Looking for new activities and places to discover during the colder months? Head over to Frédéric-Back Park this winter for picturesque walking trails and fun in the snow. Residents of the island of Montreal can also enjoy free cross-country ski, snowshoe, and kite rentals every weekend until March 6, 2022.
It’s the fourth year that visitors to the park and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages can ski and snowshoe two relatively flat trails totaling seven and a half kilometres. Walkers and joggers can access 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.
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 leisure activities. 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.
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).
Rental schedule: Every weekend (Saturday and Sunday) from the beginning of January to March 6, 2022, and February 28 to March 4 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). Equipment is loaned on a first-come first-served basis. 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.
Related Read: Winter fun at Parc Jean-Drapeau