Where to rent winter sports equipment in Montréal

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

This article was updated on March 1, 2024.

Montréal in winter is an experience like no other, with its snow-covered rooftops, sparkling streets and cozy hotels and restaurants. But if you really want to experience the city like a Montrealer, put on a pair of ice skates, snowshoes or cross-country skis – even try fatbiking in the snow! We've got the scoop on where to rent winter equipment, stay warm and active and see the city sights at the same time.

Stores and libraries that meet all your winter sports needs

Thanks to the City’s Parc actif program, you can also borrow snowshoes, toboggans, spikes and walking poles at some of Montréal’s public libraries. You can also rent skis and skates from outdoor stores like La Cordée or Poubelle du Ski. The latter offers a wide range of winter sports equipment rentals and services, including cross country and downhill skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and hockey gear for both men and women. Equipment includes helmets, gloves, skis, snowboards, and ice skates that meet all your winter sports needs. LOCAPAQ lets you rent high-performance equipment that's perfect for Montreal winters. Also, Tuque & Bicyle delivers winter sports equipment directly to your lodging in Montréal.


On the ice downtown

In the heart of downtown Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles and just steps from cultural performance hub Place des Arts, Esplanade Tranquille transforms into a skating rink from mid-November to March. Visit the illuminated outdoor rink at the corner of Saint-Catherine Street and Clark to ice skate to music day or night, pick up a few tips from instructors, and maybe even see a surprise performance. ice skate by night among the lights of Au Bord du Lac Tranquille, an interactive experience that lets you paint a trail of colourful light behind you as you skate. Bring your own skates or rent them there!


High atop Mount Royal

See a different side of Montréal's most famous park during the winter months, when Mount Royal Park boasts an outdoor refrigerated rink at Beaver Lake, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, snow tubing and more. Starting in mid-December, rent ice skates, cross-country skis and snowshoes at the park from nature stewardship organization Les amis de la montagne in the Beaver Lake Pavilion. 

Grab a map and explore on your own – the view from the Kondiaronk Belvedere is just as photo-ready and breathtaking in winter (and when you catch your breath again, you'll be able to see it – so “Instagrammable”!). Or go on a nature-inspired, eco-friendly discovery walk or excursion with Les amis de la montagne to learn more about the park's history and ecology and meet some locals too.


A slice of nature in the Plateau

A charming natural ice rink lit softy all winter, with a fountain at its heart and surrounded by trees, the Parc La Fontaine ice skating rink is definitely unforgettable. Once the pond's surface is solidly frozen, locals and tourists of all ages can be found skating along the rink's meandering path, day and night. Rink-side, you can rent ice skates, pick up a new toque and mittens, and even take a skating lesson. Whether you're on a romantic couples getaway or looking for outdoor things to do with energetic kids, take advantage of the park's proximity to restaurants and stores on Rachel Street, Mont-Royal Avenue and Saint-Denis Street, where you can fuel up before or after skating or pick up a snack. 


Winter wonders in Parc Jean-Drapeau

In summer, it's a green oasis and festival venue just across the Saint-Lawrence River from the Old Port, while in winter Parc Jean-Drapeau welcomes nature lovers and winter sports enthusiasts. The refrigerated Skaters Trail lets you skate among the trees and see views of the city along the way, while snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fatbike trails offer a wintery way to explore the park – rent equipment on site with Patin Patin. Meanwhile, inside the Biosphère environment museum’s Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome experience exhibitions and activities designed to connect us with nature.


Adventures in the city's South-West

Skate like a pro hockey player at BLEU BLANC ROUGE refrigerated outdoor rinks at Parc Willibrord in the Verdun neighbourhood (so many good restaurants!) and in Parc Hayward in LaSalle and Parc de la Confédération in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce – they're bigger than most rinks because they were built to match official National Hockey League size by the Montréal Canadiens Children's Foundation. 


A unique winter experience at Parc Frédéric-Back and beyond

Thanks to La TOHU, you can borrow cross-country skis, snowshoes and even kites for free to enjoy winter at Parc Frédéric-Back, one of the largest parks in Montréal with skiing trails in winter and biking and walking trails in summer. First come, first served for rentals.

Explore the forested areas of the island of Montreal on the cross-country ski trails maintained GUEPE, a group of outdoor educators dedicated to year-round nature appreciation. Rent new skis at nature parks including Parc-nature de l'Île-de-la-Visitation, Parc-nature du Bois-de-Liesse Des Champs and Parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques.


Indoor days downtown

For a change, or if the weather's particularly cold, head indoors to the lively atmosphere of Atrium Le 1000, a skating rink located in one of the city’s tallest buildings, Le 1000. A windowed glass dome lets natural light onto the ice, while seasonal lighting and year-round events maintain a festive mood. Atrium Le 1000 also plays music to skate by, offers rentals and skating lessons for kids and adults, features a food court with several restaurant options and can be conveniently reached through the Underground Pedestrian Network from Bonaventure metro station.

Riverside in Old Montréal

The Old Port of Montréal ice skating rink is one of Montréal's most picturesque, with views of Old Montréal's historic architecture, including the neoclassical silver dome of Marché Bonsecours and the angels atop Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel (the one in the middle is the “Lady of the Harbour” in Leonard Cohen's song Suzanne), La Grande Roue de Montréalthe Jacques-Cartier Bridge and beyond. Among the city's biggest refrigerated outdoor rinks, it opens in early December and doesn't close until winter's over in mid-March, amping up the on-ice fun with DJ nights, cardio workouts, karaoke and other themed events. You'll also find skate rentals for all ages, lockers and a warm-up area.

Please note that the ice skating rink is closed for the rest of the 2024 season.

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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