When we first arrived in Montreal, it had been 2-3 weeks since I sold my bike back in California. To put it lightly, we were desperate for a bike ride and Montreal’s Bixi bike share was the perfect solution. Our first trip was an afternoon of biking along Canal Lachine to Atwater Market for a little shopping for our tiny kitchen.
I’ve used a lot of city bike shares, and Montreal has the densest system I’ve seen so far. Which is a good thing because they’re not so great at shuffling the bikes (something necessary to maintain the proper number of bikes and openings in each station). Luckily, both the time there were no bikes and the time there were no open spaces, it was only a short distance to the next station.
Canal Lachine is a bit of a trek to get to, but once you’re there and biking along the beautiful water, it’s definitely worth it. It’s also in a more quiet neighborhood, so there are less crowds of tourists and more Montrealers hanging out and enjoying the park and paths along the water.
All of the markets in Montreal are pretty amazing, and Jean Talon is the famous one, but in my opinion, Marché Atwater is the better choice. Less crowds and it’s conveniently at the end of the Canal, making the perfect trip.
We ended up going backwards, from the market along the canal and back to downtown, but there really is no wrong way to bike the canal.
The market has endless things to explore, but some highlights are of course the produce and flowers. We also bought some delicious bread and stopped for a coffee and chocolate. If you want to eat lunch, there are stalls that serve fresh, hot food as well.
And of course, the endless choices of flowers!