There’s a very active and knowledgeable community of planespotters that gather in various locations within a stone’s throw of Pierre-Elliot-Trudeau Airport’s three runways. They go there to take pictures, listen in on the control tower and pilots’ conversations, or just plain talk shop with other plane hobbyists. Also, sitting back in the grass while airplanes throttle by is truly an exhilarating experience.
Since the best spots are in industrial zones that aren’t serviced by mass transit, you’ll need a car to go planespotting. Located at the intersection of Halpern and Jenkins streets, adjacent to the runway most often used by departing aircraft, the Jacques-de-Lesseps Park is by far the best planespotting site at YUL. Opened by the Montreal airport authority in May of 2012 to celebrate the airport’s 70th anniversary, it features landscaping, a walking path and park benches. There are also bleachers facing the runway which allow you to sit and relax, or stand up and enjoy an unobstructed view of the airport and aircraft.
Signage describes the types of aircraft which can be seen at YUL. A little further down the street there’s also a parking lot on Chartier Avenue that directly faces Air Canada’s hangar and the exact spot where the planes leave the ground. Families often go there to watch the planes take off from their cars.
For more information: The Guide to Planespotting at YUL.
Corner Halpern / Jenkins, Dorval