With the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone’s getting excited about doing outdoor winter activities in Montreal! Here are a few suggestions of where to do these activities and where to borrow and rent gear, to the best of our knowledge. Since this information is constantly changing, please be sure to double check before leaving the house to do an activity! And please let us know if you spot any errors or omissions!
There will be tracked cross-country ski trails in a number of city parks this winter. New trails are being added this year around the city, including in Jean-Drapeau Park, where there may also be private ski courses this winter. There will be indoor and outdoor skating rinks in most neighbourhoods in Montreal. Here is the list of sledding hills in Montreal, along with many of the snowhoeing trails. Here is a fairly complete list of parks and winter activities in Montreal. It is free to access most of these activities!
In Mont-Royal Park, ski and snowshoe trails will be maintained this winter. The refrigerated rink should be open as of mid-December. There will be gear rental in and around the Beaver Lake Pavilion, with free loan to children under 18 years old. There will be private ski lessons depending on the situation with the pandemic.
Keep an eye out for the Intercultural Outdoor Recreation Program’s winter program! We will confirm in early January and hope to offer private cross-country ski lessons for adult beginners as well as one on one snowshoe and conversation exchanges.
Here are a few more places to borrow or rent outdoor gear this winter, in addition to the above:
- There will be ski and snowshoe rentals for adults, and free loan for children in Montreal’s Nature Parks. Cross-country ski lessons will not be offered this winter.
- There will be free loan of snowshoes and cross-country skis via the TOHU in Frédéric Back Park, but no ski lessons.
- There will be free winter equipment loan in four parks in Rosemont this winter.
- Four libraries in Montreal will be loaning snowshoes, crampons, and walking poles for free to children and adults this winter.
- The Centre de prêt de matériel de Plein Air in Verdun will loan winter equipment for free to families. They may also organise family activities depending on the situation.
- Parcours Gouin (metro Henri-Bourassa) will be loaning out snowshoes and fatbikes for free this winter. Cross-country ski rental will be available for adults, with free loans for children.
- The McGill Outdoors Club will rent outdoor winter gear to its members starting in January. The yearly membership fee is not very expensive. Snowshoes are available in Montreal whereas cross-country ski and skate rental happens at the club’s property in the Laurentians.
- Parc Jarry may be renting some outdoor gear this year (to be confirmed).
- La Poubelle du ski is a great place to rent downhill or cross-country skis for the season; this year especially, demand is high, so don’t wait too long and make an appointment with them!
- Rental programs at La Cordée, MEC, and the Boutique plein air du CÉGEP Édouard-Montpetit are all on hold due to COVID.
Please note that most equipment loan services will require a reservation this winter.