Montréal is a beautiful city to explore, with a fascinating combination of old colonial charm and modern city living. The people of Montréal are famously friendly and welcoming and there’s plenty to see and do here that is fully accessible for wheelchair users. |
Here’s my personal selection of the top accessible attractions in Montréal.
1. The Old Port Promenade
As the name suggests, the Old Port or Vieux-Port (remember French is the first language in Montréal) is set in the oldest part of the city, known as Old Montréal. Colonial buildings line the roads and there are plenty of historic statues to take in as you wind your way through its streets. Probably the best way for wheelchair users to drink in the atmosphere of Old Montréal is by travelling the Old Port Promenade, one of the most accessible attractions in Montréal. Designed for bicycles, it is a long, flat, paved path which runs for more than two kilometres along the shore of the St Lawrence River. There’s plenty to see and do along the route, from impressive buildings like the Centre des Sciences de Montréal to shops, cafés and restaurants.
2. Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal
While historic churches can be notoriously inaccessible to wheelchair users, the beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica, opposite the Place d’Armes, has done its best with a series of ramps allowing access to the main chapel and a smaller connected chapel. The interior of this early 19th Century Basilica is a riot of colour from the paintwork inspired by Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and its beautiful stained glass windows. There are no accessible toilet facilities in the church, so keep this into consideration when you visit. When you come out, be sure to spend a bit of time watching the street entertainers in the Place d’Armes - a great place for people-watching and taking a rest.
3. Montréal Botanical Garden
Another one of the most accessible attractions in Montréal is the city’s beautiful Botanical Garden. One of the city’s most visited tourist sights, the garden has a collection of more than 22,000 plant species and cultivars, 10 greenhouses to explore, a Tree Pavilion and more than 20 different gardens covering more than 75 hectares. And the best thing is, because it is mostly built around a network of smooth paths, it is very accessible to wheelchair users. The organisers have created a map with the most accessible routes around the gardens clearly marked, and there is even an accessible train that carries visitors around the park.
4. Bell Centre Arena
If walking around botanical gardens is a little bit tame for you, then why not get into the Canadian spirit and visit the home of their national game, ice hockey. The Bell Center Arena is where the NHL hockey team, the Canadiens is based. Built in 2014, 58 spaces around the arena are designated accessible, but ask my team to book early because ice hockey matches in Montréal are popular events.
If you’re looking for more information on accessible attractions in Montréal then me and my team at Can Be Done are available to help you book the perfect Canadian holiday. Call us on 020 8907 2400 and we can discuss exactly what you’re looking for from your Canadian adventure.
Philip Scott is the owner and founder of Can be Done, a fully licensed UK tour operator specialising in worldwide holidays for disabled individuals and groups. If you want to go and explore these accessible attractions in Montréal, Philip can create a fully accessible holiday itinerary for you, including excellent accommodation that caters to your needs.
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