Located on the western tip of Montreal in an upscale area known as "The Lakeshore" or "The West Island," Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, location of a Parks Canada National Historic Site, is a favourite day trip destination for Montrealers.
The Iroquois and Algonquin First Nations had settlements in this area before the arrival of Europeans. Dating back to 1703, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue is one of the oldest European communities on the Island of Montreal.
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue's main claim to fame is that it's the location of McGill University's MacDonald College campus (where the faculties of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Food Science and Nutritional Sciences are located).
Attractions in the area include Morgan Arboretum, Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre, and the Lyman Entomological Museum. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is also located in this community and it has it's own observatory, Bellevue Observatory, at Morgan Arboretum. The Ecomuseum. with 115 species of Quebec wildlife. is perfect for family-friendly events.
Boating enthusiasts dock their boats in this area or traverse from Lake Saint-Louis to Lake of Two Mountains via the locks at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal.
A boardwalk runs along the shoreline and there are a number of restaurants that are prefect for private dining and corporate events. They have patios overlooking the boardwalk, the canal and Ile Perrot.
Some of my favourites include Peter's Cape Cod, where my father used to take us sometimes on Sunday. The delightful menu includes a variety of seafood dishes. Another personal favourite is La Fondue Prince Arthur which used to be located on Prince Arthur Street within walking distance of the neighbourhood in which I grew up in downtown Montreal. Their specialities include cheese fondue, Swiss fondue, fondue Chinoise, raclette, and chocolate fondue. Private groups of up to 100 can dine in comfort.
On my last visit to Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue (on Canada Day weekend) I discovered Klondike Steak House, which is open for lunch on weekdays when my 2 other favourites are closed. Specialities include Grilled Atlantic Salmon, Chicken Parmigiana, and Coq Royal Ciabatta Gratine. The lesson learned: when in Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue, allow enough time to browse around. One never knows what treasures they'll discover in the boutiques or what exciting eateries are waiting to be discovered.
Photo Credits: Executive Oasis International, Team Building Quebec