LATEST ARTICLES

Trying Camping For the First Time

On August 7-8th, 2021, a group of 12 mostly first-time campers from around the world tried camping at Récréoparc in Ste-Catherine (on the South shore). The group hailed from pretty much every continent! Thank you sincerely to all of our participants, volunteers, helpers, donators, and to Parks Canada who lent us tents and led camping workshops.

First-time camper Ruben took the time to write down his experience: “I must confess that I was never attracted by nature, but since I arrived to Canada I noticed that outdoor activities are part of the Canadian culture, especially in summer time. As part of my integration, I decided to change many habits and try new things; like food, sports, and learning a new language.

I have never camped, and knowing that I would do it for the first time made me feel very excited. The Récréoparc, located in Saint-Catherine, is a beautiful place, with a lot of trees, some flowers and different animals. We learn how to build the tent and learned useful tricks on how to light a fire, one of the most useful things considering that I could spend up to 30 minutes lighting the coals at any barbecue gathering. We also discovered how smart the raccoons can be in finding food even when the tents are closed, and had the chance to interact with people from all over the world. Spending the night outdoors was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Next day morning we had breakfast and biked for around 20 minutes to the place where we would do the kayak. The experience was the cherry on the cake, we had a lot of fun, and at the end we took a bath on the shore enjoying the beautiful and sunny day. The day ended with a picnic in which we had time to talk and tell the best from our experience.”

Thank you Ruben and thank you group! We hope everyone gets many chances to keep on camping!

Kayaking, Canoeing and Stand-Up Paddleboarding This Summer

Discover the many ways you can try kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding and more, in and around Montreal this summer!

On June 18th, 2021, we hosted a workshop on this topic (in French). Here is the recording of the workshop :  

First half of the workshop: https://youtu.be/wWokoAyo7sISecond half of the workshop: https://youtu.be/e16jwi4Xg0k

You can view the slide presentation here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gkj20WO_zE8z0YkLTuL7W868U8WiVght/view?usp=sharing

You can consult a table/list of many sites and resources here (also in French): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zl4ONgcLmJO1fMFJQYv5pBWGBgyPt9JH/view?usp=sharing

To register for our e-newsletter and receive invitations to our upcoming activities, including introduction to stand-up paddleboarding and canoeing, please follow this link: https://my.sendinblue.com/users/subscribe/js_id/26yxu/id/1

Thank you to CARI St-Laurent who co-organised this workshop with us. The Intercultural Outdoor Recreation Program is codelivered by l’Association récréative Milton-Parc and the Maison de l’amitié. We would like to thank Participaction for their support. Participaction aims to help us get physically active during the month of June and all year round!

Reporting on Winter 2021

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We are happy to share this report on our activities during winter 2021, including photos, testimonials and statistics.

Plein air interculturel, rapport hiver 2021Download

A Beginning Skier Takes On New Challenges!

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Listen to the story of Isis’ adventure after she left our cross-country ski class and headed up Mount Royal on her skis!

Part 1 of the adventure

Part 2

Part 3!

Outdoor Recreation This Winter in Montreal!

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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.

Donate to the Intercultural Outdoor Recreation Program!

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Support our intercultural outdoor activities by making a charitable donation!  We aim to raise $2000 by Dec. 31st to help low-income new Canadians outdoor recreation activities this winter and throughout the coming year. $40 is the average price it takes for us to help one low-income newcomer try a new outdoor activity, defraying the cost of gear and instruction.

Here’s how: click here – https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/montreal-house-of-friendship/ – on the Maison de l’amitié (our program delivery partner)’s online donation page. Follow the donation instructions and be sure to select and indicate “Intercultural Outdoor Recreation”. When you’re done, please e-mail us at pleinair@miltonpark.org to let us know you’ve donated so we can thank you right away! You will receive a charitable receipt on behalf of the Maison de l’amitié de Montréal. We’ll also write to you to tell you exactly who you helped and what they thought of the experience!

