Growing up in Montreal, Mount-royal was always the go-to place when me and my friends had nothing better to do. Whether we hung around beaver lake, hiked through some of the trails or even just sat in a parked car, chain smoking and waiting for the ice cream guy to show up. But while we were hiking through those trails, we often thought to ourselves: "we could camp out here and no one would ever know"
Think about it, the forest is pretty big and you can walk around for awhile without encountering anyone else. If you showed up late at night, headed off into the heavily wooded areas and pitched a tent in a random clearing you could pretty much spend the night there without any problem.
There was even a Mcgill student who did it for 9 whole months in order to live rent-free.
Well it seems other people since then have had the same idea ... A LOT more people. According to Le Devoir The Montreal Police launched an operation to dismantle illegal "campsites" located throughout Mount-Royal Park. They found 4 occupied sites and "evicted" 8 people. When they checked the rest of the park, they found over 20 campfire pits. Meaning a lot of people have been camping out and presumably living temporarily in the forest.
The police plan on conducting more of these operations throughout the summer in order to discourage and prevent more people from squatting in the park at night.