Mount Royal, Montreal Quebec
Mount Royal, begun in 1874, was the first park
that Olmsted designed after he and Calvert Vaux dissolved their partnership.
Olmsted decided that he would emphasize the areas
mountainous topography. To do this, he decided to make the mountain more mountainous
through the use of exaggerated vegetation, such as shade trees at the bottom of the
carriage path that climbs the mountain, so that it resembles a valley.
As the visitor went higher and higher the vegetation would get more sparse to complete the
illusion of the exaggerated height.
He wished to place a grand mountain pasture and lake, but the city decided on a reservoir
instead and so Olmsted planned a grand promenade around it.
Unfortunately for Olmsted and the park, the city of Montreal suffered a depression in the
mid 1870s, and many of Olmsted's plans were abandoned. The carriage way was built, but it
was done hastily and without regards to the original plan. None of the vegetation choices
were followed and the reservoir was never built.