Bonjour-Ho-Ho-Ho! The city finally feels like it's coming alive with Christmas decorations and holiday spirit at every turn. And you know what that means? This weekend in Montreal is going to be unreal.
If you want to feel all those festive holiday feels then the first thing you have to do is get your butt off the couch. Here are a bunch of things you can do and places you can go as you get excited about this special time of year.
Montreal Christmas Village at Atwater Market: November 25 to December 19, 2021 Jean-Talon Christmas Market: November 27 to December 23, 2021 Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal on Sainte-Catherine: November 20, 2021 to January 2, 2022
Address: Atwater Market, Jean-Talon Market, and Place des Arts, Montreal
Why You Need To Go: You know the holidays are in full swing when the markets start popping up here, there and everywhere.
Showcase your snowboarding skills all winter long!
Joseph Roby | CNW Group/Parc Olympique
Snowboarding in the city just got a lot easier. Vans and the Dillon Ojo Foundation, which was founded in 2018 in honour of Montreal pro snowboarder and artist Dillon Ojo, have combined forces to create a state-of-the-art snowpark at the Parc Olympique. Montrealers can now live out their snowboard dreams right in the heart of the city, and the best part, it's free!
Located near the Viau metro station, the Dillon Ojo Snowpark offers a total of eight obstacles, including a medium-sized jump and an array of sliding rails ranging in difficulty level for snowboarders of all ages to enjoy. The park will be open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the end of March or as long as the weather permits.
Joseph Roby | CNW Group/Parc Olympique
The snowpark, which faces the famous Olympic Tower, took over two weeks to build and required over 5,000 cubic metres of snow.
The idea came about through the Dillon Ojo Foundation, which was created by Elaine Charles, the mother of the late Dillon Ojo. The 22-year-old died in an accident in 2018. Charles created the foundation in his memory, with a mission to "increase accessibility to sports."
Considering Ojo's two favourite activities were snowboarding and skateboarding, the partnership with Vans to create the spectacular snowpark was an easy choice to make.
"We want everyone to be able to discover and take part in this fine sport which our son loved so much. We know he would have wanted to pass on his passion to the greatest possible number of people, so we took on this mission in his honour," said Charles.
Ski season is upon us! While the winter slopes can be intimidating for many — not to mention, expensive — Mont Sutton, a Quebec ski hill, offers some of Canada's first Yooner rides. Since you're probably wondering, "WTF is a Yooner?" it's a ski/sled hybrid that's a must-do winter activity everyone can enjoy.
Located only 90 minutes outside of Montreal by car, Mont Sutton is the perfect place to try a Yooner. Seated 20 centimetres above the ground with shock absorbers, an easy-to-control handle, and a runner for carving stellar turns on the mountain, you'll feel like you're skiing without needing a single lesson while riding a Yooner.
Luckily for first-timers, the Yooner does not take nearly as much time to grasp as skiing and snowboarding do, and can be easily mastered in as little as one run.
A Yooner rental, lift ticket and helmet come in at $50 plus taxes for two hours, and can be enjoyed on the mountain trails of chairlift II.
Season pass and daily pass holders can rent a Yooner for $25 plus taxes for two hours. While the Yooner can be enjoyed by anyone 8 years and older, riders between ages 8 and 11 must be accompanied by an adult.
The two-hour ride can be booked in three different time blocks: 9 a.m to 11 a.m, 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m, and 2 p.m to 4 p.m.
Mont Sutton recommends you book your equipment in advance. Don't worry about needing ski boots — your good 'ole winter boots are the right match for this activity.
Why You Need To Go: This installation in Quartier des Spectacles is a great way to lift your winter spirits and is certainly a great way to bring back some much-needed colour and light to the seasonal winter darkness.
Why You Need To Go: We all get a little lazier on these colder days and are looking for some serious comfort food, so supporting local restaurants and ordering takeout is the clear solution. Bon appétit!
Address: Bois de l'Équerre, 49, rang de l'Équerre, Laval, Quebec
Why You Need To Go: This park in Laval actually feels like you've walked into a fairytale. With 13-kilometre trails, snowshoe rentals, and free parking, there are so many reasons to enjoy this stunning spot.
Why You Need To Go: Adding a little pizzazz to the weekend, Illumi is the perfect place to escape the city and the everydayness of the winter. Whether you're going solo, with the family, or taking that special someone, this will definitely add some spark to your life.
Grab your winter jacket and snow pants and enjoy a ski or snowshoe session at Montreal's Parc Frédéric-Back, all for free! With temperatures plummeting and snow piles rising, now is the time to get out and experience some of the city's best winter activities.
Cultural institution TOHU is offering free equipment rentals at the park from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday until March 6 (weather depending). Visitors can pick up skis, snowshoes and even winter kites on a first-come-first-served basis and explore 9 kilometres of trails.
Lounge chairs and those mysterious spheres dotting the park's vast snowy fields offer opportunities for rest and some great photo-ops.
The ski and snowshoe rental counter is located on rue Paul-Boutet. Renters can take out equipment for a maximum of two hours. TOHU requests that visitors wait outside the rental station until an employee comes out to help.
Guests are also invited to bring their own winter equipment, as wait times can vary and availability is limited.
Although rentals are free, fees may apply for any damages to the equipment or if the return time exceeds the two-hour limit, TOHU warns.