Nature Park ‘Bois de l’Île Bizard’, île Bizard, Ste-Geneviève, Montreal, Quebec

The Nature Park ‘Bois de l’Ile Bizard’ includes sugar maple trees, cedar groves and marshes. It has a magnificent view of the Lake of Two Mountains. This is a place where you can go walking and cycling but also in winter you can practice cross-country skiing (20km) or go snowshoeing (10km). There are several paths in this large star-shaped park; it even has a bridge that crosses the great swamp. You can see some animals like ducks, beavers, turtles, birds. In spring and fall, it’s a good place to watch migrating geese and other birds in the lake. In summer you can also enjoy swimming, canoeing, fishing or having a picnic (barbecue allowed).

Tips

If you want to walk around with your pet, in this park it’s possible.
In winter you have a snowshoe and ski rental on site.
The park is open all year long.

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Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rigaud, Quebec, Canada

The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes is a place of pilgrimage situated in the hillside of Rigaud, in a green natural area; dedicated to the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. This place recalls the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, at Lourdes in France. Brother Ludger Pauzé is the person who placed a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes on the hill in 1874 and he, his superior, François-Xavier Chouinard, as well as professors and students came fervent pray to the Virgin with him. From there, the place is visited by pilgrims from different countries. There is a team of religious, volunteers and staff to welcome the people. There is a central chapel, the cave with the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and a small chapel at the top. The sanctuary is at the end of Lourdes street at the foot of the hill.

Tips

For service schedules, it’s best to look on the sanctuary page. There is a Rosary every day at 16:00. If you want to spend part of the day with friends or family, you will find a place to eat and get some rest, there are toilets and mountain trails for hiking. There are two crosses situated on the hill accessed by trails. Wear comfortable shoes because you will ride through trails or long stairs.

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HI-Ottawa Jail hostel, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The Hl-Ottawa Jail hostel is located in the former prison of Carleton County (1862-1972). This is the only hostel of its kind in North America. The original architecture has been preserved with its walls made of stone and brick and cells were transformed into dormitories. This prison was considered one of the most haunted buildings in Canada. The building is conveniently located in the city center, just steps from Parliament Hill, the National Gallery of Canada, the Byward Market, shops, cafes, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, in short everything a tourist wants to know while in town. The night comes accompanied with a delicious continental breakfast: fair trade coffee, tea, juice, fruit and bagel baked in the region, eggs, milk and cereals. Of course, you have wi-fi.

Tips

Do not miss the tour of the prison offered free with your stay every day at 11:00. If you arrive by car, there is a paid parking at $12.00 per day. The inn offers holidays with a lot of emotions, weekly activities, guided tours and evenings at the bar. If you want to have new experiences and meet other travelers, you will have the opportunity to share your cell-room with other tourists.

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