Most students have that book—the book they promised themselves they would read before school, work, and friends eventually take over. With exams long over and summer in full swing, many students have more time on their hands, making it the perfect opportunity to crack open a new read. The following is a list of the best underrated places in Montreal that will make it easier to finally read that book this summer.
Beaver Lake: Romance Novel
Although the majority of students have visited Mont Royal at some point, fewer make it to the beautiful Lac aux Castors, otherwise known as Beaver Lake. Though it is quite a long hike to this spot, located approximately half an hour west of Chalet du Mont Royal by foot, it is worth the effort to enjoy the scenery of the glittering lake surrounded by green hills. On a sunny day, it is the perfect place for reading and taking in Montreal’s glorious—albeit short—summer. There are many benches surrounding the lake and lots of space in the grass, both in the warm sun and in the shade of the abundant trees, for reclining. The fun, vibrant atmosphere can be too distracting to read a dense novel, but the sun and the sight of happy couples and families at this spot makes it perfect for reading a light romance novel and daydreaming.
Salon B: Art History Book
Located at the intersection of rue Saint Laurent and rue Rachel, Salon B is a great indoor spot to find respite from the heat, or shelter from a cooler, rainy summer day. Salon B is a cultural space that hosts a variety of public and private art events, like book launches and art exhibitions, making it an ideal venue for those who are artistically-minded. The salon has sleek, Scandinavian decor with minimalist chairs and sofas, as well as glossy floors in neutral tones. The comfortable seating is well-suited for those who prefer to read at a table rather than outdoors. The welcoming atmosphere and culture-rich setting makes it fitting for is reading a book on the history of fashion.
Westmount Park: Biography
Surrounded by elegant and dignified mansions, Westmount Park is a hidden haven to read a biography of someone who has changed the world. Located in Westmount, the peaceful residential neighbourhood about twenty minutes west of campus by bike, the park is a great escape from the noise and chaos of downtown. The park is a grassy expanse with meandering bike paths, a soccer field, and a river, and is mainly frequented by families and young children. Lined with public institutions—including a school and the Westmount Park United Church—the quiet park is apt for reflecting and reading about great thinkers. With its plethora of peaceful places to sit, Westmount Park is a must for those who want to read outside on a beautiful summer day, somewhere more quiet and isolated than the parks located in the heart of the city.
BAnQ: A Classic
The Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec (BAnQ) is a stunning and fairly new library, built just over ten years ago. This modern building with beautiful architecture, situated on the corner of Berri and Maisonneuve, is a great place to cozy up when the weather does not allow for outdoor reading. The building is comprised of four sprawling stories with varied seating spaces. On the second floor, there are many desks, useful for when the next exam season comes around and every campus library is once again filled to the brim. On the third floor, an array of sofas line floor-to-ceiling windows, which is great for sitting and listening to the rain, while on the fourth floor, there is a quirky little tent. The library itself houses a wide array of books, magazines, and other multimedia pieces to peruse. BAnQ’s peaceful setting makes it a perfect atmosphere to read a denser book by someone such as Sartre or Milton.