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Saint-Laurent newsletter

Parc Marcel-Laurin woodland

A precious green space in the midst of the city, the Parc Marcel-Laurin woodland is located at the angle of Cavendish and Poirier boulevards, at the edge of the park bearing its name.

Covering an area of 15,44 ha, this natural oasis offers city-dwellers the opportunity to enjoy an outstanding collection of vegetation, flora and fauna at the very edge of Saint-Laurent's residential and industrial sectors. In addition, the woodland offers 2,1 km of walking trails (including the one leading to Bassin de la Brunante). The total area of the woodland including the Parc Marcel-Laurin is 37,4 ha.

Thanks to the collaboration of Éco-quartier de Saint-Laurent and the Comité écologique du Grand Montréal, the woodland is continually being enhanced as a result of various environmental initiatives, further adding to the site's many attractions.

Trimming vegetation within wildland of Parc Marcel-Laurin woodland: maintenance of Monarch butterfly's habitat

Parc Marcel-Laurin woodlandUsed by a number of animal species, including the Monarch butterfly, as a source of food and as a nesting place, the wildland of Parc Marcel-Laurin woodland covers an area of 1.5 hectares. The typical vegetation succession of such wildland is leading it to become gradually transformed into forest land. As such a transformation doesn't occur naturally in an urban environment, it must therefore be carried out through human intervention.

The Borough of Saint-Laurent has developed a wildland management protocol, based on the model of Ville de Montréal's Direction des grands parcs et du verdissement, and carries out vegetation trimming operations at the site. The purpose of this procedure is to maintain the wildland at its current vegetation succession stage, so that it can grow back next spring. The Borough will do a follow-up in this regard.

It is also within the scope of this work that the Borough will be undertaking its program to eradicate colonies of common reed (Phragmites australis). This program has been developed in cooperation with Université de Montréal's Institut de recherche en biologie. The presence of common reed is currently threatening the floristic diversity of the wildland. Protection of this diversity is essential to the conservation of habitats—for Monarch butterflies, among other species. This work will continue for a number of years. 

A bird-watcher's delight

Thanks to the variety of birds, the Parc Marcel-Laurin woodland and the Bassin de la Brunante are ideal sites for amateur ornithologists.

Amateur ornithologists are also invited to enter their sightings in the ÉPOQ database. Managed by Regroupement Québec Oiseaux, this database contains information culled from daily birding logs compiled since 1975.


Apart from the many bird species, the woodland is also home to the eastern cottontail (rabbit), the American toad, the grey squirrel, the woodchuck, and the red fox. The woodland is also home to the American toad and the common garter snake.

The woodland holds a certificate from the University of Kansas’ Monarch Waystation Program, and in 2009 it received significant support numerous partners for the planting of native grasses and milkweed necessary for the Monarch butterfly’s feeding and reproductive needs.


Owing to its diverse forest vegetation and wetlands, the woodland is noted for its abundant biodiversity. In addition to its animal life, the woodland hosts 176 plant species, including 29 tree species, 29 shrub species, and 119 herbaceous species.

From red ash to silver maple, along with elm, spotted jewelweed, milkweed, solidago, bog hemp, sensitive fern, hawthorn, honeysuckle, teasel burr, goldenrod, aster, and fleabane, and such rare species as the common hackberry and soft agrimony, the Parc Marcel-Laurin woodland contains a rich variety of plant species that can be observed along the walking trails and in the woods.

Among the plant species found in the woodland is the European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and the Alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula). These invasive plants need to be eradicated because the shade cast by their foliage and their many low branches crowd out other species native to the woodland. Since 2005, thanks to an initiative to enhance the woodland, several plantings of these species have been uprooted. The initiative has also led to the cleaning up and reforestation of the woodland.

Nerprun bourdaine

Alder buckthorn

 Nerprun cathartique

European buckthorn

 Rameau avec fruits

Spray with fruit

Activities in the woodland

Saint-Laurent, with the collaboration of its partners, organises many year round activities in the woodland. Threw walk tours or observation activities, residents are invited to discover the many different aspects of the woodland.

The activity schedule will be posted on the homepage. To register, conctact Éco-quartier Saint-Laurent at 514 744-8333 or


Thanks to the collaboration of its numerous partners, the Parc Marcel-Laurin woodland has been the object of major environmental initiatives. Clean-up campaigns have been conducted in the woodland over the last few years, as have reforestation and enhancements projects.

• Aéroports de Montréal
• Arbres Canada
• Ardène
• Chep
• Comité écologique du Grand Montréal
• CNA (Canada Montreal Branch)
• École des métiers de l'horticulture de Montréal
• Éco-quartier de Saint-Laurent/ VertCité
• Environnement Canada
• Evergreen / Fido
• Evergreen / Home Depot
• Evergreen / Walmart
• Fédération canadienne de la faune
• Fondation écologique du Grand Montréal
• Fondation de la famille Claudine et Stephen Bronfman
• Fondation EJLB
• Fondation du Grand Montréal
• Fondation Home Depot
• Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l'environnement
• Fondation TD les amis de l'environnement
• Fonds de l'environnement Shell
• Fonds de bienfaisance des employés de Bombardier
• GREBE inc.
• Intégration Jeunesse du Québec
• Insectarium de Montréal
• Ministère des Ressources naturelles
• Molson-Coors
• Morgan Stanley
• Mountain Equipment Coop
• Service Canada
• Siemens
• TD Assurances Meloche-Monnex
• Trajet Jeunesse  

A few pictures of Marcel-Laurin woodland 

Le Boisé Marcel-Laurin en images