24 hours of adventure in Montréal
The city that brings French sophistication to Canada is also a haven for the thrill seeking adventure crowd and ELLE shows you how to experience it in a day!
Cafe au lait, smoked meat sandwiches, great fashion finds and chic cobbled streets can all be found in Montréal. But there is something for everyone, including the adventurous. So get your fitness gear ready, your game face on, put down the croissant and get ready to see Montréal in a whole new light by trying one (or more!) of these exciting activities!
Biking around the city: Travellers say that the best way to see a city is to travel by foot. Well, if you are a bit more adventurous opt for a bike instead. Cruise around the islands on a rented bike and see far more ground than you would by foot. Most Montréalers bike around town, so the over 350 km of bike trails are perfect for seeing the best views of the city as well as everyday life. You’re not stuck in traffic, your feet aren’t sore and you see parts of the city (from the industrial side, to the Expo grounds, to the Lachine Canal, to chic neighbourhoods) you may have passed by. Don’t forget to take a spin around Old Montréal, where you can stop in the shops or stop by the trendy Atwater Market. Spend the whole day on a bike tour for leisure or take a more intensive route for a real work out, depending on just how adventurous you are.
Montréal on Wheels (Ça Roule Montréal) caroulemontreal.com
Kayaking on the St. Lawrence River: Mix some adventure with great views by taking a kayaking trip along the St. Lawrence River. Kayaking works not only the upper body (your arms will tone as you paddle) but also your core (as you move from side to side paddling) and your calves thanks to the steering peddles you work with your feet. Opt for the chance to head out on the water just before sunset for some spectacular views of the city as you make your way through the river. If you are lucky, you will catch a fireworks show from one of the islands with the best seats in the house!
Rock climbing: The indoor rock climbing facility at Horizon Roc is the one of the largest rock climbing facilities in North America. So, strap on your climbing shoes, dust your hands with chalk and pick a wall to scale like you are Spider Woman. With more than 27,00 square feet of climbing area and over 300 climbing routes, thrill seekers will have plenty of scaling options to choose from to get a full body workout. First time climbing? The helpful and trained instructors teach you how to master the climbing technique (using your legs for stability rather than your upper body) and if you are willing can put you through a blindfold test (yes, scaling up a wall approximately 30 feet high blindfolded works!). Once you have made it to the top, try the more challenging routes with top pits (climbing on the ceiling) and routes with large geometric angles.
Horizon Roc horizonroc.com The flying trapeze: Looking for a great upper body and core workout? Flying trapeze is the answer for you on your adventure trip to Montréal. Fly with the pros at Trapezium where you will get one-on-one instructions before you take the plunge and jump from a platform 20 feet high while hanging onto a swing. The instructors teach you how to wrap your legs around the swing to hang upside down. You can even do a “catch and release” swing with an instructor. Your arms, shoulders, chest and mid section will all thank you the next day for the strength training and the stretch. Not for the faint-hearted, but if you do want to get over your fear of heights, there is no better way.
Trapezium Montréal trapezium.qc.ca
Jet boating on the St. Lawrence River: Rain or shine, if you like a heart racing experience this is for you! Take a trip on the St. Lawrence River in a jet boat to some of the most intense rapids you will find. When you get on this exhilarating ride you will be wowed at the large waves the rapids make before the boat dips sideways or straight into an oncoming wave. Hang on tight and ride the wave! Don’t be fooled by the jump suite and gear they have you put on — by the end of this trip you will be soaked from head to toe!
Jet Boating Montréal jetboatingmontreal.com
Surfing on the St. Lawrence River: Who knew that Montréal would be known around the world for its incredible surfing opportunities? Yes, it is true — the St. Lawrence River provides some amazing surfing waves that are beckoning you to give them a try. Check out the surf equipped in your wet suit (these aren’t tropical waters) and feel the thrill of catching the wave while being so close to a metropolitan area. Not only will you be challenged with the tricky ups and downs of the river, but you will also get a spectacular view of the city and the surrounding man-made islands and a great work out.
KSF (Kayak Sans Frontière) ksf.ca