Taking a break for some winter fun in the hustle and bustle of downtown Montreal is now easier than ever, as McGill University has recently re-opened their free-to-the-public outdoor skating rink. And to those wondering: hockey is allowed too.
Known as the "Iron Rink" (which we like to think is a GoT reference) McGill's outdoor skating area is located on the downtown campus's lower field, which is easily accessed via the Roddick Gates entrance on Sherbrooke and McGill College.
The Iron Rink is open to anyone to use every day from noon to 1:30pm, as stated by the McGill Reporter. People can still skate on the rink after the designated public times, unless the rink is booked by a McGill group. If you're a student group looking to book the Iron Rink, head to Room 7 of the McConnell Engineering Building for more info.
For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte
The Greenhound Canada Foundation, an ecological advocacy group, will be hosting this free-to-attend market at Leaves House Café McGill from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on September 18.
This series of markets is "part of Greenhound Foundation's campaign to support mental wellness and community connectedness through plants and nature," according to a press release shared with MTL Blog.
The funds raised from the market will go towards supporting community projects and the development of a "healing garden" in Montreal.
The market this weekend will host creators such as Les Filles Plantées, Ivkaforest, MTL Creation Boutique, MTLA Studio, Soft Earth Forest Therapy, and desputeaux+aubin (creators of Caillou). There will be something for everyone!
This resulted in police creating a security perimeter on the school grounds, near where the package was located. The school told everyone to "avoid area around Arts, Dawson Hall and Leacock buildings at this time."
Then, at 10:49 a.m., McGill let the public know that the "incident" was over.
SPVM spokesperson Véronique Comtois Comtois said the tactical squad deemed the package not to be dangerous after analyzing it.
The security perimeter police made this morning was removed and the buildings that were evacuated have reopened.
In a tweet shared at 8:25 a.m. on Tuesday morning, McGill University announced that two of its buildings were being evacuated due to an "incident."
UPDATE: McGill announced the incident is over. The SPVM determined the suspicious package is not dangerous. The three closed buildings, Leacock, Dawson Hall and the McCall MacBain Arts building, have reopened.
EARLIER: MTL Blog spoke with SPVM spokesperson Véronique Comtois, who confirmed that the Montreal police received a call about a "suspicious package" on McGill's campus on Tuesday.
At 9:30 a.m., Comtois said that police were currently on the school grounds "preventively." She said there is "no information" that the object is "threatening," but "[they're] not taking any chances. So for now it's a preventive intervention."
Police have made a perimeter near where the object was found and, at the time of writing this article, experts were on their way to analyze the object. Once they give their expertise, they'll be able to determine if the object is threatening or not.
Since the police perimeter is on campus, there will be no impact on traffic in the city.
Staycations are where it's at 2021, and Quebec — with its rolling hills, beautiful lakes and endless drives — is a wonderful place to go exploring near to home. As Canada's largest province, it's chock-full of memories just waiting to be made.
Quebec offers an abundance of both history and nature, from its townships brimming with European charm to its vast provincial parks. You can fly, train or bus to many of Quebec's must-see destinations, but the best way to explore this far-reaching province is by car.
If you're craving the open road, take a cue from 95.9 Virgin Radio host Vinny, who knows a thing or two about road trips. As one of the hosts of Montreal's favourite radio station (and a born-and-bred Montrealer), he reaches road trippers and commuters every weekday morning.
Vinny knows that when it comes to exploring Quebec, you don't have to travel far to uncover lush scenery, wildlife and get some R&R. In fact, his favourite spots are all less than three hour's drive from Montreal.
Just imagine hitting the open road with the windows down and the radio pumping, cruising your way around picturesque villages, quaint architecture, lazy rivers and towering fjords.
Once you've checked out your favourite stops from Vinny's list of must-sees, all you need is a car, snacks for the road and 95.9 Virgin Radio on full blast.
Time From Montreal: 2 hours
Why You Need To Go: With so much to do and see, Mont-Tremblant is one of Quebec's most popular destinations no matter the season or the reason. From a panoramic gondola ride with a bird's eye view of the Laurentians to bike riding through one of the mountain's many trails, this spot is ideal for explorers and adventurers alike.
After a day spent wandering through nature in all its glory, you can wind down with a shopping spree in Mont-Tremblant's famed pedestrian village. Follow it up with an Instagram-worthy dining experience at one of the dozens of restaurants for a vacay done right.
