Winter activity equipment rentals for Montrealers 18 and under
Cross-country skiing is offered in major parks around Montreal including Maisonneuve, La Fontaine and Angrignon. You can rent equipment at a specific group of them: Jarry, Mount Royal, Cap-Saint-Jacques and a few others.
The mayor recommended sledding at Grovehill Park in Lachine and Ignace-Bourget Park in Le Sud Ouest in her press conference on November 26.
But there are a whole range of snowy slopes for Montrealers to choose from this winter, such as the ones at Frédéric-Back. Check out the city's Sledding webpage for more information.
Montreal has municipal arenas as well as more than 200 refrigerated outdoor rinks where people can get their skate on, according to the Arenas and outdoor skating rinks page of its website.
Some arenas are listed online as being already open for skating. A few examples are Aréna Ahuntsic, Aréna Clément-Jetté and Aréna Saint-Charles, which have a "limited number of activities offered."
You'll be able to find fat biking trails at Anse-à-l'Orme, Cap Saint-Jacques, Jean-Drapeau and Pointe-aux-Prairies parks.
A Special Program At Jean-Drapeau Park
Jean Drapeau "will not be outdone" this winter, says the city, offering a special program in place of its usual Fête des neiges.
Starting on December 19, several free activities will be available. Expect hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, an outdoor exhibition presented by the Biosphère, a refrigerated skating rink, a fatbike trail and free sledding.
Skiing and snowboarding can be expensive, time-consuming pastimes: It can be hard to carve out the time to practice new tricks and monthly passes can be costly. Luckily, Laval has is opening a new snowpark on Saturday – and the best part is, it's totally free.
The snowpark will be open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m starting Saturday, January 22. Skiers and snowboarders must make free reservations in advance on the Laval website for two-hour time slots. Keep in mind that reservations might be cancelled in the event of bad weather.
Changing rooms are currently closed for sanitation reasons, so you'll have to get ready outside, using the available tables and benches. There are no equipment rentals, so be sure to bring your own gear.
This is just the most recent of Laval's free outdoor amenities. Laval also offers free access to ice skating, hockey rinks, walking paths, cross-country skiing trails, a snow maze for children, and sledding hills. Many of these activities require reservations and your own equipment, so be sure to plan ahead. And always follow the rules and safety guidelines listed on the Laval website.
Despite the current cold snap, it looks like the last week of January will be a great time to get out and enjoy the snow. Sunday, January 23 is expected to be reach minus 8 C, and the following week should be within the average range for this time of year. Windchill may continue to be an issue, though, so bundle up.
Boucherie Slovenia, a boulevard Saint-Laurent institution for 50 years, will soon serve its last spicy sausage.
The iconic home of enormous Eastern European-style sandwiches — Slovenian sausage and towering cold-cuts were staples — will close its doors forever on January 29, said the owners, Lourdes Rodrigues and Jean Teixeira, in a Facebook post.
"Thank you to all our loyal customers, for the wonderful years," they said.
With a menu overflowing with huge, yet affordable, meat and mustard sandwiches — sauerkraut, pickles and Cherry Cokes were also standard — Boucherie Slovenia is the latest of the Main's iconic old-school institutions to close.
The beloved Moishes steakhouse announced its closure under the strain of the pandemic in the summer of 2020.
The Boucherie Slovenia Facebook post asks readers to share their memories of the restaurant and butcher shop, with many offering childhood stories of visiting for a pepperette sandwich or their "underrated" smoked meat, which is "the best in the city," according to one commenter.
Many apparent long-time customers said they wouldn't know where to go to find dishes comparable to Boucherie Slovenia's treasured menu items.
Others remarked on how yet another classic Montreal restaurant is closing its doors. "Nothing replaces these fantastic old shops," said one person. "It's a loss. The rich character of the boulevard is disappearing."
The Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Saint-Justine just released safety guidelines for children and their parents looking to go sledding this winter — in particular, choosing sledding locations carefully, always sledding with adult supervision and always wearing a helmet.
Sledding activities have become more popular since the beginning of the pandemic, as kids and teens are looking for more opportunities to get out of the house and have some fun. With this increased time outdoors, there's an increased risk of injury, as the CHU Sainte-Justine has seen.
"Since December 1, 2021, the hospital center has admitted no fewer than 35 children and teenagers injured during sledding activities," the CHU Sainte-Justine said in a recent release. "Last January, the CHU Sainte-Justine had already treated 45 injured children, a considerable increase compared to the years prior to the pandemic."
And the injuries they're treating aren't just your typical bumps and bruises. The hospital cited treating kids and teens for concussions, cerebral hemorrhages, broken arms, legs and pelvises, and injuries to internal organs requiring emergency surgery.
The first tip the CHU Sainte-Justine offered was to choose your sledding location carefully. The ideal spot has no obstacles, is far from roads or bodies of water, and has a clear delineation between where you sled and where you walk back up the hill. They recommend avoiding icy or overly speedy slopes.
"Collisions with trees or poles, falls on ice and skidding are among the main accidents during sliding games," said the CHU Sainte-Justine in their release. "In fact, among the children admitted to the emergency room this winter, 46% of the injuries were caused by collisions with obstacles."
Next, they recommend wearing a helmet and always tobogganing in a seated position, feet-first, to avoid injury. Kids should always be supervised and children aged five and under should be accompanied by an adult when they go down the hill.
"With fewer pastimes available during lockdown, many children are turning to board sports," said Dr. Mélanie Labrosse, emergency pediatrician and head of traumatology the CHU Sainte-Justine. "It's a fun activity, but you have to be extra careful because it can cause injuries with long-term repercussions.'
Montreal is certainly no stranger to a traffic jam, which makes taking public transit a more viable option to not only get around faster but do more good for the environment.
As Canadian cities take the initiative to improve their transit systems and reduce their carbon footprints, Montreal has become one of the country's greenest metropolitan areas when it comes to transport, according to one ranking.
A December report from Kijiji Autos analyzed green transport options in Canada's most populated cities, evaluating their use of electric cars, bikes, scooters, and the number of electric charging stations.
With its metro and bus systems, BIXI rentals, bike lanes, and availability of electric cars, Montreal found itself in third place among Canadian cities that offer the greenest transport with a score of 5.5/10.
Although Vancouver and Ottawa/Gatineau snagged the top two spots, Montreal takes the lead as the most bicycle-friendly city in all of North America, with a total of 2,163 bicycle paths, says the Copenhagenize Index.
Montreal's third-place ranking is encouraging news, said McGill University Assistant Professor of Geography, Grant McKenzie, who specifically boasted about Montreal's metro system, "especially compared to other Canadian cities," as well as its "substantial investment towards electric buses."
While McKenzie said "we can always do better" and bemoaned the city's ban on e-scooters, he called the popularity of the BIXI and the inclusion of electric bikes in its fleet an "excellent move in the right direction."
As for electric cars, Kijiji Autos looked at new registrations of electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2021, as well as total charging stations. Montreal landed second to Toronto with a total of 3,633 new registered electric cars, and 1,258 electric charging stations throughout the city.
Kijiji Autos also looked at the number of hybrids and electric vehicles for sale on their platform. Montreal led the way with 1,063 hybrid vehicles and 375 electric vehicles, states the report.
With the province of Quebec offering residents a rebate for the purchase or lease of electric cars, Quebec estimates that there will be 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.