- MTL Blog writer Katina Goulakos tried out the popular Old Port Skating Rink and offers her opinion of the much-hyped activity below.
- Here's what to really expect when you head to the Bassin Bonsecours this winter.
Skating was a big part of my life growing up. I spent many hours cooped up in an arena, practicing the sport. As the years passed, my love for skating never fled, which is why I was so excited to check out Montreal's Old Port Skating Rink. After devouring a delicious meal at Taverne Gaspar, I decided to brave the cold and skate off my creme brulé calories. Both the restaurant and rink are participating in Happening Gourmand, through which skating tickets are 50% off!
As I walked to the Old Montreal outdoor arena, the cold air began to discourage me. But as a woman on a mission, I knew I had to hit the ice, blades blazing!
I must be honest, you will need to walk a little to get there. But the beautiful surroundings and fire pit make the trek tolerable.
Once I made it to my destination, I was slightly irritated by what seemed like a lack of organization. Herds of people waited to rent a pair of skates.
Almost every person in front of me didn't know what size skate they wore and the process of getting my skates sharpened was a lot more frustrating than I anticipated.
After patiently waiting for a little over 30 minutes for both my ticket and sharpened blades, I was ready to hit the ice. And, although it was very busy and there were a ton of people around me, I was excited to show off my skills.
As someone who has spun around on a variety of surfaces, I must say this particular sheet of ice was difficult to manage. It was a little soft and needed to be cleaned.
I began to skate around the ice, joining the crowd and basking in the surrounding beauty, eventually giving myself into the magical experience.
The ice may not be up to my standards, but the views encompassing you are truly mesmerizing. From the towering Grand Roue to the striking skyline in the distance, scenes from the rink inspire appreciation for the city.
The fireworks shows had already come to an end for the season, but they certainly would have heightened the romance and spectacle of the experience.
All in all, I very much enjoyed my evening of skating under the stars and I recommend it to anyone looking for a reason to fall in love with Montreal all over again.
My only advice is to exercise patience at the beginning and stay warm — and of course, having fun!
Old Port Skating Rink
Where: Bassin Bonsecours
Monday to Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Thursday to Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.