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Montreal Is Getting A New Riverside Skating Path With Spectacular Views Of The City Skyline

A flurry of free winter activities are coming to Île Notre-Dame. ⛸️

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​Two people hold hands on an ice skating path by the water overlooking downtown Montreal.

Two people hold hands on an ice skating path by the water overlooking downtown Montreal.

Parc Jean-Drapeau is introducing a flurry of free winter activities this season, including a riverside ice skating trail with panoramic views of downtown Montreal.

The city's third largest park, spanning Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame, is also getting an ice climbing wall, a fat bike cycling route, a dedicated sledding hill and two cross-country ski paths.

You'll be able to sample all of the snow- and ice-based diversions from December 23 to March 5.

This year's redesigned ice skating path will be accessible to novice skaters with nearly 500 metres to explore along the Saint Lawrence River. The pathway is refrigerated and mechanically maintained all winter long to keep it in optimal skating condition. You'll be able to skate daily, including after dark when the path will light up.

Skates cost $13.75 for a two-hour rental for adults (and are free for Montrealers aged 17 and under with an adult purchase). Cross-country skis ($25/two hours), snowshoes ($11/two hours) and fat bikes ($30/hour) will also be available.

A new cycling course along the river will let cyclists take in stunning views without worrying about vehicle traction.

The two cross-country ski trails (800m on Île Sainte-Hélène and 5.7km on Île Notre-Dame) will cater to both all skill levels. Newbies can sign up for free introductory clinics from Ski de fond Montréal, while veterans will have access to an indoor space to wax their gear.

Nearby, the Parc Jean-Drapeau climbing wall will turn into a wall of ice. Free intro courses will be offered for the unique experience, while FQME-certified climbers will be able to rappel at their leisure.

For those who prefer to slide down, not scale up, the park promises that its sledding hill will be easy-to-climb.

All activities will be accessible by metro, near the Jean Drapeau station, and you'll be able to take breaks at warm-up stations in the Aquatic Complex, Tunisia Pavilion and Bistro Sainte-Hélène, which will have a furnished terrace.

Get ready to make the most of the long, snowy winter in store for Montreal!

Parc Jean Drapeau Winter Activities

When: December 23 to March 5 (closed December 25 and January 1)

  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. most days (10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 24 and 31)
  • 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays from January 7 to March 5
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during Spring Break week, from February 27 to March 3

Where: Parc Jean Drapeau, 1 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

    Sofia Misenheimer
    MTL Blog, Associate Editor
    Sofia Misenheimer is an Associate Editor for MTL Blog focused on gas prices in Montreal and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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