Most Montrealers would probably claim they hate winter, but the city is full of cold-weather sports venues—skating rinks, cross-country ski trails, and toboggan runs—that see plenty of action. During warm-weather months, residents head for the tennis courts, bicycle trails, golf courses, and two lakes for boating and swimming.
You don’t have to travel far from Montréal to find good downhill skiing or snowboarding. The many ski centers in the Laurentians and Eastern Townships are within an hour’s drive from the city . As for cross-country, excellent trails can be found right in Parc du Mont-Royal, or on the Islands (Île Ste-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame).
Despite the bitter winters (or perhaps because of them), Montréal has fallen in love with the bicycle, with enthusiasts cycling year-round. More than 600 km (372 miles) of bike paths crisscross the metropolitan area, and bikes are welcome on the first car of métro trains during off-peak hours.
The city is truly passionate about Canada’s national sport, hockey. If you’re here during hockey season, try to catch a Montréal Canadiens game at Centre Bell, or at the very least find yourself a good sports bar.