy to find each piece and read about it and the artist.
Plein Sud is a center for modern art and animation. If you like modern art, you should go there. The center encourages young artists to use different techniques to show their creativity. Their work is then shown in the gallery.
8. Visit a mall
One of the biggest shopping malls in the city is Place Longueuil. It is on Rue Saint-Charles, which is the main shopping area in Longueuil.
There are more than 140 stores and services in the mall, and some of them are well-known chain stores. These include boutiques like La Vie en Rose, Yves Rocher, Ardéne and Bentley.
There are a lot of places to eat if you get hungry while walking around, and most of them are fast food places. There are also a few restaurants where you can sit down and have someone bring you food.
9. Look around the old town
You can walk around Old Longueuil and look at the many old buildings there. This part of the city has more than 450 buildings, all of which were built before 1945.
Rue Saint-Charles is the main street in the area. It is full of shops, restaurants, and bars. In Old Longueuil, you can also find City Hall.
The Co-Cathedral of Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue is the building that stands out the most in the area. Underneath this beautiful Gothic Revival church are the remains of Fort Longueuil, which were found during excavations.
10. Connect with nature
The Gault Nature Reserve is a 1,000-hectare park that is run by McGill University. The reserve is not in Longueil. Instead, it is in Mont-Saint-Hilare, which is just east of the city.
The Gault Nature Reserve is a beautiful place that protects the area’s wildlife and old-growth forests. It has 25 kilometers of hiking trails, which is the best way to connect with nature.
The reserve is open for people to enjoy 365 days a year. It is also used by the Faculty of Science at the university to teach and do research.