Montreal summers are filled with so much fun, dancing, sangria, and humidity that it’s no wonder the locals like to flock to the water to cool down and splash around. Here are few suggestions of where to get your swim, sun, and tan on…
Parc Jean-Drapeau Beach: A golden sandy beach located just minutes away from downtown? Yes! The beach at Parc Jean-Drapeau (June 14-September 1) is the perfect playground to build a sand castle, splish-splash around in some water, and then roast in the sun for a couple of hours. The beach is accessible by shuttle from the Parc Jean-Drapeau metro station, or you can even Bixi there. Admission ranges between $4-$9 depending on age and time of day. Info here.
Parc Jean-Drapeau Pool: If a sandy beach is not your cup of iced-tea (it really does get everywhere,) then check out the legendary pool at Parc Jean-Drapeau. The massive aquatic complex includes a pool with a gradual slope for children, a competition-sized pool, and a diving tank. During the summer they set up trampolines, water games, and on “Inflatable Saturdays” a giant inflatable water game is installed on the water with on-site shows! Info here.
Clock Tower Beach: Ok, so maybe you can’t swim at Clock Tower Beach; but it’s a gorgeous urban beach right in the Old Port, so it obviously makes the list. Relax in the sun, have a few drinks, and Instagram some #MTLMOMENTS until the sun goes down. Clock Tower Beach is open Saturday & Sunday from May 31 to June 20, and everyday from June 21 to September 1. Additional info here.
Parc Sir-Wilfrid-Laurier: This park in the heart of the Plateau-Mont-Royal is an urban oasis with everything for family and friends to have fun. There’s an outdoor public pool, a soccer field, two baseball fields, BBQ pits, picnic tables, trees, grass, and other general park things. For a full list of all the city-run pools, check out the Ville de Montreal website.
Hilton Montreal Bonaventure Hotel: Let’s be honest, the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure might not be the prettiest building on the block, but it’s the inside that counts. Inside this hotel, you’ll find a courtyard with a heated swimming pool surrounded by a beautiful garden. Details here.
Hotel Le Crystal: Known as the pool and spa with a view. Located high above Montreal, the view of Montreal from the Le Crystal hot tub at night is stunning. There are many beautiful hotels with great pools in them. For a complete list of all the hotels in downtown Montreal with swimming pools check out a list here.
Royal Victoria Pool: Often called the “Secret McGill Pool” – this hidden gem is tucked somewhere around the Royal Victoria Hospital on the side of Mont-Royal. In tradition of keeping this “secret pool” on the down low, you’ll have to figure out on your own exactly how to find it!
Cap St. Jacques Beach: For the adventurous urbanites that feel like making a trek to Montreal’s largest park with nice sandy beach, make your way to Cap St. Jacques Nature Park. The park has many family friendly activities like canoeing, archery, a forest survival workshop, and an obstacle course! (Photo credit: Michel Gagnon on Flickr)
Bois-de-l’Île-Bizard Nature Park: Cozied up next to Montreal and Laval is an island called Ile-Bizard. The park there has a beach, long trails for nature walking, and many different types of wildlife (including beavers) to watch. Just remember the old saying of “take only pictures, leave only footprints!” (Don’t pick the flowers or leave your garbage everywhere.)
Maeva Surf: So technically not a pool, and also not technically located in Montreal… But Maeva Surf is an indoor surfing simulator in Laval, and totally worth the trip! It’s the first FlowRider in Canada, so anyone can learn how to surf year-round indoors. Details here.
Olympic Park Pool: The Olympic Park Pool was built for the 1976 Summer Games. It is currently undergoing a renovation, so will be closed for the summer season. The refreshed complex is set to reopen December 2014.
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Photo credit: Parc Jean-Drapeau, Caroline Durocher; Olympic Park, Old Port of Montréal, Metro Media