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Wildlife

Things to do at the Parc

Parc Jean-Drapeau boasts a wealth of green spaces and a highly diversifed wildlife on the premises. There are very few places near Montréal that are home to as many mammals, along with a wide variety of birds and facilities specifically designed to house insects.


Don't feed the animals

If you come across an animal while you're at the Parc, please don't feed it - it's important to avoid doing this so that the animals don't become dependent on a human presence to get fed!

The animals on the Parc Jean-Drapeau premises are perfectly capable of surviving in a natural environment - you'll be doing them a favour by refraining from giving them food.

Red foxes

Emblematic of Parc Jean-Drapeau, red foxes are mammals which have orange-hue fur with white under the throat and stomach, a pointed muzzle, erect ears and bushy tail.

Foxes are omnivores but their diet is mainly carnivorous. They consume rodents and rabbits, but they also eat insects, fish or fruit. They are opportunistic, with the ability to adapt to very diversifed environments and change their eating habits in relation to the time of the year.


Interesting fact

The mammal population at the Parc was so considerable it led to quite a few problems, including ones related to maintenance and mobility on the islands. As a result, Parc Jean-Drapeau, in conjunction with the Foundation de la faune, artificially introduced red foxes on its site for the purpose of rebalancing and controlling the overpopulation of rodents on the premises.

Raccoons

Raccoons have been naturally sneaking onto the islands of Parc Jean-Drapeau. Raccoons are largely nocturnal, easily able to climb trees, with their agile fingers and sharp claws. They have salt-and-pepper fur with slightly red hues. They are recognizable by their black mask featues bordered by white around the eyes and their tail of alternating clear and black rings.

Raccoons adapt to their many natural environments. Opportunistic and easy to tame, raccoons are often seen roaming in urban areas. Shyer than other animals, raccoons are evasive and hard to spot.

Groundhogs

There is an abundance of groundhogs at Parc Jean-Drapeau and they have gained notoriety worldwide, especially during the Canadian Grand Prix. It's not unusual to see them moseying along the trails or lolling in the sun on a warm summer day.

They have a dark brown, reddish fur and sturdy claws, which are a big help when they dig their burrows.


Interesting fact

Groundhogs are of help to many animals that reuse the groundhogs' burrows as a shelter to protect themselves from predators or bad weather.

Birds

Lots of birds live at or come to Parc Jean-Drapeau because of the diversity of the ecosystems and the omnipresence of water. Nuthatches, cardinals, robins, warblers and hawks are some of the many species on the site. In fact, QuébecOiseaux notes that about 200 species have been observed on the islands.

Year-long, visitors and ornithologists are invited to observe the different types of birds at Parc Jean-Drapeau by going along the many pedestrian pathways on Notre-Dame and Sainte-Hélène islands.

Bees

Parc Jean-Drapeau called on the Alvéole organization to set up two beehives in the rose garden of the Hélène-de-Champlain pavilion on Île Sainte-Hélène.

Urban beekeeping is increasingly popular, a rise that correlates to the interest in local food production, as well as a general concern about the fate of pollinators that are responsible for the pollinating of a third of our overall food production.

For the complete rundown on beehives at the Parc, to learn more about the Parc's beehives or urban beekeeping, please read the Alvéole blog.

Don't miss the workshops: beekeeping and visits to hives

Butterflies

Parc Jean-Drapeau has an array of butterfly houses, places that provide the insects with great protection from the rain, as well as a temperature that's slightly milder than it is outside. In the fall, some of the adult butterfly species look for places to protect themselves and hide until spring.

The nesting houses are placed in an area sheltered from the rain, ideally set beneath the eavesline of buildings, in the Floralies Gardens' area.

The installation of butterfly houses isn't an absolute must for the survival of the species, but it provides a nice opportunity to watch this phenomenon and make the general public aware of what a fine pollinator the butterfly is.

Insects

The next time you're touring the Floralies Gardens, you can take a look at the insect hotels on the site. These tiny cedar houses can accommodate many insects, including solitary bees - also called wild bees - carpenter or mason bees, which are big pollinators. They are the first to pollinate flowers and fruits in the spring. There are more than 350 species in the province of Québec.

The upper area (attic) of the hotels can accommodate ladybugs and lacewings, which are great for eating aphids, insects that are harmful to plant life.

The insect hotels at Parc Jean-Drapeau are made by Atelier Zabie.

Learn more

To obtain more details regarding wildlife or for any request for information, do not hesitate to contact our staff.

Mobility

Getting to au Parc Jean-Drapeau

To make it easier to get around, here is the exact location of the Parc Jean-Drapeau posted on Google Maps.

Subway Station

The Jean-Drapeau subway station is located on Île Sainte-Hélène, in the heart of Parc Jean-Drapeau. To get to the Parc easily and quickly, the subway is still the best way to go!

River shuttle

During the summer season, Parc Jean-Drapeau visitors can use the river shuttle as a means of transportation, from the Vieux-Port de Montréal (Jacques-Cartier pier) and the city of Longueuil.

Users can also bring along their bikes and they have access to a network of cycling paths at each stop.

STM shuttle

Three STM shuttles provide a connection between the Jean-Drapeau subway station and various attractions:

  • 767 (summer season only)
  • 768 (summer season only)
  • 777 (every day of the year)
    • Jean-Drapeau Subway Station
    • Casino de Montréal
    • Since June 19, 2023, the 777 bus line is extended to downtown Montreal.

To find out about STM shuttle routes and schedules, click here.

Bike

The Parc is one of the few places where you can cross the Saint Lawrence River on your bike: simply take the bike paths of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, the Concorde Bridge or the Bike link.

Walking

People can enjoy many of the cycling paths to get to or pass through the Parc Jean-Drapeau, either running or walking.

With more than 25 kilometres of trails and pathways, the Parc is a pleasant spot for hiking, all year round.

Parking

Motorists can get to Parc Jean-Drapeau by taking the Jacques Cartier Bridge or the Concorde Bridge.

Nearby parking areas: P2, P4, P5, P7, P9, P10, P11, P13, P15

Taxibus service

You can reserve a taxi for your travels at the Parc by using a valid STM transport fare.

Schedule

September 3 to June 23
Monday to Sunday 6:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.
  • The service is not offered on statutory holidays

Find out more about how it works and the STM transport fare accepted in taxibus service.

  • Subway
    Station
  • STM
    shuttle
  • River
    shuttle
  • Bike
  • Walking
  • Parking
  • Taxibus
    service