Water fun in Montréal

Laure Juilliard

Laure is a writer, community manager and the founder of the blog Une Parisienne à Montréal. She’s also an epicurean globetrotter who’s always on the hunt for innovative concepts and must-try restaurants. In 2016, she co-founded Slow Journeys, a webzine that focuses on ecotourism and design.

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Looking for a relaxing paddle or some fast-paced thrills this summer? Check out our guide to Montréal’s water fun—and dive right in!

Go on a boat cruise

Step aboard the AML Cavalier Maxim, and discover Montréal from the water, from the Old Port right up to the Boucherville islands. Led by a certified guide who can share a ton of interesting tidbits on the city, your cruise lets you soak up stunning panoramas as you bask on the boat’s deck. For brunch or fireworks, it’s a cruise experience you don’t want to miss. Set sail on another kind of urban excursion aboard the Bateau-Mouche, where culinary delights are paired with impeccable sights. Enjoy their dinner, discovery or special events packages. If you’re in the mood for a private cruise or for a special event, call the Navark team, which owns a fleet of more than 14 boats. Cocktail hour, wine and cheese, fireworks or heritage cruises are all available. Tired of public transit or taking your car? Use the maritime shuttle service to pop over to Parc Jean-Drapeau or Île Sainte-Hélène. As you glide gently along, you can admire the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, the Olympic Basin and Jardin des Floralies walking trail. Other cruises are available, including discovery tours of the city north to south.

Unwind in the Old Port

One of the best spots to get a feel for Montréal’s aquatic vibe is in the Old Port. From afternoon to sunset you can work on your tan amid the chic beach chairs and bright blue parasols at the Clock Tower Beach. Getting hot out there? You can’t go for a dip, but you can cool off at the misting stations – ahhhh! Go on a leisurely discover tour of the Old Port by pedal boat with Écorécréo or aboard the Le Petit Navire, an ecological electric boat. You can also admire the beauty of the St. Lawrence on a private fishing tour where you can reel in walleye, pike or sturgeon. Coupled with a picnic, it’s nothing short of perfect!

Grab a board and go surfing

Surfing on the St. Lawrence? Not only will it test your athletic prowess, but it will get your adrenaline pumping. Operated by KSF, a team that is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and water, it promises unforgettable and environmentally responsible experiences. In addition to surfing courses, KSF also offers slower-paced or more energetic outings such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboard (SUP). Dipping your toe in for the first time? Unleash your inner Kelly Slater on the artificial wave at Oasis Surf (in Brossard) or at Maeva Surf (in Laval).

Pump it up with extreme sports

Get your adrenaline pumping with a jet-ski ride by WET SET MTL or go jet-boating on the Lachine Rapids with Saute Moutons. Rafting Montréal also offers fast-paced excursions (rafting, jet boating, river boarding or tandem rafting) on the Lachine waves. Brave the bouncy waters and you will be rewarded with thrills!

Get zen on water

Ever tried SUP yoga? Go with the flow on your surfboard, and get a whole new appreciation for sun salutations with waves gently lapping in the background . The Pop Spirit waterside studios are perfect for trying stand-up paddleboard (SUP) for the first time. Terra firma more your thing, but you like a view of the water? The Bota Bota floating spa in Montréal’s Old Port offers yoga and Pilates classes with a sparkling view of the St. Lawrence River. The Strøm Nordic Spa on Nun’s Island is a peaceful retreat on the banks of Lac des Battures that lets you enjoy wellness treatments and nature in equal measure. 

Go boating on Mount Royal

Montréal’s iconic mountain lets you rent a rowboat or a remote-controlled sailboat to sail around Beaver Lake. Who knew there was all this fun tucked away under the mountain treetops?  

Glide down the Canal

Take out a kayak or pleasure boat and glide gently down the Canal Lachine. With H2O Aventures you can choose from watercraft rentals (electric boat, rabaska, solo and tandem kayak, two-seat or four-seat pedal boat) and tours to discover the canal’s tucked away secrets.

Soak up some summer beach fun

In warm weather, Parc Jean-Drapeau turns into a sunny seaside resort. The Jean-Doré Beach offers a pretty sand beach five minutes from downtown, where you can flake and bake, take part in water activities or play volleyball. Check out the park’s aquatic complex and its big beautiful outdoor pools. Make a splash with the kids when you take them to Aquazilla, an obstacle course on the water that will have them shrieking with delight.

Don’t forget your towel when you go for a refreshing dip at the Verdun Beach, which you can easily access by bike, métro or car. Keep your eyes peeled for the much-anticipated opening of the new Aire Commune site, which will be dropping anchor at the Lachine. Canoe, kayak and beach lovers are waiting impatiently for the inauguration of the beach in the east part of Pointe-aux-Trembles. Gently paddling down the river or sunbathing on the sand sounds like an absolute dream.

Hope you have a splash this summer!

Laure Juilliard

Laure is a writer, community manager and the founder of the blog Une Parisienne à Montréal. She’s also an epicurean globetrotter who’s always on the hunt for innovative concepts and must-try restaurants. In 2016, she co-founded Slow Journeys, a webzine that focuses on ecotourism and design.

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