Travel Blog

9 Dec

Ice Fishing Village and Skating in Old Montreal

Ice Village Fishing Montreal

Last year, mid-winter, the ice in the Old Port of Montreal was, at its thinnest point, just shy of two feet thick. Which, for fans of outdoor winter recreation – such as angling at the popular Pêche Blanche Ice Fishing Village or skating in an exhilarating, starlit Old Montreal setting – meant a two-foot foundation for fun on either side of the ice. Indeed, Montreal’s vibrant Old Port, sitting snugly between historic Old Montreal and the St. Lawrence River, is a hotbed of super-chill winter activities…

The aforementioned Pêche Blanche Ice Fishing Village in the Clock Tower Basin, which offers postcard-perfect winter angling authenticity just minutes from Montreal’s downtown, was inaugurated just last year. Within a month of opening, the expansive “village” – featuring huts tailored to the size of your expedition – was seeing as many as 400 fish-hungry hopeful a day on weekends, all lured by the easy access (it’s a ten-minute walk from Old Montreal’s Champ de Mars metro station), and, of course, the fishing.


The St. Lawrence River is home to approximately 40 species of fish, and while several of these are only catch and release – sturgeon, muskellunge and catfish among them – there are numerous others, including perch, walleye, pike and the inglorious burbot (which, for the uninitiated, won’t be winning any underwater beauty contests, but looks and tastes great on your plate), that are both yours for the keeping and safe to eat. The Ice Fishing Village – which this year offers the services of Chef Daren Bergeron at the new Snack Bar on Ice – is open seven days a weeks (hours vary) and operates from January to April, weather depending.

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If fishin’ ain’t your mission, mosey one quay to the west, from Clock Tower Basin to Bonsecours Basin, where outdoor skating rules the rink from December 1 to March 10. Avail yourself of spectacular night-time views of Old Montreal and the city skyline enlivened by a soundtrack of your favourite songs in a beautifully rendered setting designed to maximize your sensory experience. The ice is open every day starting at 10 am, and if you don’t have skates, don’t worry, they have them for you. Music in the evenings begins at 7 pm and features different daily themes from classical to 80s music. So don’t be shy, switch into glide…


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