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If you have ever ventured into the Plateau Mont-Royal borough, you are probably already familiar with this priceless neighbourhood, the bastion of a community that has left its mark on the city’s landscape for several decades. Close to Mount Royal, Little Portugal is located near Jeanne-Mance Park in the Plateau Mont-Royal borough, between Mile End, the Plateau, and Milton Park! Thanks to its location, it’s easy to rent a bike in Little Portugal!
Rent a bike in Little Portugal at the corner of Saint-Dominique & Rachel or at the corner of Vallières & Saint-Laurent and take advantage of the Rachel Street bike path. Borrow a BIXI and visit all the green spaces connected by the bike path: they include the Maisonneuve, Jarry, Frédéric-Back, Île-de-la-Visitation, and Mount Royal parks!
The Parc du Portugal is a neighbourhood locale worth visiting. Reminiscent of traditional Portuguese parks, there’s no need to jump on a plane to admire the beauty of Europe. Created in the 1980s, the park was revamped in 1990 by landscape architect Carlos R. Martinez, with the help of Portuguese craftsmen. The park is surrounded by Portuguese restaurants, allowing you to order take-out and leisurely enjoy your meal outdoors while admiring the local architecture. You can rent a bike in Little Portugal at the BIXI station right in front of the park, specially designed for your daily outings.
Various neighbourhood streets feature storefronts with azulejos near the entranceway. Upon their arrival, Portuguese immigrants embellished the neighbourhood with colourful ceramic panels representing landscapes and, more commonly, the Virgin Mary’s apparition to the three shepherd children of Fatima, a Portuguese village. The latter became a pilgrimage site for believers (and Little Portugal might just become yours the next time you rent a bike)!
There are also some lovely murals near the Parc du Portugal. Created in 2020 by Herman Alves, the most recent commemorates singer Amália Rodrigues on the 100th anniversary of her birth. The artist’s goal? To celebrate this iconic Portuguese singer by producing 25 murals of her throughout the world.
Each year in mid-June, Little Portugal hosts the Montreal International Portugal Festival. Montrealers can thus discover Portuguese culture through food, music, and art. All festival activities are free! Everyone is invited to learn more about the heritage of Portuguese Canadians living in Montreal while participating in the neighbourhood’s cultural enrichment. Getting there couldn’t be simpler: the Rachel Street bike path offers easy access to Little Portugal. Four BIXI stations are available for bike rental once the event is over. We make cycling both simple and efficient!
Feel like enjoying a Pastéis de Belém in good company? Use the one-way Amis BIXI passes that you’ve accumulated to help rebalance the network or take advantage of the mobile application’s BIXI group ride feature to pay your friends’ fares! Quick bike rental in Little Portugal is the norm thanks to the proximity of numerous BIXI stations. Enjoy everything that Little Portugal has to offer and visit several parks off the Rachel Street bike path!
Like many other neighbourhoods, Little Portugal is a testimony to Montreal’s multiculturalism, a facet of the city that makes bike rides both enjoyable and surprising. It was in the 1950s that the first Portuguese immigrants arrived in the neighbourhood, previously the home of Jewish and Greek settlers. The 1960s and 70s saw a second (much larger) wave of immigration, as immigrants fled the Salazarist regime and settled into the neighbourhood, attracted by the low cost of housing. The appearance of Portuguese boutiques, businesses, and embellishments soon revitalized the area.
Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen used to live near Parc du Portugal! He bought a small house directly in front of the park in the early 1970s. He had his own little quirks, enjoying lunch at Bagel Etc and buying smoked meat sandwiches at Schwartz’s Deli in Mile End. As Cohen himself said, he had to keep coming back to Montreal, and his little house was his home away from home! Upon Cohen’s passing, hundreds of Montrealers gathered near his Parc du Portugal abode to pay homage, singing one of his all-time greatest hits, Hallelujah. The next time you rent a bike in Little Portugal, be sure to take the Rachel Street bike path and pass by this legendary singer’s house before visiting the rest of the neighbourhood!