October 2, 2013 ─ Whoever said that winter was meant to be spent indoors was certainly not from Montréal. In this Québec metropolis, playing in the fresh air is an integral part of living the good life that the city has to offer. Activities like skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, sliding, and bird-watching are in abundance, as are the locales in which to enjoy them.
If skating is your passion, Montréal has numerous wonderful rinks, including refrigerated ones at the Bassin Bonsecours in the Old Port of Montréal and at Lac aux Castors* at Mount Royal Park (or “The Mountain” as it is referred to by Montrealers). Other glistening musts are the frozen pond at Parc La Fontaine and the indoor rink at the Atrium Le 1000, the latter of which will soon be equipped with a brand new refrigerating surface.
You’d rather cross-country ski, snowshoe, or hike? Well, Montréal is home to dozens of kilometres of marked trails all across the island, from Mount Royal Park with Les amis de la montagne, to the Montréal Botanical Garden, to any of the neighbourhood parks and superb nature reserves in the area.
For sliding enthusiasts, Mount Royal Park is a hotspot, as is Parc Jean-Drapeau, with its Superglisse, an extreme slide featured at La Fêtes des Neiges. Also, bird-lovers will be happy to learn that plentiful species can be observed throughout wintertime, notably at the Montréal Botanical Garden, Mount Royal Park, and at the Morgan Aboretum, a 245-hectare forested reserve situated at the western tip of the island.
To take in a bunch of activities in a relatively short amount of time, Fitz and Follwell offers a guided half-day experience that allows visitors to explore major sights, discover unique districts, and enjoy activities like ice skating, snow tubing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Winter clothing and boot rentals are available for all to stay warm and dry. For the gastronomically inclined, each excursion includes a lunch of authentic Québec cuisine and a trip to the farmer's market.
In short, whether you love winter or just want to discover some of its unique charms, the season is always exciting, here in Montréal.