The Best Things to See in Laval, QC, on Your Next Weekend Getaway

things to see in laval

Just a stone’s throw from the busy city of Montréal, Laval is a charming yet exciting destination to consider for your next weekend getaway. From the excitement of indoor skydiving to the mouthwatering cuisine at the city’s many restaurants – there is something for everyone!

During my recent trip, I had the opportunity to learn about the history of Laval while exploring its unique shops and attractions. The city’s charm quickly grew up on me.

Whether you’re planning a family-friendly getaway or a romantic weekend away, this guide has you covered. I share hotel recommendations, my favourite restaurants, and all the best things to see in Laval, QC, during your visit. 

things to do in laval
Photo: Tourisme Laval
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History of Laval, QC

The territory now known as the city of Laval was originally inhabited by the Mohawk people. European settlement of the area began in 1636 when Jesuit missionaries were given a large land grant called a seigneury. This marked the beginning of a new chapter for the region. The city was established on August 6, 1965, amalgamating 14 municipalities. It was named after Quebec’s first Roman Catholic bishop, François de Laval. 

places to visit in laval
Photo: Tourisme Laval

How to Get to Laval, Quebec

Before discussing the many places to go in Laval, you must determine how you will get there. There are several ways to make the trip, including by car, bus, train, and plane. Your decision will depend on where you are travelling from, your schedule, your budget, and your preferred method of travel.

To help you decide, I have broken down the details of these options for those travelling from Toronto to Laval: 

By Car

The drive from Toronto to Laval via ON-401 E will take approximately 5 ½ hours, depending on traffic levels. If you’d prefer to enjoy the views on the Trans-Canada Highway, it will also take you to your destination, but it will add an hour to your travels.

By Bus

Whether you don’t drive or simply don’t want to deal with driving (and finding parking), the bus is a budget-friendly way to visit Laval. You can take the Megabus from Toronto to Montréal. The trip is approximately 6 ½ hours, and tickets start at roughly $49.99 one way. Once you reach Montréal, you can take a bus with the Société de transport de Montréal for the 25-minute trip from Montréal to Laval. Tickets cost approximately $4.50.

By Train

Another option for those looking at public transit is to take a train with VIA Rail from Toronto to Montréal. The length of time will depend on the stops incorporated, but a direct trip is estimated to take 5 ½ to 6 hours. Economy class tickets start at $54 one way. Once you reach Montréal, you must take the bus (or grab a taxi) for the last leg of your travels.

By Plane

Air travel is the costliest option but also the quickest way to get to Laval if you’re short on time. Porter Airlines offers a direct flight from Toronto to Montréal that lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, with tickets starting at $310 before taxes and fees. You will still need to take a bus or taxi from Montréal to Laval. 

Hotels in Laval

Now that you have planned your travels to and from Laval, the next consideration for the perfect weekend getaway is where you will rest your head. Luckily, there are many great accommodations in Laval (and the surrounding area) to consider. From luxury hotels to beautiful campsites, there are options for every style of travel.

Here are my recommendations for those searching for hotels in Laval:

Le St-Martin Hotel & Suites

1400 Rue Maurice-Gauvin

If you’re searching for a comfortable and welcoming “home base” while exploring the city, Le St-Martin Hotel & Suites is a great option. Built in 2003, the hotel is conveniently located just a short walk from many popular attractions and activities in Laval. The Piano Bar in the heart of the hotel is the perfect place to spend a relaxing evening and try their unique house cocktails.

Those who value environmentally friendly travel options will be happy to learn that Le St-Martin Hotel & Suites is a proud member of Green Key Global’s Eco-Rating Program, demonstrating their commitment to sustainable practices.

Sheraton Laval Hotel

2440 Autoroute des Laurentides

I had the pleasure of staying at this elegant hotel during our recent trip to the city. It just underwent extensive renovations in 2022 (totalling $20 million) and will surely leave any guest feeling like a VIP. In addition to the beautiful rooms, you can enjoy authentic Mediterranean cuisine at the upscale restaurant La Piazza or grab a drink at Bar La Cupola.

