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10 Aug, Wednesday
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Montreal Families

Dorval offers new 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 three city parks and the Surrey Aquatic Centre, there are two new skating venues available to families. At Pine Beach Park (1695 Lakeshore), a skating rink is decorated with lights and offers a spectacular view of the lake (but no hockey sticks are permitted). While the rink is a trial project, Dorval mayor Marc Doret says he expects it to return next season. “It’s a very popular spot,” he says. “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 new 300-metre skating trail. A platform and semi-closed shelter are set up so you can put on your skates while keeping your socks dry. Doret says next year the city will add lights and decorations to make it more festive.



Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing


At Dorval Park (95 Lakeshore) and Millennium Park (230 Lakeshore), a multi-use trail lets walkers and snowshoers explore the grounds, and ski trails are maintained throughout the winter. Windsor Park (1060 Dawson Avenue) is another option if you’d like to snowshoe or walk on groomed paths.

Tobogganing

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 this year 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 2.5 kilometre Peace Trail is a multi-purpose spot 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 as a pilot project this year gives visitors access to its grounds.

For an adrenaline-pumping outing, try out the 900-metre traced cross-country ski tracks, or strap on snowshoes and hike the three kilometre multi-purpose trail. Bird watchers may catch a glimpse of the two snowy owls (that spend the winter months on the fields) or see a northern goshawk soaring in the sky. Doret says the city tried a similar project many years ago that didn’t prove very popular but he’s hoping that with renewed enthusiasm for outdoor activities and an interest in birding, it will be a success. “We’ll review at the end of the year, but I could see even more access in the following years,” he said.

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.
“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 are limiting access to residents only.”


It’s important to stay on the marked trails so as not to damage the course’s greens, and don’t walk in the traced ski trails. Free and open to everyone, the golf course trails are accessible on weekends only from 8 a.m. to 4:30 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.

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