For a full week I’ve been going off the deep end – and I mean that literally. It’s been so hot in Montreal I’m going crazy with one thought, and one thought only: Pools. Since weather reports predict more sizzle than drizzle in the coming weeks, here are some of Montreal’s coolest pools and best fountains for frolicking!
There are plenty of rooftop pools in Montreal, but only the Hotel de la Montagne has a swim-up bar to take care of your poolside “needs”. There’s also plenty of bikini-clad carousing on deck (1430 de la Montagne St., 514-288-5656). The Hilton-Bonaventure also has a prettily appointed outdoor pool & garden (900 de La Gauchetiere W., 514-878-2332).
Public pools can be found in every neighbourhood and aren’t just for the plebes. La Piscine du Parc Baldwin, or “The Fullum Pool,” is widely known as a gay hot-spot (Sherbrooke/Rachel; Free weekdays, $5 Saturday&Sunday), while the Sir Wilfred-Laurier Pool, nestled in a lovely park, is where the Plateau’s young and restless sun and soak (5200 Brebeuf Street, 514-872-4050). If you’re looking for a quiet escape, try the Royal Victoria Hospital Pool, tucked away in the foliage of the Mountain ($5, 514-934-1934 ext. 34141).
In Square St. Louis, the fountain takes pride of place in an oasis just off St. Denis that’s surrounded on all sides by colourful, post-card perfect Victorian walk-ups. In the “cool runnings” fountain category, there’s the playful and highly diverting jet parks in Square Victoria and at Jean Drapeau Park (where our video, filmmaker Kara Blake’s July’s Wet Dream, was shot). The frolicsome jets at Place des Festivals dance along to the pulse of a sparkly light show too. My favourite fountain is in Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle in the Quartier International. It features an infamous sculpture by vanguard artist Jean-Paul Riopelle that spits fire, water and steam… A perfect synthesis of the extreme elements that shape us locals!