Last fall, Sheraton Laval Hotel was awarded gold certifications in “Interior Design” in 2 separate categories: “Accommodation, restaurant & bar/Chain hotel” and “Special Awards/Renovation (before-after).”

hotels in laval
hotels in laval
hotels in laval

Grand Times Hotel

1700 Rue Jeane-Mance

Last but certainly not least, I was impressed by the modern floor-to-ceiling windows and welcoming décor at the Grand Times Hotel. A small, cozy bar, indoor pool, and buffet-style continental breakfast will ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Are you looking for a tasty meal without having to go far? You’re in luck! The on-site pizzeria Sofia Laval offers a menu of classic Italian cuisine, including pizza, pasta, and other delicious entrees. If you or one of your travel companions have dietary restrictions, they do have gluten-free pizza options available. 

Camping in Laval, Quebec

If your idea of a dream getaway involves road-tripping in an RV or pitching a tent somewhere in nature, you’re in luck. There are several opportunities to enjoy camping in Laval, QC and the surrounding area. I recommend starting your search with the interactive map on the Quebec Adventure Outdoor website to find a campsite that suits your needs, including location, hookups, and campground amenities. 

Restaurants in Laval, Quebec

The culinary scene offers many options, from the best breakfast places in Laval to the most welcoming places to enjoy dinner and drinks with friends. The hardest decision you’ll make is where to eat, knowing that you likely can’t fit it all into a weekend! Here are a few of my favourite spots:

Le Balthazar Resto-Pub

195 Promenade du Centropolis

Do you enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of your local pub? Look no further – Le Balthazar Resto-Pub is a great option for those looking for a cold beer or delicious traditional pub-style food. Plus, if you’re in the area on the weekends, they host live music performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

Are you interested in supporting the local craft beer scene? Their selection of over 100 beers focuses heavily on highlighting Quebec microbrewery products, allowing you to sample beers unique to the province. If you’re looking for something different, try a refreshing beer sangria or choose a unique flavour from their signature cocktails.

The menu features many pub favourites, including burgers, nachos, poutine and tacos. For those with food restrictions, Le Balthazar Resto-Pub will make any of their burger options using a plant-based patty upon request.

restaurants in laval -quebec a glass of beer next to a glass of liquid
restaurants in laval quebec - a burger and fries on a plate
a plate of food with meat and vegetables
restaurants in laval quebec - a plate of food on a table

La Bête à Pain

1969 Autoroute des Laurentides

If you’re looking to enjoy a cozy, relaxing brunch, La Bête à Pain is the perfect option. The welcoming atmosphere is the ideal place to start the day. Their menu of delicious modern European dishes, breads, and artisanal products provides everything you need to fuel your day (including coffee and mimosas).

The well-known and respected chef Marc-Andre Royal has been featured on several popular TV shows, including Un Chef à L’oreille Curieux Bégin and La Cantine. His love of working with fresh, locally sourced ingredients delivers delicious food while supporting local farmers and sustainable fishing operations.

breakfast places in laval - plates of food on a table
breakfast places in laval - a group of desserts on a table
breakfast places in laval - a group of desserts on a table
breakfast places in laval

Chateau Taillefer Lafon

1500 Mnt Champagne

While it isn’t a “restaurant,” this stunning local vineyard is a must-stop spot for wine lovers. It won’t take long to fall in love with the beauty of the area with its impressive architecture and picturesque views. In fact, Chateau Taillefer Lafon was the first Quebec vineyard authorized to use the “Château” title, a designation usually reserved for the most upscale European wine producers.

Visitors can walk the grounds and enjoy a glass of local wine. The chateau is a popular photo background, with the drive framed by lush green trees. If you’re looking for a special way to celebrate an anniversary or your partner’s birthday, consider reserving a table on the terrace or booking a private wine tour.

a house with trees around it
Photo: Tourisme Laval
places to go in laval - a group of glasses of champagne on a table
places to go in laval - a group of wine glasses on a table
places to go in laval - a group of bottles of wine on a table

Microbrasserie Les Insulaires

275 Boulevard de la Concorde Est

Craft beer lovers, this one is for you! Microbrasserie Les Insulaires is a cozy microbrewery conveniently located in the City of Laval. It wasn’t long before the simple décor and friendly staff made me feel as welcome as a local regular.

The microbrewery features 24 barrel lines, creating a fun range of options for every beer lover. Their menu features seasonal favourites, a barrel-aged scotch ale, refreshing lagers and pale ales, and even a non-alcoholic hoppy lemonade. Pair your beer selections with a tasty option from their menu to make it a meal. I highly recommend the Beer Fish and Chips.

Le Mitoyen

652 Place Publique

One of the well-known establishments in the city, Le Mitoyen was first established in 1977. Since then, they have built an incredible reputation for their locally inspired, upscale menu items and perfect (if I do say so myself) wine pairings.

