Set your course from Montréal to St. John’s with Porter.
Welcome to one of North America’s oldest cities, where there’s a past to every attraction. The best things to do in St. John’s each have their own history. Whether you’re hiking up one of the world’s oldest hill’s to reach Cabot Tower, or walking down North America’s oldest commercial street while shopping on Water Street, this Newfoundland city is your path to the past.
St. John’s geological history is carved in stone at the Johnson GEO Centre. Walk across the 550 million-year-old rocks of Signal Hill to reach this museum. With exhibits on everything from outer space to the ground below the museum, you’ll learn about every era in earth’s 4.5 billion year history.
At over 500 years old, St. John’s looks great for its age. The city’s beautiful green spaces, like Bannerman Park and Bowring Park, keep St. John’s looking fresh. If you really want to get a sense of the striking geography the millennia have crafted in St. John’s, head to Cape Spear. These striking cliffs jut out into the Atlantic Ocean, forming North America’s most easterly point.
Stay by the coast to catch a glimpse of some of the Atlantic’s biggest inhabitants. It’s no fluke to see whales in Petty Harbour. Fins and tails regularly breach the surface, making this harbour one of St. John’s best whale-watching spots. Keep your camera ready to capture shots you’ll want to show off once you get back to Montréal.
The general consensus among locals is that the name of this village is pronounced “Kiddy Viddy”. But with so much variation, don’t be surprised if you hear ten different names applied to the location during your visit. Nobody quite knows where this strange name came from, but whatever its origins, Quidi Vidi is a great destination on your trip from Montréal to St. John’s.
Sitting on the shores of Quidi Vidi Lake, the village relies on the lake for its livelihood. A historic fishing village, Quidi Vidi still has plenty of fishing boats bobbing in its harbours. In the summer, sailboats join the fleet for the St. John’s regatta, if the rebellious maritime weather permits it.
Lately, Quidi Vidi has been catching more than just cod. Craftspeople and artists have been pulled towards the village by the draw of the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation. Acting as an arts incubator, this building is half workshop, half gift shop. Watch the artists working on their wares before picking up something to bring back to Montréal.
Outside of the studio, the walkable, winding streets of the village welcome wanderers. Between quaint houses, you’ll catch glimpses of the water, busy with fishermen.
On your travels, keep an eye out for Mallard Cottage. This precarious-looking 18th-century cottage is one of the oldest wooden buildings in North America. Having stood the test of time, Mallard Cottage is now a national historic site. While you’re in the cottage’s pub, get “screeched in”. Lock lips with a (stuffed) cod before chasing it with a shot of screech (a local rum). After that, grab a pint and some pub fare to cleanse your palate before heading back to Montréal.
Stay in the city as you head into the wild on your trip from Montréal to St. John’s.
If you want to see Newfoundland’s nature, without leaving the city, Pippy Park is an urban adventurer's oasis. About 3,400 acres of urban wilderness is just waiting to be explored in this park.
Lace up your walking shoes and try your foot at one (or all 11) of the park’s designated trails. On the north end of the park, backcountry trails venture along 11 km of wetlands, woods, and ponds. Keep an eye out for fellow trail users, like moose and snowshoe hares. In the winter, Pippy Park’s cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails show you a whole new side of the park.
Get up close and piscatorial with the wildlife under the park’s surface at the Suncor Fluvarium. This educational centre is your window into the lives of aquatic animals, literally. Look through the glass to the flowing water, watching fish swim past in the Rennie’s River.
Above the waters, the Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden is flourishing in Pippy Park. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, the colourful plants and creative landscaping are sure to grow on you.
Perfect your swing at the Pippy Park Golf Course. 27 holes (an 18 hole course and a 9 hole course) sprawl over this public course. No matter where your ball lands, you’ll have a birdie’s eye view of the city and the coastline from this scenic course.
Montréal to St. John's direct and connecting flights are available to get you there year round.
Fly direct from Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to St. John's International Airport (YYT), with a stop in Halifax. Montréal to St. John’s flight time is 3 hours and 30 minutes on average. The distance from Montréal to St. John’s is around 1,690 km / 1,050 mi.
For connecting flights, fly from Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to St. John's International Airport (YYT), with a connection in Halifax. Connection times vary.
Enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks along the way.