New ways to have winter weather fun in Montréal

Jamie O'Meara

Jamie O'Meara is Editor-in-Chief at C2 Montréal and the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.

It’s no secret that that when winter rolls in, Montrealers go out. Our affinity for outdoor, cold weather fun borders on boundless, and while the current health crisis will curtail certain activities, there are plans afoot to make sure one and all can continue to enjoy winter in the city, albeit in the safest way possible.

Inspiring relaxation stations

The City of Montréal has just announced several new initiatives for the snowy season including, just in time for the holidays, the opening of 26 “winter stations” on major streets in 18 different boroughs. These playful installations, equipped with street furniture and colourful lighting, are intended to brighten up public squares, parks, parking lots and other vacant spaces. The imaginative stations were created by several multidisciplinary teams of local designers and architects and will provide inviting relaxation points for folks out for a wintry walk or doing their holiday shopping.

The stations will be inaugurated from December 19 to 21 and can be found, for example, in the Plateau-Mont-Royal (in Parc Lhasa-De Sela, at the corner of Saint-Urbain Street and Bernard Street), the Sud-Ouest (in Place du Bonheur d'Occasion, corner of Notre-Dame West and Rose-de-Lima), Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Place Guy-Viau, corner of Sherbrooke Street West and Royal avenue), and at several spots throughout Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (Place Simon-Valois, Place des Tisserandes, Place Gennevilliers-Laliberté and Parc de la Promenade-Bellerive). For all station locations, go here.

Get your outdoor sports glow on

The quest for fresh air and leg stretching continues on the outdoor sporting front as well. This year, many of Montréal’s major parks are offering new trails for cross-country skiing, hiking and snowshoeing. In addition to that, the Anse-à-l'Orme, Cap Saint-Jacques and Pointe-aux-Prairies parks will offer fat bike trails, and the little ones in your life will be able to ride the ice slides at Grovehill Park in Lachine and Ignace-Bourget Park in the Sud-Ouest. Outdoor rinks will also be available for free skating in various boroughs.

And one of the Montréal’s greatest and grandest green spaces, Parc Jean-Drapeau (the ideal spot for spreading out), has some special programming in place this year. Starting December 19, several free activities will be offered at the park including hiking and cross-country ski trails, a historical snowshoe trail organized in collaboration with the Stewart Museum, and an outdoor exhibition titled Oceans presented by the Biosphère Environment Museum. There will also be a refrigerated skating rink, discovery hikes for observe birds, fauna and flora, a fatbike trail and ice slides. All activities are free of charge.

This year, and for the first time, everyone will be able to reserve the equipment they wish to rent, at Parc Jean-Drapeau or in the city other major parks, by online reservation via the city’s website. And for families it gets even sweeter: equipment rentals are free for those 18 years of age and under, giving everyone a chance to enjoy this exceptional winter in Montréal.

Jamie O'Meara

Jamie O'Meara is Editor-in-Chief at C2 Montréal and the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.

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