Do Montreal's summer days get you hot and bothered? The frequent humid days are a virtue, or perhaps a downside, of being on an island in a major river. Nobody likes to feel like their energy is being sucked out of them by the heat as soon as they step outside.
However, the city has some great parks and activities for all ages that are cool places to be when the next heat wave strikes. The best part is that many of them are free!
1. Place des Festivales Interactive Fountain and Splash Pad
Completed in 2009 as part of a downtown redevelopment project, the largest interactive fountain in Canada sports 235 water jets and is illuminated at night by four light towers.
2. Parc Jean Drapeau Aquatic Complex
Located on Île Sainte-Hélène, it was originally a training facility and event venue for the 1976 Montreal Olympics. It is now considered to be one of the best aquatic facilities in Canada.
Photo Credit: Susanna Klassen
3. Cap St-Jacques Nature Park
The largest park in Montreal's park network, this 302 hectare area features a managed forest, a beach, and beautiful walking and biking trails. It's easy to forget you're on the island of Montreal altogether.
Photo Credit: Magazine Découvertes
4. Îles de Boucherville National Park
This park encompasses five small islands in the Saint-Lawrence River east of Montreal. Accessible only by one road or by ferry, it's a haven for cyclists, canoeists, and campers. There is also a bird sanctuary and a Native American archaeological site to explore.
Photo Credit: Hugo Lorini
5. Parc l'Aquaciel
This brand-new splash pad and play area next to the Centre Sportif Dollard St-Laurent in the borough of LaSalle is totally kid-friendly with separate sections for toddlers and older children. A shaded picnic area offers a respite for adults too.
6. Jet Boating the Lachine Rapids
The Lachine Rapids once were a formidable barrier to explorers and fur traders trying to reach the Canadian interior. Now people can experience their spectacular power by riding on the greatest city cruise tour. Be ready to get wet!
7. H2O Adventures
The Lachine Canal is a major part of Montreal's history, and it can be explored by various types of motorized or human-powered watercraft. See the industrial and manufacturing areas adjacent to the canal from a new perspective.
8. Surf Montreal
One doesn't have to go to the ocean to experience surfing! The characteristics of the Saint-Laurence River near Montreal create waves that enable surfers to carve for hours. Lessons are recommended, because the rapids are unsupervised.
Photo Credit: Carole St-Denis
Have you ever imagined yourself flying around using a jet-pack? Parc Jean-Drapeau has the next best thing with Flyboarding, where you stand on a board and a high-pressure spout of water propels you into the air in total defiance of gravity!
Not for the faint of heart, this extreme water sport requires the strength and skill to hold a kite and stand on a board simultaneously! There are several places in the Montreal area that offer lessons in both summer and winter variations.