Chef/Owner Richard Bastien is highly regarded. He is dedicated to highlighting fresh Quebec products and works with local gardeners and vendors to acquire most of his ingredients. Due to this, the menu changes with the season to feature seasonal flavours. The dishes are delicious, and the presentation is best described as an actual work of art.

The building itself is an ancestral home, giving it a warm and welcoming vibe. I felt like I was in a cute cottage by the lake. The décor was reminiscent of the cute and meaningful decorations in a grandmother’s home.

restaurants in laval quebec - a plate of food on a table
restaurants in laval quebec - a plate of food on a table
restaurants in laval quebec - a scallop on a plate
restaurants in laval quebec - a group of people sitting at a table in a restaurant
restaurants in laval quebec - a glass with a scoop of ice cream in it
restaurants in laval quebec - food on a plate
a sign outside of a restaurant

La Piazza

2440 Autoroute des Laurentides

I already mentioned that La Piazza is located on-site at the Sheraton Laval Hotel when discussing my stay there. But I can’t create a list of my favourite restaurants in Laval, Quebec, without including this upscale Mediterranean restaurant. The food is delicious and perfect for that special evening – whether it’s celebrating a recent job promotion or taking your partner out for a romantic dinner date. Don’t forget to check out their extensive wine list for the perfect pairing.

However, what stood out for me was their incredible breakfast spread. Being conveniently located in the hotel, it was the perfect place to start the morning before heading out to explore the city. The menu features all the traditional breakfast favourites, including pancakes, country-style French toast, and a tasty English muffin breakfast sandwich.

On Sundays, they offer a special Sunday Brunch. But be warned, there are limited seats – so reserve your place online to ensure you get to enjoy it!

Sekoya

3421 Boul Le Carrefour

A new addition to Laval’s restaurant scene, Sekoya opened their doors in late 2022. The restaurant features a fun modern aesthetic and a menu built around highlighting “contemporary Quebec Cuisine,” creating a unique and worthwhile experience for every visitor to the area.

Chef Kevin Bates Breault (previously mentored by Chef Richard Bastien, the chef of Mitoyen mentioned above) is a talented chef with a soft spot for the local area. You can watch him at work in his open kitchen from the dining area, offering a one-of-a-kind glimpse behind the scenes.

After your meal, take a moment to check out the on-site boutique, where you can browse and purchase products from talented local artisans.  

restaurants in laval quebec - a plate of food with broccoli and fish
restaurants in laval quebec - a plate of food with oranges and spices
restaurants in laval quebec - food on a plate
restaurants in laval quebec

Best Things to See in Laval, QC

Learn About Outer Space at the Cosmodome Laval

2150 Laurentian Autoroute

A visit to the Cosmodome is a great option for those travelling with the family as there are attractions for all ages. While you won’t actually board a rocket ship to space, it’s the next best thing – with training simulators and immersive adventures designed to let you experience life as an astronaut.

During your visit, the simulators will recreate the weightless effects of the loss of gravity while walking on the moon and the unique impact of spatial disorientation that astronauts must navigate. You can also embark on interactive virtual missions, exploring and learning about the universe.

If you prefer a more casual experience, you will find several traditional museum exhibits showcasing space-related memorabilia, including one of only five lunar rock samples in Canada, a space suit from the Apollo mission era and replica rockets.  

Explore the Natural Beauty of Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles

345 Boulevard Saint-Rose

While many of our recommended things to do in Laval are focused on indoor activities, we can’t overlook the natural beauty in the area. Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles is a beautiful wildlife preserve that offers many fun outdoor adventures, including hiking, kayaking, fishing (or ice fishing, depending on the season), skating, and more.

The park is primarily focused on conservation efforts, educating the public about the environment and the risks posed by the growing human population, and the on-site museum. Funds collected from visitors to the park help to fund park events, environmentally focused programs, and efforts to protect the natural environment and local species at risk.

During our visit, we took a guided tour of the museum with three fantastic guides: Alexia (a biologist), Catherine, and Megan. They shared interesting facts about the area and what makes the park so special, such as the impressive 280 species of birds in the area and the fact that the park is the only turtle rehabilitation place in Quebec.

activities for kids in laval - a turtle in a tank
activities for kids in laval - a display of birds and other objects
activities for kids in laval - a turtle in a glass case
activities for kids in laval - a body of water with trees in it
Photo : Tourisme Laval
activities for kids in laval - a group of people skating on a frozen pond
Photo : Tourisme Laval
activities for kids in laval - a person in a canoe on a river
Photo : Tourisme Laval
activities for kids in laval

Go Bouldering at La Crux Laval

1850 Boul. St-Martin Ouest

Bouldering is a fun climbing activity for those looking to get moving during their visit. Unlike traditional rock climbing, it focuses on climbing closer to the ground, free from ropes and harnesses. Instead, crash mats are placed strategically for your protection.

