While strolling or biking along the picturesque Lachine Canal might be familiar for some residents and visitors to Montreal, seeing the sights from the water itself is a whole new experience. If you’re looking for a unique staycation outing to liven up your summer, head to the canal where families can rent a variety of watercraft for a trip along the historic waterway.
Rentals, lessons, and activities are offered by H2O Adventures and operate out of the Lachine Canal Nautical Centre near the Atwater Market in Montreal’s southwest. Grab some snacks to-go, and head out for an adventure.
A variety of boats
Water enthusiasts can choose from solo, tandem, or pedal kayaks; canoes and rabaskas; twi, five, or seven-seater eco-friendly electric boats; traditional pedal boats; and the Instagram-famous swan pedal boats that will surely please the little ones. Rental times of 30 minutes, one hour, and two hours are available as well as season passes, lessons, and tours.
Along your route you may spot a Black-crowned Night Heron searching along the shore for fish and insects, a Great Blue Heron stalking his next meal, or turtles swimming alongside your vessel.
The canal is lined by a linear park along its banks, and you can still see remnants of the industrial era. Now managed by Parks Canada as a national historic site, the canal’s 14 kilometres between the Old Port of Montreal and Lake Saint-Louis is separated by five restored locks that allow kayaks and small boats to pass through. While kayakers are allowed through the locks, other boats rented from H20 Adventures must remain between the Saint-Gabriel and Côte-Saint-Paul locks.
To ensure you have your boat of choice, you must reserve and pay online ahead of time — reservations can not be made by phone or email. Walk-in visitors can also be accommodated.
Address: 2727 B St. Patrick Street on the Lachine Canal, Montreal
Parking available along St-Patrick and Thomas-Keefer.
Public transportation: Located near the Lionel-Groulx and Charlevoix Métro stations, and just across the pedestrian bridge from the Atwater Market.
Current hours of operation:
Monday to Friday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Weekends 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Summer hours start June 1 and will likely be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day
COVID precautions: All equipment is cleaned between uses and a safe distance must be maintained at all times between customers and staff. Masks are mandatory on site, but are not recommended on the water due to the risk of drowning. And though a personal flotation device (life jacket) are included in your rental, H20 Adventures recommends that you bring your own, if possible.
See the website for rentals details, a list of FAQs, age restrictions, and to make reservations.