One of my favourite places in Rivière-des-Prairies is a small nature park unknown to most people, but a hidden treasure for those of us who know about it. Ruisseau-De Montigny Nature Park has a small entrance, barely visible, on Maurice-Duplessis Boulevard about 300 metres west of Louis-Hippolyte-Lafontaine. This entrance is marked by a small city park sign and two gateposts, and it’s hard to find unless you know what to look for. There are other entrances to the park, but they can be even harder to find. The city of Montreal offers no service here, nor will you find any buildings, picnic tables, park benches or a playground.
Open daily year-round from 7:00 a.m. until sunset, the park is a green space of about 30 hectares (74 acres). Its main feature is the De Montigny stream, which runs for about 3.3 km between Henri-Bourassa and Gouin, as well as the green areas along its path. This quiet, peaceful protected piece of nature is home to a variety of birds, foxes, marmots, hares and grass snakes, and along the shores of the stream you may also see herons and ducks.
Before its opening as a park in 2005, a major clean-up was required, as previously the land was used to deposit waste. It has been a protected ecological haven since 2011.