Dorval offers an array of winter activities
This winter, the best place to be is outdoors. And to offer residents and visitors space to embrace winter’s chill, the city of Dorval has developed a whole slew of free seasonal activities.
Lace-up your skates
In addition to the hockey rinks and outdoor skating surfaces at city parks and the renovated Edgar Rouleau Arena, there are two new skating venues available to families.
At Pine Beach Park (1695 Lakeshore), a skating rink is decorated with a bright shining star and offers a spectacular view of the lake (but no hockey sticks are permitted). While the rink was a trial project last year, Dorval mayor Marc Doret said then that he expected it to return this season. “It’s a very popular spot,” he said. “And if you go at night when the sun sets, or if you’re brave enough to be out there in the morning as the sun is rising, it’s fantastic.”
Even if the trees and gardens aren’t in bloom, you’ll love wandering among the snow-capped trees on the Dorval Arboretum’s 300-metre skating trail. A heated shelter is installed this year up so you can put on your skates while keeping your socks dry, and lights will guide your way in the evening.
Find locations and details here: ville.dorval.qc.ca/en/facilities/page/outdoor-skating-rinks-and-ice-surfaces
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
At Dorval Park (95 Lakeshore) and Millennium Park (230 Lakeshore), a multi-use trail lets walkers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiiers explore the grounds, with ski trails groomed throughout the winter. Windsor Park (1060 Dawson Avenue) is another option if you’d like to snowshoe or walk on maintained paths.
While there aren’t a ton of sledding opportunities in Dorval, the hill behind the Westwood Sports Centre (750 Thorncrest Avenue) has a just-about-perfect slope with a great view of the airport. Plane lovers might even have the thrill of a jet roaring overhead as it comes in for a landing. A second option is the small city-made hill beside the Dorval Arena (1450 Dawson Avenue), which has been reconfigured with lanes for going down and one to come back up. The city strongly recommends that everyone wear a helmet while sledding and children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
The Peace Trail
The city’s picturesque 2-kilometre Peace Trail is a walking path that crosses Pine Beach Park, meanders through the Peace Park Arboretum beside the city’s library, and around the grounds of the adjacent Sarto-Desnoyers Community Centre. Access is via three main entry points.
Find more details here.
Hit up the golf course
Even with snow on the ground and a chill in the air, there’s plenty of fun to be had on the golf course. Winter offers a whole new way to appreciate the natural beauty of the Dorval Golf Course (2000 Reverchon Avenue) and visitors can access 5 kilometres of trails by foot, snowshoe, or ski.
For an adrenaline-pumping outing, try out the traced cross-country ski tracks, or strap on snowshoes and hike the open trails. Bird watchers may catch a glimpse of snowy owls or barred owls or see a northern goshawk soaring in the sky. For the safety of the birds and the condition of the course, it’s important to stay on the marked paths.
Diane Tetrault golfs at the course in the summer and is excited to bring her two young sons for a winter visit. “Golf Dorval is really a hidden gem,” she said when the trails opened last year. “It’s amazing to have a public golf course right here in town, so I think it’s really great to open it up in winter for people to enjoy. I’m excited to get my skis out and bring my family. And it’s especially refreshing given that other similar spots limit access to residents only.”
Free and open to everyone, the golf course trails are accessible on weekends only from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Dress in warm layers as some of the trails cross wide-open spaces and can get breezy. Bathrooms are available in the golf club’s chalet.
For more information, click here.