The winters may be long in Montreal but that doesn’t mean this fun-loving city hibernates. Locals strap on their skates and head to an outdoor rinks for some fresh winter air, exercise and socializing. No worries if you didn’t bring your skates along—these top rinks have skate rentals onsite.
Skate on the mountain
Skate on the mountain at Lac des Castors (Beaver Lake) pond. Located in the heart of Mount Royal Park, this 2,500 square metres is popular with locals. This rink gets really busy on the weekends. The nearby Bistro Le Pavillon serves tasty Mediterranean-style bistro cuisine and plenty of hot chocolate. Mont-Royal Metro Stop. Hours: Sunday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Free admission. Ice skate rental $8.50 for 2 hours, locker lock rental. (514) 843-8240 ext 235 or (514) 280-8989
On the Plateau
In the winter Parc La Fontaine’s oblong pond is transformed into a long meandering ice rink which is ideal for freestyle skating. The rink is flanked on either side by large trees so you’ll feel like you’re in a forest while skating. 3933 avenue du Parc-Lafontaine. Sherbrooke/Berri Metro Stop. Open: Weekdays 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; weekends 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Free admission. Ice skate rentals $8, locker lock rental $3. (514) 872-0311.
Skating with History
Bonsecours Basin in the Quays of the Old Port is set against the backdrop of historic Old Montreal. Located at the end of de la Commune Street, this rink is perfect for a Sunday skaters and families. It’s also très romantic in the evening with its special lighting. The ice is well maintained and music is played throughout the day and night with a different theme for each day of the week. Champ des Mars Metro Stop. Open: Monday to Wednesday: 10am to 9pm, Thursday to Sunday: 10am to 10pm. Admission: Adults, teens and seniors : $6/ Children (6 to 12) : $4 / Family: $15. (514) 496-PORT.
Before heading out be sure to check the ice conditions at the Ville de Montreal website.