Even though Montreal is an island, we have a surprising lack of water access. There's Jean Dore Beach, but that's pretty much it. Your other options include a fake beach where you can't swim, or a beach-like swimming pool which won't be open this year.
It's official — 2021 was the hottest year on record for Montreal, according to Environment Canada. It beat out the previous hottest years, 1998 and 2012, by a mean few hundredths of a degree.
This rise in temperature in Montreal is attributed to new weather patterns, causing scorching temperatures in June, August, September and October. "August and October were record-breaking months," said Environment Canada spokesperson Simon Legault.
"We were lucky that July was below normal because if it hadn't happened that way, [...] we would have shattered the record instead of just breaking it," he added.
A few hundredths of a degree may not sound like such a big problem, but temperatures in Montreal (and around the world) have been steadily rising.
The average annual temperature in Montreal from 1951 to 1980 was 6.5ºC, according to ClimateData.ca. Last year's mean temperature came in at a whopping 8.6ºC. This drastic increase in fortyish years has already begun to show its effects — not just on our electrical bills in the summer, but also the health of the population, the Climate Action Network says.
Whether or not 2022 will be even hotter remains anyone's guess. Projections for an area as small as Southern Quebec can only be made a few weeks in advance.
What we do know is that February and March should be significantly warmer than January.
"A few short intense waves of cold are coming in," Legault said of January, adding that February and March are expected to be "close to or above normal temperatures."
Montreal is getting another beach. On Sunday, Mayor Valérie Plante announced a commitment to open the shore of the Promenade-Bellerive, a riverside park in Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, to swimming.
On its website, the city says the park "is the only physical and visual access point to the Saint Lawrence River" in the borough.
"Montreal is an island. And we want to take advantage of that," the mayor wrote on Facebook.
"The goal is to make our shorelines ever more accessible, keep our shorelines healthy, and celebrate our insularity."
She said a years-long water quality testing process has proven the site is safe for swimming.
At a press conference, the mayor and local city councillors said the beach would include supervised swimming hours.
The mayor aims to open the beach to swimming in 2022.
Residents of Montreal's east end have long pushed for more access to the river. Port activity and train tracks largely cut off neighbourhoods east of the Jacques Cartier Bridge from the Saint Lawrence.
Plante pointed out that her administration has already delivered Verdun Beach and increased access to the Vague à Guy, a popular surfing spot in LaSalle.
A Bombay spokesperson described the maze as a "large-scale [...] whimsical oasis" with walls that "cloak the discoverable experiences within."
The maze installations are being created by Quebec's Charlie Larouche (Glassware Artist), Jeroen Kleijn (DJ & Olfactory Artist) and Chantal Royer (Botanical Artist) who were inspired by the taste of Bombay Bramble, a new naturally-flavoured raspberry and blackberry gin.
The experience will be completely free, and anyone over the age of 18 can take part.
In addition to a Bombay Bramble sample, guests will leave with a signature Bombay Sapphire Balloon Glass that they can use to stir up fun drinks at home.
Hedge Maze at the Old Port
Bombay Sapphire Canada
When: August 6: 4 p.m.-8 p.m.; August 7 and 8: 1 p.m.-8 p.m.
Address: 430, boul. Saint-Laurent, Old Port, Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: Hedge mazes are fun, but even better when they're boozy.
Why You Need To Go: For the rest of the summer, seven spaces recreating colourful urban gardens are scattered along avenue Mont Royal. There's a colourful skate park, a light and shadow garden, a rose mural, and other funky spots to check out.
Why You Need To Go: If you've been craving something greasy, you'll be happy to know that you can get a free burger for a limited time at Burger King. All you have to do is download the restaurant's app and place an order over $1 to get a free Whopper.
When: Every day until September 6 from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Address: Place des Commencements; 200, rue de la Commune O., Montréal, QC
Why You Need To Go: You can find Place des Commencements located at the end of the Grand Quai in Old Montreal, which has the most beautiful green terrasse where you can sit on chairs and admire Habitat 67 and the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. It's an ideal spot to watch the sunset.
Address: La Brise du Large; 1800, Chemin des Iroquois, Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: This is the new waterfront park on the Lachine Canal, La Brise du Large, that you have to check out this summer if you want to sit in the shade for a picnic or feel like you're in the South.
Why You Need To Go: A trip to the museum is always a good idea — especially when it's free. Note that the Christian Dior et Chapleau – Profession : caricaturiste exposition will cost you $9.50 on Wednesday evenings, but the rest of the museum is free to visit after 5 p.m.