At La Crux Laval, you have access to nearly 1000 square metres (10,000 square feet) of dedicated climbing space, including a hold and training wall, traditional rope climbing walls, and bouldering. Equipment rentals are available for any necessary gear you may not own as a newer climber. The location also offers a bistro where you can grab a snack or a cup of coffee to refuel for the rest of your day.

Enjoy the Many Attractions at Centropolis Laval

1799 Av. Pierre-Peladeau

If you’re visiting the City of Laval, make sure to carve out an entire afternoon to visit Centropolis Laval, a large entertainment complex featuring shops, restaurants, eateries, a gourmet market, a cinema, indoor climbing walls, a mini-golf course, and iFly Indoor skydiving (more on that to follow). Even with a whole afternoon to explore the area, you’re unlikely to visit and enjoy everything it offers!

The assortment of shops and restaurants ensures that there will be something for everyone, regardless of your age or interests. Dining options include a range of flavours, such as American BBQ, traditional Mediterranean, and gourmet vegan cuisine.

a fountain in front of a building
Photo : Tourisme Laval

Try Indoor Skydiving at iFly 

2700 Ave du Cosmodome

I have been dreaming of trying indoor skydiving since first driving by the iFly location in Oakville. But it took a trip to Laval for me to step out of my comfort zone and go for it! During your visit to iFly, you will enter a 12 ft (3.7 m) diameter wind tunnel that creates an experience like the freefall portion of a skydive.

The location was designed to accommodate a variety of disabilities, including visitors on crutches, in wheelchairs, and more. The only restriction is based on age. All visitors must be at least four years old to participate, and an adult must accompany any flyers under 18. The “Initiation” package, recommended for first-time visitors, includes pre-flight training and two flights for $69.99. 

places to visit in laval - two people in a red suit jumping in the air
places to visit in laval - a man in a helmet and a women in a blue suit
places to visit in laval - a man in a helmet and a helmet with another man in a helmet
places to visit in laval

Browse the Popular Science Museum Musée de la Santé Armand-Frappier

2150 Laurentides Highway

If you or anyone in your family is interested in human health, be sure to add Musée de la Santé Armand-Frappier to your travel schedule. This popular science museum features exhibits, workshops, and other educational activities centred around their mission “to contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities.”

Their popular exhibits explore a variety of human health-related topics at every level, including molecules and cells, individual health, populations, and the planet. The museum is set up to be welcoming (and enjoyable) for visitors of every age, from interactive toddler activities to more in-depth science education – including a laboratory where you can learn about health at the cellular level. 

Exercise Your Green Thumb with the Help of the Sylvain Cleroux Garden Center

1570 Rue Principale, Sainte-Dorothée

Covering over 1,000,000 square feet, the Sylvain Cleroux Garden Center is a must-see stop for any lover of gardening and plants. Here, you can browse over 500 varieties of plants, depending on the season. As the largest producer of annual flowers in the province, it comes as no surprise that they have earned Laval the title of “horticultural capital of Quebec.”

This extensive greenhouse is open all year, allowing visitors to exercise their green thumb regardless of the weather outside. You can even participate in guided tours and workshops, like the tropical plant workshop I attended during my visit.

kids activities laval - a group of plants in pots
kids activities laval - a statue of a mermaid lying on a log surrounded by plants
kids activities laval - a group of plants in pots
kids activities laval - a statue of a woman's head with plants growing on it
kids activities laval
kids activities laval - a table with plants and statues of birds

Experience Flight at Aerosim Experience

1177 Desserte Nord Autoroute 440 #201

Have you ever dreamed of being a pilot, taking to the skies, and flying your own plane? While Aerosim Experience won’t set you up with a real plane (nor should they with no flight training), their Boeing 737 simulator is the next best thing!

You will be introduced to an instructor who will walk you through a 20-minute briefing when you arrive. They will teach you the basics of the simulator and help you get set up in the cockpit for your flight. This is the perfect time to ask any questions you may have. You can choose from more than 24,000 destinations for your flight, as well as setting the weather conditions, time of day, and other factors that will impact your experience. 