Thank you so much for supporting the Intercultural Outdoor Recreation Program, a joint initiative of the Milton Park Recreation Association and the Maison de l’amitié de Montréal (a registered charity). 

Important Survey!

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We are calling on all past and current participants of the Intercultural Outdoor Recreation program to fill out an important survey. The goal of the survey is to improve program activities and better meet the needs of newcomers (and all participants) in terms of bringing people together across cultures, integration, and improving access to outdoor activities. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Thank you very much to Suzanne Laberge and Amélie Guay from the Université de Montréal who worked hard with us to develop the questionnaire! The data is anonymous and strictly confidential. Only the Université de Montréal research team will have access to the raw data. The information will only be transmitted to us in a summary report of the highlights.

Here is the link to the survey: https://form.dragnsurvey.com/survey/r/63d79649

Thank you in advance for your help! We are seeking a high response rate by July 31, 2020 so that the responses are representative of the experience of program participants. In order to encourage you to complete the survey, we are going to draw a participation prize among those who fill the survey: a free registration to a weekly activity of Cardio Plein Air, an outdoor gym!

The winner will be able to choose among the weekly activities offered this fall by the Plateau-Mont-Royal team. There will be one class per week and this prize is worth $200! To be eligible for this draw, you must have already participated in an intercultural outdoor activity with our program at least once (including our outings, online language exchanges, and conferences), and have completed the online survey by July 31, 2020. Employees of the Milton-Parc Recreation Association and their families are excluded from this draw. The winning participant will be drawn on August 5th, 2020 by an ARMP employee at his or her office. The winner will be contacted by email within one week. The person will have until September 4th, 2020 to claim their prize directly from Cardio Plein Air (Plateau Mont-Royal).Thank you very much in advance!

Paying with an E-Check

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If you don’t have a credit card, here is how you can make a payment through ‘Amilia’, our online registration system. Select ‘E-Check’ as your payment method. Then, please enter the name of your bank, the transit number, institution code, your bank account number, and the type of account. You can find this information on one of your regular cheques, or else on a document provided by your bank. See the example below of what you will see on your screen.

Afro-Caribbean-QC vegetable box DISCOUNT!

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We are excited to announce a new partnership with Les Jardins Lakou, a farm in Montérégie near Montreal that is offering locally-grown vegetable baskets, delivered weekly to our community centre at 3590 Jeanne-Mance Street, or directly to your home or a few other locations!

This farm is unique in that it will be providing Afro-Caribbean vegetables (grown here) in addition to the more typical Quebec vegetables. This kind of local vegetable basket is very popular this spring because everyone is concerned about having reliable, safe and healthy food sources. Signing up for a weekly food box with Les Jardins Lakou will be a chance to strengthen your connection to Afro-Caribbean traditions, or to discover some new vegetables and recipes… and of course to eat well, support sustainable agriculture and a local farmer with Haitian roots!

As part of our partnership, the farm is offering us a discount of 6% . Here is the discount code: PAILAKOU  

Don’t wait! Registrations end on May 15th and space is limited. Register at https://www.jardinslakou.ca/ – you’ll also be able to consult the map of where the farm can deliver, the list of vegetables, prices and all other details!

The weekly deliveries will begin in June. If our locale is not yet open on that date due to COVID restrictions, Jardins Lakou can deliver directly to your home, for a small additional fee.

Personally, I’ve been signed up for weekly vegetable baskets for several years now and I love it! The vegetables truly do taste way better. I enjoy having a closer link to the farm and it encourages me to eat in season. Plus, I’ve ‘met’ a number of new vegetables that have become staples for me now! The idea is that you register for the season in advance, then receive vegetables once a week for 20 weeks!

Take care and enjoy your vegetables!

Winter 2020 Report

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Here is a summary of our activities that took place during winter 2020. This document is bilingual. Happy reading!

Plein air interculturel, rapport hiver 2020Download