Why You Need To Go: Less than two hour's drive from Montreal (during which you can jam out to tunes on 95.9 Virgin Radio), Saint-Sauveur is another popular Quebec destination that makes for a great day trip. With a massive outdoor pool and water park, restaurants like Gibby's and spas like Vinny's fave, the Polar Bear's Club Spa, Saint-Sauveur is a must-visit for Montrealers.
Spend the day soaking and steaming in the spa's thermal waters, view the Laurentians from horseback or shop to your heart's content. No matter how you choose to spend your time, there's no shortage of fun to be had at Saint-Sauveur.
Why You Need To Go: According to Vinny, Estérel Resort is "an oasis." With a four-season spa that boasts lake and mountainside views, it's easy to see why. Estérel Resort is all about escaping the daily grind, so what better way could there be to make use of a vacation day? Estérel's all-inclusive packages make it a one-stop-shop for all things R&R.
If you're in the mood for a solid sweat sesh, you can venture through the Laurentians via paddleboard, canoe, kayak, pontoon boat or bike. Foodies will especially love the range of fine dining, including the renowned Bistro à Champlain restaurant.
Why You Need To Go: With more than 225 species that call it home, Zoo de Granby is the largest zoo in the province and offers a great day out for the whole family. Due to continued health and safety guidelines, reservations are required for the summer 2021 season, so be sure to save your spot to get in on all the action.
Slender-tailed meerkats, white rhinos, Japanese macaques and snow leopards are just some of the many animals you'll get to spy here. Learn all there is to know about Granby's conservation efforts while you're at it, too.
Why You Need To Go: Just off the island, La Ferme Quinn is a go-to destination for farm-fresh fruits and veggies, including apples, cucumbers, kale and almost every type of berry you can think of. With fall just around the corner, now's the time to plan your apple-picking adventure to stock up for all those pies you're sure to make.
If baking isn't quite your thing, don't stress. According to Vinny, La Ferme Quinn has the "best apple pie ever." You can also load up on muffins and a ton of other baked goodies that may or may not make it through the car ride home.
Why You Need To Go: Combining rustic charm with jaw-dropping architecture, Le Château Montebello might just take your breath away in the best way as it's situated within nature itself. Fun fact: Le Château Montebello is the world's largest log cabin, and it was rated one of the top 10 resort hotels in Canada by Travel & Leisure.
To make your staycay complete, there's an outdoor pool and cabanas, a sports chalet boasting everything from tennis to mini-golf, a nautical pavilion for those who like to kayak, canoe or paddleboard, hiking trails and even 90-minute guided ATV rides.
Why You Need To Go: You don't need to travel far to uncover the beauty of Quebec. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Centre de la Nature is a massive urban park that spans 50 hectares.
Whether you're in search of a chill picnic, wanting to uncover nature via the Centre's five kilometres of pedestrian paths, or looking to entertain the family at Piscine Saint-Vincent or the on-site petting zoo, Centre de la Nature has it all. There's even a tropical greenhouse that boasts a stunning array of plants and animals, so be sure to have your camera at the ready.
Why You Need To Go: Charm and character combine with history to make Quebec City a must-see (and see again) spot. Walkable and sure to satiate your wanderlust, Quebec City is a great spot to spend your vacation days. Crank up the radio while you're en route and listen to 95.9 Virgin Radio hosts talk all things pop culture and more before you pull up in one of the province's most iconic destinations.
Once you're there, soak up a bit of history at Château Frontenac then traverse the Plains of Abraham, the site of the famous Battle of Quebec. You can also peep a stellar view of the St. Lawrence River from Dufferin Terrace, zipline above Montmorency Falls, shop and eat to your heart's content — however you choose to spend your time, Quebec City has plenty to offer.
Why You Need To Go: Touted as a "super cool experience" by Vinny himself, Parc Omega is a safari park with a 12-kilometre route that winds throughout. You're likely to see wolves, deer, bears, bison, birds and more at this year-round attraction.
For the brave-of-heart, you can also spend a night or two in a cabin, chalet, lodge or pod that's surrounded by a pack of wolves. Each accommodation has a glass facade to allow uninterrupted views of nature and wolves alike.
Why You Need To Go: Since it's always five o'clock somewhere, what better way to spend a day than at a winery? Located just minutes from Montreal, La Bullerie is the first Quebec vineyard that specializes in sparkling wines. With the likes of white, red and, of course, rosé, you can sip and santé while you take in the picturesque views of wine country.
If you fancy a picnic while you're there, La Bullerie offers one of their very own that includes choice cheese, fruit and a local dessert. It's the ultimate daytime date location.