You can live a full life without ever leaving the Island of Montreal. But those who stick to the metropolis are missing out on lesser-known destinations just a bridge away. There are plenty of things to do in Laval to entertain even the most jaded Montrealer.
The suburb may just be a bridge away, but stepping into the 450 can sometimes feel like unfamiliar territory because, let's be real, it offers a completely different vibe.
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The city across the Rivière des Prairies is known for its sprawling shopping centres, highways, and seemingly endless suburban streets.
But talk to any Lavalois and you'll undoubtedly hear about their immense pride in their own island — a pride that probably comes from their abundance of activities and out-of-the-way spots to explore.
It may seem like a faraway land, but the reality is it's just a quick trip away from Montreal — it's even accessible by metro!
From amazing eateries, charming bakeries, and underrated parks, Laval is worth checking out every now and again.
Parc Bernard Landry
Where: 5, avenue du Crochet
This gorgeous park by the Rivière des Prairies is a little natural oasis among suburban streets and industrial parks.
Though it's just across from Montreal Island, it feels like it belongs in the Laurentides region.
Where: 192, boulevard Sainte-Rose
This Italian restaurant calls itself a "little corner of paradise" and claims to have one of the most beautiful garden terraces in Quebec.
It's the perfect spot for an intimate dinner date.
Where: 703, boulevard Curé-Labelle
Located in a strip mall, this bakery is known for the amazing Greek desserts it serves up, but I go for the fiercely flavourful Greek frappes.
If you're a coffee fanatic, you are going to want to head to Laval and grab one ASAP!
Parc de la Riviere-des-Milles-Îles
Where: 345, boulevard Sainte-Rose
Another beautiful park in Laval, located in Sainte-Rose, this spot is known for its protected wildlife, calm waters, and gorgeous views. It's also a great spot to kayak and rent canoes.
Where: 3821, boulevard Saint-Martin O.
There are so many ice-cream spots in and around Montreal, but few do it like Bouza.
This Syrian-inspired ice cream joint adds a delectable flair to the frozen treat.
Le Château Taillefer Lafon
Where: 1500, montée Champagne
Everything about this place is Instagram worthy, from the greenery to the architecture.
It feels a world away from Laval's famous sprawl.
The boutique sells locally produced wines and ciders and you can even sign up for the wine club, whose members have access to the baroque terrasse and private tastings.
Patisserie ArtopolisGoogle Maps
Where: 4617, chemin du Souvenir
This spot is so low-key, there is no website, no Instagram, and barely any photos online.
But if you're a fan of croissants, you are going to want to make the drive to Laval.
Where: 270, boulevard des Prairies
This lovely spot facing the water is a picturesque fall escape minutes from Montreal Island. Grab a book, or download a good podcast and head to this spot for a little one-on-one time with yourself.
Where: 1627, boulevard Curé-Labelle
My mouth is watering just thinking about this place. Located in a strip mall, this eatery is easy to miss.
Although the butcher shop is known for its high-quality meats, it's the sandwiches that draw me to Laval.
These melt-in-your-mouth, pita-stuffed meals are full of flavour.
Berge aux Quatre-Vents
Where: 925, rue Riviera
This sandy spot is a well-kept secret and a great place to set up a picnic or play some volleyball. It offers the same beach vibes as the sandy riverside parks of Montreal without the crowds.
Where: 3873, boulevard Saint-Martin O.
This may not be hidden, but this new pizza spot is worth taking the drive to Laval.
You customize your pie, but in every case, the thin-crust goodness will have your mouth watering for more after the very first bite.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment and obey any local laws.