Do you love being on the water, boating and all things nautical-themed? If yes, then this is the weekend for you.
This weekend (July 5th & 6th) is Nautical Fest, an event put on by Parks Canada, with the Association maritime du Quebec and the Lachine Canal National Historic Site. This festival is for all of you landlubbers that want to enjoy the water - whether it be by boat, canoe, pedal boat or just enjoying the view!
There are a lot of activities going on throughout the weekend, but here are 4 get you excited:
1. Boat Tours on the Lachine Canal: Discover Montreal history, and our beautiful waterway, on a relaxing boat tour. You need to make reservations though, so make sure to call first: 514-602-1000
2. Kayaking: Who doesn't love kayaking, once they've tried it? No one, that's who! H2O Adventures has a kayak and picnic excursion planned on Saturday mornings. You'll be kayaking around Old Montreal, passing through the Peel basin and so much more - definitely a very unique way to see our city! To celebrate Nautical Fest, they're offering a discount on this, and other, activities. Check out their website!
3. Canoeing: Ok, if you don't like kayaking, you must love canoeing! You're in luck - Poles des Rapides is launching a new kayaking circuit this weekend, during the festival. You need to get in on this; who else can say they've paddled around Montreal? For more information, go to their website.
4. Nautical Fest: The festival itself, celebrating its third anniversary, will be a lot of fun even if you're the type of person who likes to stay on solid ground. Tours, workshops, entertainment, and more - they'll make you want to buy your own boat by the end of the weekend!
The event name, Sudbest, perfectly captures the goal of the event. Organizers call it the Sud-Ouest's "largest commercial revival initiative," bringing forward as many of the borough's merchants, artists and artisans as possible.
"The Market is intended to be a tailor-made economic stimulus tool for artists and merchants in the Sud-Ouest by giving them a commercial opportunity to promote themselves as part of an event reflecting the neighborhood," said restauranteur Gaelle Cerf, one of the event leaders, in a statement.
At the market, you can expect to find a 100% Quebec wine and cider bar run by the owners of the new convenience store Le Cinq à Sept (Ville-Émard), a bloody caesars bar at Lord William Pub and a "post-pandemic" beer made specially for the event by 4 Origines Microbrewery.
You'll find food trucks, a Perles et Paddock oyster bar, jerk chicken grilled by Boom J, Food'elles and more.
At this month's event, DJ Kelly (Rap Mommies) will be spinning on Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. On Sunday, you'll find Jazz St-Henri, 99 Wolves, and ELMNT at the DJ booth.
Fifteen stands are expected at the first Le Sudbest weekend, according to communications coordinator Julie Poulin. But Poulin told MTL Blog there are already 35 kiosks confirmed for the next event on August 28 and 29.
The third and final (for now) Sudbest weekend is scheduled for September 25 and 26.
Entry is free and dogs are allowed on a leash.
Sudbest Neighbourhood Market
Price: Free entry! No cash is accepted on-site (so pay by card or by scanning a QR Code thanks to the CHK PLZ app)
When: From noon to 11 p.m July 31 to August 1, August 28-29 & September 25-26
Address: 40, rue des Seigneurs, Griffintown, Montreal, QC (Behind Arsenal, along the Lachine Canal)
Why You Need To Go: Check out the SudBEST merchants, artists and artisans that the Sud-Ouest has to offer!
The beauty of glow-in-the-dark kayaks is that they make it easier to kayak at night. This can either be super tranquil or a full-on party — thanks to the neon lights and Bluetooth speakers — depending on your mood.
Imagine sitting in a boat on the lake as you watch the sunset from your kayak-canoe. Then, you start paddling around, your boat illuminating your path, as the city skyline lights up before your eyes. Play some music on the Bluetooth speakers and—pure magic.
The Quebec-Ontario border is open and it's really only a five-and-a-half-hour drive, so it could be well worth it to hop on the 401 and give your summer a glow up.
Price: Single Kayak (1 seat) is $70 plus tax or Tandem Kayak (2 seats) is $105 plus tax
Locations: Various locations in Toronto including Humber Bay Park and the Scarborough Bluffs
Why You Need To Go: Your summer will get a glow-up if you road trip to Toronto and include this activity in your itinerary.
You can choose to ride the rapids in a canoe, a single kayak or a double kayak, which you can take on the water for four to five hours. You can also opt for a mini-raft or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) when the water levels are high enough.
Once you get past the first part of the descent — 5 kilometres into your journey — there are rest areas along the sides of the river where you can take breaks and enjoy your surroundings.
Departures are at 10 a.m. from June 11 to September 26 and there is a second departure at 10:30 a.m. from July 17 to August 22, but you must arrive at Cime Aventures 30 minutes before departure.
The "Famous Tour" costs $75.99 for regular adults and $67.39 for students aged 14 and up.
Bonaventure River on a kayak
Price: $75.99 per adult (get a 15% discount when you book online using code web15); $67.39 for students
When: Departing at 10 a.m. from July 11 - September 26; Departing at 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. from July 17 - August 22
Access Info: Swimming is allowed in designated areas, such as at the supervised beach
Address: Saint-Anicet Beach in Jules-Léger Park - 1582, 61e Rue, Saint-Anicet, QC
Why You Need To Go: An hour southwest of Montreal in Saint-Anicet, Quebec, is a little beach where the waters are so clear you'll feel like you've left the country. Enjoy the beach, picnic area and gorgeous views. There are also some really cute Airbnbs nearby.
Access Info: Swimming and watercraft are not permitted
Address: Gatineau Park - 33, ch. Scott, Chelsea, QC
Why You Need To Go: Even though it's green and not actually pink, as the name suggests, Pink Lake is known as one of Gatineau Park's most breathtaking sights. Hike the 2.3-kilometre loop around the lake to catch it from all angles.
Why You Need To Go: "Explore the majestic Lac Sacacomie whose shore extends over 42 km," reads the Hotel Sacacomie website. Whether you take a canoe, kayak, pedal boat or motorboat, the magnificent landscapes will not disappoint.
Why You Need To Go: It may not be a lake, but we couldn't leave a body of dazzling crystal-clear water off the list. Bonaventure River is a must-see in the Gaspe. You can canoe, kayak, standup paddleboard (SUP), snorkel, or tube.
Why You Need To Go: Located in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, you can swim or do other aquatic activities in the "nautical basin," next to the Domaine hotel, which includes a 15,000-square-foot beach.