Summer in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue

The Sandbox

The Butterfly Garden is one of the many attractions of Macdonald Campus in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue is a quaint town located on the western tip of the Island of Montreal. Situated about thirty minutes away from Downtown Montreal, Sainte-Anne is the perfect location for a one-day retreat from the City. Sainte-Anne is home to McGill University’s Macdonald Campus, which is the largest green space on the Island of Montreal. The Campus offers visitors an abundance of outdoor activities, while the town boasts great restaurants and shopping along its scenic waterfront.

How to get there

Sainte-Anne is easily accessible by car, commuter train, city bus or campus shuttle. While easily the most convenient option for McGill students, faculty, and staff during the school year, the Macdonald Campus Shuttle only travels downtown twice per day in the summer. When traveling from downtown Montreal in the summer, the most convenient public transit options is the 411 Express Bus, which leaves from Lionel Groulx Metro Station and stops directly in front of Macdonald Campus. The schedule for the 411 Express is available online. The 211 Bord-du-Lac bus also travels to Sainte-Anne from Lionel Groulx Station, but is much less direct.

Once you’re there

When you arrive in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, the bus will drop you off in front of Macdonald Campus. If you have not yet visited the Campus, be sure to take the opportunity to explore! Macdonald Campus is 650-hectares, making it the largest green space on the Island of Montreal. The Campus is home to the University’s Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the School of Human Nutrition, Institute of Parasitology and the McGill School of Environment. During the academic year, more that 12,00 staff and students work or study on Macdonald Campus; however, during the summer, the campus is often very quiet.

B-Shack is an outreach, education and research hub at Macdonald Campus designed to raise awareness of the threat of honeybee colony collapse.

While you’re at Macdonald Campus, spend some time exploring its beautiful ecological assets, including the Lyman Entomological Museum and Research Laboratory, the McGill University Herbarium, the Macdonald Campus Farm, the Morgan Arboretum. The Morgan Arboretum is a 245-hectare forested reserve on Macdonald Campus. The Arboretum is open daily throughout the year  to visitors who can walk and ski its trails in season. In addition to an expanse of natural woodland containing examples of most of Quebec’s native trees, the property supports 18 collections of trees and shrubs and is also home to 30 species of mammals, 20 species of reptiles and amphibians, and over 170 species of migratory and overwintering birds.

In teaching, research, and everyday life, ecological sustainability is of great importance to students, faculty, and staff at Macdonald Campus. Using the self-guided Macdonald Campus Sustainability Walking Tour, you will discover many projects and sites that embody Macdonald Campus’ commitment to sustainability —inside the classroom, in daily life, and in the field. Highlights from the tour include the Butterfly Garden, the Macdonald Student Run-Ecological Gardens and B-Shack.

Getting hungry?

After you have explored Macdonald Campus, it will be time for a bite to eat. Walk west along Rue Sainte-Anne, which will take you to the heart of town and a great selection of restaurants and shopping. For a coffee or light lunch, stop by Café TWIGS, a family-owned business and a favourite among locals. Warm and welcoming, the café offers a good selection of healthy and vegetarian fair, such as delicious homemade soups and sandwiches on freshly baked bread.

If you are visiting town on a Saturday, the Sainte-Anne Farmers’ Market is not to be missed! The Sainte Anne Farmers’ Market is located on the town’s waterfront and offers an amazing selection of farm fresh foods, many of them organic. The Market also offers a number of artisan products, including maple syrup, honey, and baked goods. Throughout the year, the Market hosts a number of culinary demonstrations, live music, and food festival. Be sure to check out the Annual Garlic Festival on August 26th, 2017.

If you’ve planned ahead a time and packed a picnic, find a table along the The Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal and observe some of its history. The Canal played a prominent role in developing the regions business and tourism during the 19th century. Learn about the Canal’s history by strolling along the boardwalk, where you’ll find an abundance green spaces that make prime picnic locations on a summer day.

To learn more about Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, visit the town’s tourism website.

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