Want to hit the slopes this winter? Regardless of your age, nothing beats the thrill of a tube or sledding run to share a laugh and make the most of winter. And what better place to do just that than Montréal, which offers lots of free sledding hills for kids, or for outdoor fun with friends, depending on the snow conditions.
Checks ledding conditions for guaranteed fun.
Nature At Its Best
The concept of the country in the city takes on its full meaning at Parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques. This park features cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails as well as a sledding hill, and it even offers a crazy carpet and sled rental service. Stop by the rustic sugar shack open weekends to savour a light meal or a snack. History buffs will be well served at Parc-nature de l’Île-de-la-Visitation in the north end of the city. The park houses the ruins of mills dating back to the 1700s. Sledding enthusiasts will want to check out the hill near the chalet, which offers a paid sled rental service for those who don’t bring their own. Once your day is done, why not prolong the fun by registering for a fireside storytelling activity in the evening, or immersing yourself in the history of the northern part of the city at the Musée du Sault-au-Récollet.
Residents of the northeast portion of the city can enjoy all that winter has to offer at Parc-nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies. The park’s sledding hill lies behind the Héritage chalet on Rue Sherbrooke. Bring your own sled or rent one on site. Those who want to get even more out of winter can strap on their snowshoes and set out to explore the surrounding forest; if you’re lucky, you might even spot a white-tailed deer!
Parc-nature Bois-de-Liesse also offers two sledding hills. Bring your own crazy carpet or sled or rent one at the service counter. Visitors can also stop at the chalet to warm up or grab a bite to eat. Take the opportunity to observe the birds that are drawn to the feeders.
Hills With A View
Did you know you could go sledding while enjoying a stunning view of Montréal’s Olympic Stadium? Just head over to the Parc Morgan in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve or further north to the Parc des Hirondelles on the border between Ahuntsic and Montréal-Nord. Bring your friends and cap off the evening with a drink at one of the neighbourhood’s many bars.
Parc du Mont-Royal, with its different runs, is among Montréal’s most popular sledding destinations. Meet up near the statue at the foot of the “mountain” to slide aboard your own sled, or climb to the hilltop near Beaver Lake to slide down on a tube ($) or use the sledding corridors offered free of charge. Before you push off, take in the colours of the setting sun reflected on the dome of Saint Joseph’s Oratory.
Guaranteed Vertical Drop
Exit the Angrignon metro station and walk five minutes to discover La Pente à neiges at Parc Ignace-Bourget. Montréal’s largest tube sledding run is a true paradise for seasoned winter sports enthusiasts. The park features a pair of runs: one for beginners, the other for experts. Inner tubes are supplied on site to ticket holders. A third run is also available for those who bring their own sleds.
Parc Francesca-Cabrini, with its Alpine skiing past, today draws thrill-seeking families. The park’s famous “Côte Cabrini” on the corner of Boulevard Rosemont and Boulevard Lacordaire offers a good slope for sledding. Better yet, the borough has made available to residents a “winter surprise box” chock full of sledding tubes, saucers and snow castle molds.
The L-shaped Parc du Pélican owes its name to a boat named Le Pélican, the victor of a battle against three English ships. Slide down from the top of the hill sheltered from the noises of the city, while taking in the view of a container transformed into an artwork. After sledding down a few times, warm up in the eco-friendly chalet, with opening hours based on the ice skating conditions.
Check the snow conditions before you go.