Celebrate Winter at Berge aux Quatre-Vent

925 rue Riviera

Here’s an excellent option for those searching for fun activities in Laval during the winter! Berge aux Quatre-Vent is an urban park located in the heart of Laval-West. The park is available to explore all year long. However, I was most impressed with the activities they shared during the cold, winter months.

In the heart of the park, you will find an outdoor skating rink free for anyone to enjoy on evenings and weekends. It’s also a popular ice-fishing location with ice-fishing huts permitted between December 15th and March 15th, weather (and ice conditions) permitting. During my visit, popular Quebec YouTuber Raymond VS Bass taught me the basics of urban ice fishing.

When the temperatures climb, and the ice melts, the park transforms into a kilometre-and-a-half-long beach on the banks of the Mille Îles River. Other summer attractions at the park include a volleyball net, footpaths, and a comfortable picnic area.  

places to go in laval
places to go in laval  - a group of birds on a beach

Activities for Kids in Laval

In addition to the many fun, family-friendly activities listed above, there are several great kids’ activities in Laval. Whatever their age, you can find an entertaining way to burn some of their excess energy (although I wish we could find a way to bottle it instead). Here are a few I recommend for the younger travellers:

Burn Some Energy at Funtropolis Centre D’amusement

3925 Boul. Curé-Labelle

An indoor amusement park with a variety of different activities, Funtropolis is sure to offer something for every kid, regardless of what they enjoy. Here, your kids can drive bumper cars in the spin zone, climb the giant spider web, play games like Time Freak or Atomic Roush, ride the triple wave slide, or explore four levels of fun in the giant play maze.

For those travelling with toddlers, they offer a safe toddler area with a ball pit, mini slides, playhouses, activity panels and a toddler-only trampoline.

Make Plans for the Future at Musée pour Enfants

3805 Boul. Curé-Labelle

If you’re looking for educational activities for kids in Laval, the Musée pour Enfants should be at the top of your list. This one-of-a-kind museum is designed to introduce children aged 18 months to 8 years to an assortment of different career paths through interactive exhibits and hands-on experiences.

The exhibits include more than 22 different careers, including allowing children to film a movie using green screen technology, operate a cash register at a grocery store, milk a cow on a farm, examine x-rays at a veterinary hospital, and more. There is even a mini excavator at an indoor construction site that your child can try first-hand. This visit may open their minds to new dreams for their future!

Spend a Fun Afternoon at iSaute Laval

2045 Bd Dagenais O

This indoor trampoline park is an excellent option for energetic kids of all ages. Here, you will find 50 interconnected trampolines in their open jump pit. They also offer basketball, dodgeball, an arcade, a laser maze, a slackline, and more.

If your kids are younger and you’re worried about their safety among teens and older children, they have you covered. Their Kids Zone is an area specifically reserved for children six and under. They also open the whole park for kids six and under every day from 9 to 10 AM.

On Friday and Saturday nights, iSaute Laval transforms into Club Saute, a unique experience where the trampoline park is transformed by turning down the lights and introducing black lights and lasers. It is open to all jumpers from 7 PM to 9 PM, but from 9 PM to 11 PM, it is restricted to those 13 years and older. 

Don’t Miss Out on the Many Fun Places to Visit in Laval, Quebec

Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend getaway or looking for a fun road trip destination for the whole family,Laval, Quebec, is a fun place to explore. With so many attractions in the area

for all interests and other fun locations (such as Montreal, Lanaudière, and Trois-Rivieres) just a short drive away, it’s clear why so many people are adding Laval to their Canadian travel bucket lists. I hope this guide will inspire you to plan your next epic road trip!

FAQs

Does Laval Have a Downtown?

Yes! Laval is the third largest city in Quebec and has a bustling downtown that offers much to explore. Also known as Centre-Ville Laval, the downtown core features shops, restaurants, bars, and other attractions.

Is Laval Considered Part of Montréal?

No. While the city of Laval is located near Montréal, it is a separate municipality with its own mayor and municipal government. The Mayor and City Council in Montréal have no control over anything that occurs in Laval.

Do People in Laval Speak English?

Yes! While French is the first official language in Quebec, many of the people you meet will also speak enough English to communicate. However, being able to speak French is helpful when travelling in Quebec.

If you’re concerned about your ability to understand and be understood during your travels, consider using a translation app like Google Translate, Apple Translate, or iTranslate

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