July 24, 2014 4:35 pm
Updated: July 25, 2014 7:20 pm

Île-Bizard: a hidden treasure of Montreal

ÎLE-BIZARD – There is more to Île-Bizard than meets the eye.

The tranquility of this small town seems to be one of Montreal’s best kept secrets.

Île-Bizard is a quiet haven where Montrealers go to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

“It’s kind of like you’re an hour out of the city, but not,” said Kosta Christopoulos, who travels to Île-Bizard from the South Shore.

“That’s how I feel when I come here. So, I feel I’m going up north or in the Eastern Townships but really you’re just 20-30 minutes out of the city and it’s nice.”

The small island, just north of Montreal’s west end, is a golf town at its core.

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“It’s all about golf,” said Steve, a member at Golf Saint-Raphael.

“So we enjoy the scenery, we enjoy the golf holes, the quality, also the members, there’s a lot of good players.”

Île-Bizard has three huge golf courses, one of which is the host of this year’s RBC Canadian Open.

“The RBC Open is this week,” said Michel Landry, the Golf Director of Golf Saint-Raphael.

“That brings us a lot of people. That’s fun, it’s a golf ambiance on the island.”

Yet, golf isn’t the only thing that makes up Île-Bizard.

A few fun facts:

  1. Pauline Marois used to own a mansion here
  2. A few members of Simple Plan are from here
  3. Famous Habs player Guy Lafleur still lives in Île-Bizard

Bois-de-l’Île-Bizard Nature Park.

Max Kalinowicz/Global News

On the northern side of the island is another hidden treasure – the Bois-de-l’Île-Bizard nature park.

“You feel like you’re so far from Montreal when you’re here so that’s the biggest secret is actually the park,” said Marie-Stephane Jadotte, the manager of the Bois-de-l’Île Bizard nature park.

The park has a large walking trail that covers over 200 hectares of land, as well as several picnic areas and a beach.

“There’s a lot of activities you can do, there’s the beach with families with young kids, it’s perfect for them,” said Jadotte.

The beach.

Max Kalinowicz/Global News

For birdwatchers, this park is a paradise.

“A lot of people come for observation,” said Jadotte.

“The birds we have like the great heron, we have the northern cardinal, blue jays, egrets.”

For some, Île-Bizard is that little piece of heaven that they just can’t get enough of.

“It’s just beautiful out here,” said Lisa Philipps, who is a regular at Golf Saint-Raphael.

“It feels like you’re in the country but I live 10 minutes down the road in Kirkland… and it just has that country feel.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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