The immensity of Laval by bike

Laval is the second-largest city in Quebec right in the center of the Saint-Lawrence Valley and right next to Montreal. At first glance, Laval may seem like it’s adapted mainly to transportation by car. However, this is not entirely true.

Among Quebec’s major cities, Laval has a very specific commitment to climate change. Meaning that in recent years, the city of Laval has gone out of its way to develop its urban cycling network. In fact, the city of Laval intends to add up to 430 km of circuits and cycle paths on its territory by 2030. The objective is to set up an accessible, safe and better-connected cycling network between the different parts of town. 

Gepida Electric bike Vélo Électrique Gepida

Laval is on an island, so access to river banks is very common. After experiencing Laval by bike, we quickly realize that this city also serves as a starting point for all adventurers that wish to explore the north shore of the St. Lawrence Valley.

Between urban circuits and nature trails, Laval could surprise you during your first visit by bike this summer.

What is the Route Verte?

The Route Verte is a series of cycling routes totalling more than 5,300 km, distributed throughout Quebec. The Route Verte network in Quebec is theoretically the largest cycling network in North America.

The Route Verte  is used in particular for intercity cycling. The network mainly follows municipal cycle paths, cycle routes, highway shoulders, etc.

The Route Verte is an initiative of Vélo Québec and the Government of Québec, and the project has been in place since 1995.

Remember at all times that the Route Verte will be your best friend for your exploration of the municipality of Laval by electric bike.

Riding an Electric bike in Laval

There are several small circuits and paths allowing you to cross Laval from west to east and from north to south. In addition, there are several places of interest such as parks and several rivers flowing into St. Lawrence, such as the Rivière des Prairies to the south and the Rivière des Mille-Îles to the north.

Electric bike in Laval

There are several small circuits and paths allowing you to cross Laval from west to east and from north to south. In addition, there are several places of interest such as parks and several rivers flowing into St. Lawrence such as the Rivière des Prairies to the south and the Rivière des Mille-Îles to the north.

Entrance via the Lake of Two Mountains

Near Laval, there is a cycle route called La Vagabonde. It begins around Saint-Placide in the Lower Laurentians, passing through Oka, Pointe-Calumet, Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Saint-Eustache, among others.

There is a bridge to Laval that is accessible by bike, located between Deux Montagnes and Laval-sur-le-lac (rue des Érables). This is how you arrive in Laval’s territory by electric bike. Thereafter, you will have the option of either taking the road to head south and get to the Laval/Île-Bizard crossing, or continue north along Route Verte #1.

Along the way, you will have the chance to see several beautiful and comfortable parks that are ideal for picnicking, all with splendid views of the river. For example :

  • Berge aux Quatre-Vents: With lovely views of the sunset, you can visit the sculpted tree right in the middle of the park.
  • Berge du Grand-Brochet / Berge des Goélands: These are natural spaces on the edge of the water, giving you the impression of being far away in the countryside. Both banks also provide access to Jeanne-Tremblay Park, a small, quiet peninsula extending further down the Rivière des Mille-Îles.
  • Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles: Eventually, the Route Verte #1 will take you to the highlight of the region, the Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles. The park brings you to the heart of the shoreline, offering several activities such as kayaking/canoeing, short hikes, a picnic, etc.
  • Old Sainte-Rose: Along the way, you will come across the sector of old Sainte-Rose. It is a quiet part of the city of Laval that has retained the appearance of  an old Quebec village.

Entrance via the P’tit Train du Nord

The P’tit train du Nord officially ends in Saint-Jérôme. Nevertheless, there is a continuity of this cycle route, which is called the Basses-Laurentides linear park. This makes the bridge between Saint-Jérôme, Blainville and Bois-des-Filion.

By crossing the bridge between Bois-des-Filion and Laval, you will then arrive again on Route Verte #1 which will notably cross Laval from north to south to Montreal. When starting the path, you will initially follow a lane reserved for bicycles.

Eventually, the reserved lane will join a railway line and the two will then go south. The majority of the route between Montreal and Bois-des-Filion is in an urban environment, passing through interesting stops, such as:

  • Berge de la Plage-Idéale / Bellehumeur Park / Boisé d’Auteuil: These small vacation spots are located directly at the entrance to Laval, giving splendid views of the Mille-Îles River.
  • Bois de l’Équerre: Located in the Fabreville district of Laval, this wood offers the possibility of visiting a protected forest in an urban environment. There are several hikes and activities available on site.
  • Access to downtown: Along the way, you will have the opportunity to go to downtown Laval. There are lanes reserved for cyclists on the main boulevards.

 

Riding Around Laval Island

For those feeling more adventurous, going around the island of Laval is possible, with more than 90 km to do in the space of a day. The majority of the trip is on the shores of the island where the traffic is less busy and there is more room on the road for a bike.

In addition, a good majority of the tour goes through suburbs or agricultural environments. Going to the westernmost point of the island, you will come to Berge Olivier-Charbonneau, which is the tip of Laval.

This is where you can admire the mouth of the Rivière des Prairies and the Rivière des Mille-Îles.

The agricultural detour

When we talk about Laval, we usually imagine large suburbs and a typical North American downtown. The immensity of the island is perhaps hard to grasp without a real visit. Remember that Laval is huge.

Visitors will be happy to learn that there are farms and agricultural land in Laval. Just head northeast to start seeing farms. 

Once again, this route is recommended for those who are more adventurous on a bike, since the majority of farms are not located near a bike path.

In addition, by visiting the more agricultural sector of Laval, you will arrive close to Terrebonne. 

It is then possible to add to your route the option of going around Île Saint-Jean via Île-des-Moulins via the Sophie-Masson bridge.

As long as you have no problem sharing the road with cars, you will have plenty of places to explore by bike in Laval.

Here is a short list of farms that you can visit:

  • Turcot Farm
  • Lortie Farm
  • Bio Flavor Inc
  • Sauriol Farm
  • Bisson Farm
  • Forget Farm

The south, entering from Montreal

There are several accesses between Montreal and Laval. This sector is pretty interesting to discover the banks of Laval and Montreal sharing the Rivière des Prairies.

Following boulevard Lévesque Est, boulevard des Prairies and boulevard Lévesque Ouest, you will follow the waterfront via a municipal bike path. In addition, you can admire the city of Montreal from the other side of the shore.

On your way, you will be able to see some places of interest such as:

  • La Pointe des Pères: Located not far from boulevard Lévesque Est, Pointe des Pères is a small peninsula in Laval that extends over the Rivière des Prairies between Montreal and Laval. Enjoy the views of the scenic landscapes.
  • Parc St Maxime / Berge des Cageux: A quiet little place to stop and enjoy the river within a municipal park.
  • Centre de la nature: a vacation resort further inland from Laval. Ideal for a family visit on a beautiful sunny day

Is Laval by bike worth the detour?

Absolutely! If cycling on the waterfront interests you, Laval is a paradise. It is difficult to count the number of parks and shorelines overlooking several different waterways of St. Lawrence.

In addition, its strategic geographical position means that Laval will always be on your route if you plan to explore Montreal, the Lower Laurentians and Lanaudière by electric bike. Could we even say that all roads go to Laval in this region?