One of Montreal's most iconic destinations is Beaver Lake (or as it is known in French, the Lac des Castors). But don't be confused, Beaver Lake isn't just for the tourists- here, you'll see both Montreal natives and visitors ice skating, and perhaps even discover your own love for it, too!
It’s true that Montreal winters are long and can at times feel dreary, but that doesn’t mean Montrealers ever stop having fun. During the winter months, that means enjoying a variety of winter sports, of which ice skating is one of the most accessible to foreigners like myself. For scenic ice skating in the heart of Montreal, Beaver Lake is the place to go.
Beaver Lake is located at the top of Mont Royal, the mountain to which Montréal owes its name. Whether you walk or drive to the top of the mountain, being in Mont Royal has an added benefit: you can also enjoy tubing, cross country skiing or perhaps simply basking on the delight of observing the city vibrancy from the top of the mountain.
The lake offers skaters a total surface of 2,500 square metres, divided into three areas of different sizes and for different levels. I was a big fan of an area with seats in the middle, which often provided relief to my tired legs (and my sore bottom). Ski rentals are cheap and you’ll also find learn-to-skate walkers for the family’s smallest members.
The best part of the experience is the friendly atmosphere. From the surrounding trees decorated with colorful lights to the background music, Beaver Lake is a festive setting for a fun activity. Skating with my friends had never felt like such a party.
Ice skating is great exercise and prancing in the ice can really shake the cold off your bones, but by the end of the session you’ll be glad that the ice skating rentals house also offers sells hot chocolate, coffee and other sweet and salty treats. Nothing beats relaxing with your friends and chatting over hot chocolate after a great ice skating session!