Traveling to Laval

Laval, located next to the island of Montréal, has about 400,000 inhabitants and the city is one of the smallest tourist regions of Quebec. However Laval is home to a number of historic houses, monuments, churches and old neighbourhoods that recall the region's past. The island was once inhabited by First Nations, and when Europeans arrived, they named the island Montmagny Island, in honour of New France’s 2nd governor.

In 1636, the island's name was changed to become Jesus Island, since it was owned by the Jesuits at that time. Monsignor de Laval, the first bishop of Canada, later became the owner of the island, which gave him the right to own a county, that of Laval. Over the years, the island kept its name, but the territory was divided into a dozen communities: Sainte-Dorothée, Chomedey, Laval-des-Rapides, Sainte-Rose, Laval-des-Rapides, Auteuil, Saint-François and Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. In 1965, these small villages merged into one city of Laval.

Thus the former villages became districts; they have grown but still retain their old-time charm and antique houses. Indeed, a few remnants of the past remain on the island, except for a few historic neighbourhoods.

Laval is now mainly renowned for its scientific attractions with the Cosmodôme Space Science Centre, but also for its cultural, young and family activities.

There are numerous attractions and activities for children here, especially in the Chomedey district. Families have the choice among the Recreatheque, the Armand Frappier Museum and Jungle Adventure, which is a huge maze on several levels. Cosmodome is a place where microcosms exist alongside galaxies in Outer Space; it's a place where our kids discover the Universe any way they want, thanks to a surprising number of scientific, educational and cultural attractions catering to all ages.

The young thrill for the various crafts displayed at Laval Children Museum, as they are charmed by the beauty of its expositions and art galleries and are entertained by renowned artists performing live in museum's concert halls. Every district in Laval offers a large number of outdoor activities. In the Sainte-Dorothée district visitors will see a large amount of flowers. As for the Vieux-Laval-des-Rapides it specializes in popular festivals like the Painting Symposium and more. Guests will also find beautiful parks, including the popular parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles and the Centre de la Nature in the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul district with its 50 hectares (123 acres) of green spaces.

In 2007 the Montreal Metro was extended to Laval with three stations. The long-awaited stations were begun in 2003 and completed in April 2007, two months ahead of the revised schedule, at a cost of $803 million, funded by the Quebec government. The stations are Cartier, De La Concorde, and Montmorency. The arrival of the subway in Laval was long awaited.

The Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) operates two commuter train lines on the island. The Deux-Montagnes and Blainville-Saint-Jerome lines connect Laval to downtown Montreal in as little as 30 minutes. Including De la Concorde, there are currently five train stations.

The Société de transport de Laval (STL), the public transit system consists of about forty regular lines, rush hour lines, trainbus lines, three express lines, a community circuit. Several taxi compagnies are established here.

Laval City

A mall near the Carter Metro (subway) Station. Photo: ©

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