Looking for new activities and places to discover during the colder months? Head over to Frédéric-Back Park this winter for some picturesque walking trails, and enjoy free cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals every weekend until March.
For the third year, outdoor enthusiasts of all ages can borrow equipment to ski and snowshoe two relatively flat trails totalling seven and a half kilometres. Walkers and joggers can travel along easy paths in two new sectors of the park: Parvis Papineau and the wooded Boisé Est, which also features a large gazebo, impressive 360-degree city views, and public artwork.
Just finished an exhilarating raquettes /snowshoe tour through this new park in #Monteal. Such a gorgeous crisp sunny day! ❄️ ☀️ #travel (@ Parc Fréderic-Back in Montréal, QC) https://t.co/u6TnTxMaZY pic.twitter.com/FFUqrgiWZa
— Gina Stark ✈ (@SuuperG) March 4, 2019
Located within the Saint-Michel Environmental Complex, Frédéric-Back Park was formerly a limestone quarry and 75-hectare landfill site for household garbage. The City of Montreal took possession of the land in the 1980s and has been gradually restoring the park while promoting biodiversity and the creation of sustainable ecosystems. A section of the park opened to the public in August 2017 as one of the city’s 375th-anniversary legacy projects and offers Montrealers a year-round space for activities and leisure. The large alien-looking spheres that dot the park protect biogas (a type of biofuel naturally produced from the decomposition of organic matter) wells over the now-covered landfill and are covered with phosphorescent paint for an otherworldly nighttime atmosphere.
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When the environmental rehabilitation project and naturalization work is completed around 2026, the park will cover 153 of the 192 hectares of the Environmental Complex, with a size close to that of Mount Royal Park.
Reserve equipment online
Since 2004, the Cité des arts du cirque (TOHU) has housed the reception pavilion where you can pick up your rental equipment and find indoor bathrooms (masks required). Note that there are no bathrooms, drinking water, or food services in the actual park.
To comply with public health guidelines, equipment rental is being done this year by online registration on the TOHU website.
Registrations will open every Monday for the following weekend and can be made for a maximum of seven people all residing at the same address. If your family bubble is larger than seven, you can call the TOHU ticket office at 514-376-8648 to register.
Rental schedule: Every weekend (Saturday and Sunday) from January 9 to March 7 2021, and March 1-5 during spring break. The rental periods of two hours are free for residents of the Island of Montreal, regardless of their age (proof of residence required). The park is freely accessible if you have your own equipment.
Address: Reception Pavillion at TOHU 2525 Jarry E. (corner Paul-Boutet)
By public transport: Metro Jarry or the 193 East bus.
By car: The free parking lot is located near the TOHU reception pavilion.
Download the park’s winter map here.
The opening dates and loan of equipment may be cancelled during the season due to weather conditions or changing regulations surrounding COVID-19.