on November 10, 2011
This huge park, right near the Montreal Botanical Gardens (which is in fact part of it), was originally built for the 1976 Montreal Olympics. We visited it after our day in the Botanical Gardens and I have to say it must be one of the most breathtaking views of Montreal we saw. The highlight of our visit was a trip up to the top of the spaceship like construction along a cable car on a 45o angle. Once at the top you can view the whole cityscape of Montreal and a breathtaking view of Mont Royal.The tower is around 175 metres high and the tallest inclined tower in the world. We were herded through to a waiting area and then made our way onto the funicular. This went pretty rapidly up the outside of the tower. It made us feel a bit dizzy, and not something that I would recommend for those that dislike heights. We got to the top and we walked out onto a viewing platform room. Unlike a lot of towers this one doesn't have an outside platform, but there are windows on 3 sides of the platform as well as 2 'holes' where you can look down to the roof of the stadium below. The views were fantasitc even though it was very hazy when we went. Over the windows there are pictures with labels to show you what you are looking at which is very useful. There were also telescopes which we gave a miss as you had to pay extra for them. We were very impressed with the views, you can see all of downtown Montreal, the river and the mountain. If it was too hazy I would say that the tower would not be worth going up as it really the view that you pay for. It was just about OK when we went but had it been any worse I think I would have been disappointed. Also on the floor was a small shop selling the usual tourist fare, and toilets. We made our way back down the funicular and ended up with wobbly legs at the bottom!Other than that though there really isn't a lot else we could find to do. One thing to remember about visiting Montreal is that it is a predominantly French speaking city so many of the tourist attractions are mainly in French with just a few English versions running each day. This is the case with the tours around the Olympic Park and unfortunatley when arrived we had missed the English tours for that day. Luckily though we managed to get a ticket that combined the trip up the tower in the Olympic Park with our trip to the Botanical Gardens for a very reasonable CAD$16.75. The only other thing that we looked at was a pretty dated exhibition about the Olympics, which I thought was rather shabby for something that dominates the Montreal skyline. The exterior of the complex also looked quite tired and dated, lots of weeds everywhere. Also from other reviews I have seen about the tour of the area I am glad I didn't bother, as the overall opinion seems to be that it is a bit of a let down.Overall, I think if you are in Montreal and visiting the Botanical Gardens and it's a clear day then take the trip up to the top of the tower for a wonderful view of Montreal. If you're not making a trip out that way then don't make a special journey, it will only be a let down. Sorry Montreal!
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