The city wants to help Montrealers have some winter fun this year

·2 min read
The city wants to help Montrealers have some winter fun this year

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has presented the city's plan for people to enjoy the outdoors across the island, and help small businesses in the process.

The city will be installing 25 "winter stations" across 17 boroughs near commercial areas to encourage people to buy local. The stations are made with the input of local designers and architects with seating areas and props for children to enjoy.

It is also making different winter activities available in large parks across the island as well as in Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Sainte-Hélène.

Cross-country ski trails are being set up at each of the city's large parks, as well as trails for snowshoeing and walking. Some parks will have "fat bike" paths, including Anse-à-l'Orme, Cap Saint-Jacques, Pointe-aux-Prairie and Jean-Drapeau.

Plante said the city wants to reduce the amount of traffic on the mountain and encourage Montrealers to discover other parks.

"There's 20 big parks on the island of Montreal which will all offer different types of activities," Plante said.

"Take the time to just go and discover another park, please. Parc Jean-Drapeau is a great example. It's so central, you can take the subway and boom you're there."

Admission to that park will be free and it will, like Mount Royal, be loaning outdoor equipment that can be reserved in advance. The equipment will be free for those 18 and younger.

There will be sliding at Grovehill Park in Lachine, as well as Ignace-Bourget Park in LaSalle.

Christmas markets are also being set up across the city.

Plante said the idea behind the winter stations is to offer outdoor spaces people can enjoy while shopping.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press
Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

She said Montreal police would be making sure people are practising physical distancing, but that "to me, this is not necessarily the answer."

"Our hope is that people will go and see them, go through them … but not have a 5 à 7 there."

Other holiday shopping measures the city is implementing include free street parking on weekends as well as designated 15-minute parking for restaurant takeout trips.