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 more than 240 bird 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 Floralies Gardens on Île Notre-Dame.

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.

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.

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.

Jean-Drapeau 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!

Subway schedule
STM promotions

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.

Covid-19 - The river shuttle service will not be operational for the 2021 summer season.

Schedule and rates
Location of the landing spot at the Parc

STM shuttle

Two STM shuttles provide a connection between the Jean-Drapeau subway station and various attractions.

767

During the summer season, the 767 shuttle stops at Jean-Doré Beach and the La Ronde amusement park.

777

Every day of the year, the 777 shuttle provides fast access to the Casino de Montréal.

Routes and schedules

Bike and BIXI

Several sectors of Parc Jean-Drapeau are part of the Great Trail and the Route verte. The Parc is one of the few places where you can cross the Saint Lawrence River on your bike.

Furthermore, a network of multiuse trails run along île Sainte-Hélène, providing a link-up to the various access routes to the facilities, installations and services.

From Montréal: take the Lachine Canal bike path, near the Vieux-Port de Montréal, or the Jacques Cartier Bridge multipurpose Path.

From the South Shore: take the Bike Link or the Jacques Cartier Bridge multipurpose Path.

BIXI

There are many BIXI stations at the Parc during the summer season.

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, P12, P13, P15

Parking passes are available for the P2, P4 and P7. The annual parking pass can be purchased online.

Rates and parking areas

Taxibus service

You can reserve a taxi for your travels at the Parc by using a valid STM transport fare (ticket or OPUS card).

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

Reservation

You need to reserve 45-to-60 minutes beforehand whenever you want to use this service : 514 273-6331 or online form

Taxibus stops

Métro Jean-Drapeau, Athletes' Quarters, La Ronde, Stewart Museum, Espace Paddock, Pavillon du Canada, Pavillon des Services and Pavillon de la Tunisie.

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