One of Montreal's more recently refurbished outdoor skating rinks, the Beaver Lake (or Lac des Castors) outdoor skating destination in Mount Royal Park is a hit with locals. With a tendency to get really packed on weekends, it's a great spot to bring kids and the whole family. However, speed skaters risk disappointment with the lack of maneuvering possible on the popular rink during peak hours. A total surface of 2,500 square metres.
Skating Season: December to March
Outdoor skating season -- usually mid-December to mid-March but in the case of Beaver Lake, it starts November 30, 2013 and wraps up March 9, 2014 -- is, of course, contingent on weather conditions and tends to vary every year. So if you're planning a skate session before the end of December or after mid-March (especially if you want to rent skates on location), do yourself a favor and call (514) 280-8989 before showing up to make sure the rink and rental office are open. Even if it's skating season, it's best to call beforehand to confirm ice conditions or check online.
Location: Mount Royal Park
Neighborhood: Plateau Mont-Royal; Outremont; Côte-des-Neiges
Getting There: Mont-Royal Metro & Bus 11
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closes at 5 p.m. December 24 and December 31, 2013; closed December 25, 2013 and January 1, 2014
Services: note that the rental office closes earlier than the skating rink Sundays through Thursdays from November 30 to December 13, 2013, make sure to rent skates before 6 p.m. on those days; ice skate rental (regular skates $9 for 2 hours; two-blade skates $4 for 2 hours; learn-to-skate walker $4 plus $10 deposit for 2 hours), locker lock rental ($3.25 with $5 deposit), child helmet rental ($2 for two hours), carrier sled for babies ($5 for 2 hours with $5 deposit), skate sharpening service ($7). All rentals require a piece of I.D. with picture, given back upon rental return.
INFO: (514) 843-8240 or (514) 280-8989 or visit Friends of Mount Royal Website