Made possible by the Montreal Canadiens' Children's Foundation, the Verdun skating rink Bleu Blanc Rouge is one of the latest outdoor skating rinks in Montreal to be equipped with a refrigerated surface that allows for a longer skating season. Costing $1 million to build, the rink stays true to the National Hockey League's official rink size requirements -- 200 feet by 85 feet (61 metres by 26 metres) -- identical dimensions to those of the Bell Centre's rink, the arena host to Montreal Canadiens home games. Welcoming hockey players as well as free skaters, Verdun's Bleu Blanc Rouge is not only a sure bet in the winter, it's open year-round: the rink is adapted to suit roller hockey in warmer months.
Skating Season: November to March
Outdoor ice skating season in Montreal -- usually mid-December to mid-March -- is typically contingent on weather conditions and tends to vary every year. But in the case of Verdun's Bleu Blanc Rouge skating rink, the season starts weeks earlier and ends later than for other outdoor rinks because it's equipped with a refrigerated surface, an artificial cooling system that guarantees a consistently subzero surface, even in temperatures that lead to thaw.
Location: Willibrord Park (map)
Getting There: Verdun Metro
Hours: varies every week depending on activity; check the Verdun Borough website or call 311 or (514) 765-7150 to find out the latest hockey schedule and free skating hours.
Services: no skate rentals available to the general public
INFO: 311 or (514) 765-7150 or visit the Verdun Borough website