Weekends out of the city and in to cottage country are often a summer staple for us Montrealers. Our short summers beckon us to enjoy every ray of warm sunshine. It may not always be possible to get out of town when we like and even though festival season is quickly passing us by, there are plenty of ways to stay active and enjoy some fresh air here in urbania.
Here are suggestions of outdoor activities that will keep you in bathing suit season shape and maybe even take you to nooks of the city you have yet to discover.
Jog the full-length of St. Laurent. Our beloved main, home to Schwartz’s, the gates of China town, late night noodles and other nostalgic spots, is a wonderful way to train for a half-marathon. From top to bottom, St. Laurent totals 11.25 kilometers. Why not take a jog down memory lane?
We live on an island- Get wet! Some cringe at the idea of getting splashed by Montreal’s surrounding canals and river, but there are a variety of water sports that can be enjoyed right here in town. Taking a canoe out at sunset with a cityscape at the bow can be quite a unique experience. Among the nine to fivers of our town are keen kayakers, paddle boarders, canoeists and even surfers! There is an easy standing wave Habitat 67 that is suitable for all skill levels. Below is a link to a school that offers lessons and rentals (the page is in French only).
Surfing School Shop KSF 7770 Lasalle Boulevard 514-595-SURF
The Lachine canal is also a great locale for urban water enthusiasts. H2O adventures offers Kayak rentals, lessons and guided tours. Here‘s some info.
If you are experiencing trepidations about jumping in, here is a link showing the water quality around the island of Montreal. In general, the further west on the island that you are, the better and cleaner the water.
Step it up. You don’t need to be on a pilgrimage or even a catholic to enjoy the challenge of walking up the 233 steps from Queen Mary road to the entrance of St. Joseph’s oratory. Once at the top, the views are lovely. Go with friends and challenge yourselves to see how many times you can do the climb.
Pedal from East to West- A pretty amazing way to see the city and observe its diversity across the island is to bicycle the length of Sherbrooke street. Sherbrooke cuts Montreal directly in half and runs completely across the island. This artery passes through some pretty colorful neighborhoods as well as the downtown core and it is 31.3 kilometers long! Don’t have a bike? Not to worry. There are bixi stops all along the route. You can even make a leisurely day of it by stopping to munch. Cafes and restaurants dot the way serving up fresh smoothies, great salads and other healthy treats!
Sweat out the sunny days in the city. Summer is just beginning!