Guided Tour: Jeanne Mance Park
Address: Jeanne Mance Park, Park Ave., between Duluth and Mont Royal Avenues.
Parking: Metered parking is available on the surrounding streets.
By bicycle: It’s on the bike path.
By public transport: Closest metro is Mount Royal, at Mount Royal and Berri. Buses 80 and 129 stop in front of Jeanne Mance Park.
Many Montreal parents have fond memories of hanging out around Jeanne Mance Park. Memories that have nothing to do with children, playground equipment or packing all the right gear.
Think back to 5 or 10 BC (before children), when you and your friends used to spend aimless Sundays at the tam tams, having lofty debates about globalization and where to get brunch. You probably never noticed that there were parents in the vicinity, cursing you and your hair wrap, as they wrestled their kids into hats and sunblock.
It’s kind of funny that having young kids can lead us back to this hippie hot spot. There are some excellent facilities for families in the park across the street from where the tam tams are held. The playground at Jeanne Mance Park, located on the Park Ave. side, is modern, well-maintained and great for children up to about age four. The park has a sandpit and swings, which are both well-shaded. Kids over four may find the equipment a bit tame, but that’s OK, because there’s also a huge wading pool right next to the park. There are also large sports fields for playing Frisbee or soccer (if a game is not already going on).
Try the tam tams!
It’s fun for the kids to see and hear the tam tams, so, if the weather is good, plan for a Sunday visit. Aside from the music and dancing, there may also be jugglers or other street performers in the crowd. The drums may not start till around noon, so bringing lunch is a good idea (you can only buy popsicles/ice cream and water at the tam tams). You could also eat somewhere close by; if the kids can manage a restaurant, you have a great excuse to go to Santropol on St. Urbain St., south of Duluth.
- Both the park and the playground are fenced, making it quite manageable for a parent on their own.
- The wading pool opens at 10 a.m., which is earlier than many other wading pools.
- There are reasonably clean public bathrooms at the foot of the stairs that lead to Mount Royal.
- If you prefer to check out what’s on top of Mount Royal, plan to visit the Salamander Park