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The Old Port's Clock Tower Beach: Montreal's Other Urban Beach
The latest addition to Montreal's handful of beaches is the Montreal Clock Tower Beach, 1.3 hectares (3.2 acres) of urban getaway that debuted in 2012 in Old Montreal, a place where locals and visitors alike can lounge in the sun or under a parasol in the comfort of a long chair. Montreal Clock Tower Beach 2017 dates and rates listed just below. And keep scrolling to see photos of the grounds.
Montreal Clock Tower Beach 2017: Swimming in 2017?
There's just one keyword to keep in mind: it's swim-free. Unlike most beaches in the world, there's no actual swimming allowed at the Old Port's Clock Tower Beach due to safety concerns, code for subpar water quality (which is debatable) and allegedly strong currents. However, that is slated to change, with city hall originally... proposing a harbor bath be built in time for the city of Montreal's 375th anniversary in 2017 which would allow visitors to safely swim. But construction didn't begin in the spring of 2017 and there's no word as to when it's been rescheduled.
In the meantime, the beach is equipped with misting stations, a boardwalk, sand and a bar serving alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic beverages and snacks.
Montreal Clock Tower Beach 2017: Catch the Fireworks
The Clock Tower Beach isn't just for sunbathing. It offers a prime viewing spot to catch the International Montreal Fireworks Competition. But knowing the extent of crowds gathering at the Old Port on nights featuring fireworks in general, beach-sitting hopefuls are well advised to arrive at least two hours prior, considering the area reaches full capacity at 800.
Schedule: 2017 Season Dates
No dates have been released yet for the Montreal Clock Tower Beach's 2017 season and since the beach was closed in 2016 over a labour strike, the latest hours of operation on record are from 2015. For a vague idea of what to expect in 2017, here is what the schedule looked like last time the beach was in operation:
May 27 to June 11, 2017: Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
From June 16 to September 4, 2017: Monday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Holiday hours 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fireworks nights: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
From September 8 to September 27, 2015: weekends 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Admission: 2017 Season Rates*
Rates for 2017 are $2 per person before 7 p.m. Rates on fireworks nights after 5 p.m are $5 person (ages 18+ only). Season pass $15 (fireworks nights cost $2 with the season pass). The rates for 2015 are just below (again, there were no rates for 2016 since the beach was closed over a labor strike). Salsafolie Sunday $6 per person (children welcome).
Unlike the 2013 and 2014 season when access was free, the Clock Tower Beach charged a modest entrance fee for the 2015 season: $2 for ages 13 and up, free for ages 12 and under, season pass $15 (special events cost extra). Fireworks nights cost $5. Beach is only open to ages 18 and up as of 8 p.m.
Food & Beverage*
Non-alcoholic beverages (water, juice, soda, energy drinks) are in the $3 to $5 range. Alcoholic beverages vary in price with wine by the glass in the $8 range and cocktails in the $9 range. Food on site used to include sandwiches and Euro style hot dogs from $10 to $14, salads ranging from $7 to $9, fruit salads ranging from $4 to $6, focaccia pizza with salad at $10 and satay skewers (pork, chicken, beef) at $2.50 per brochette. Menu items and prices are subject to change without notice.
Rules & Regulations
No glass bottles allowed on site.
No alcoholic beverages from outside are allowed on site.
Appropriate bathing suit attire required (e.g., underwear is not a bathing suit).
Babies must at least have a diaper on.
Guests can bring their own long chairs.
Parasols & sun umbrellas or any other object that can be stuck in the sand is prohibited as they could damage the membrane beneath the sand.
Balls, frisbees, balloons and any other type of projectile can not be used on site.
Outside of designated smoking areas, smoking is prohibited.
Outside of specially organized events, the use of sound amplifiers and/or musical instruments is prohibited on site.
In-line skating, skateboarding and cycling is prohibited on site.
Minors are not allowed in the zone forming the tip of the quay unless accompanied by a guardian/chaperone of legal age or unless they're simply traversing that section use the showers, toilets or to get in and out of the beach. Unaccompanied minors are more than welcome to enjoy the premises in the zone stretching along the quay, facing the Yacht Club.
Minors are not allowed on the beach after 8 p.m.
Montreal Clock Tower Beach: Getting There
Montreal Clock Tower Beach 2017: Nearby Attractions
Heading to the Clock Tower Beach? You could spend the day and night cavorting in the area. Take this trifecta, for example. Sip on a glass of cava at this nearby bubbly bar, eat some of the best seafood in the city via its neighbor and check out some homegrown designs and gift shops across the street from both hot spots right here, all roughly a 10-minute walk from the beach.
See Also: Top Things to Do in Old Montreal
Looking for something more family-friendly? The Montreal Science Centre with its kid-approved exhibits and IMAX screenings is also along the water. Just walk east for about 10 minutes. You can't miss it. And keep an eye out for the BeaverTails stand located inside the same building as the Science Centre.
When you're done there, keep walking east to Pointe-à Callière, Montreal's history and archaeology museum. You also can't miss it seeing as Pointe-à Callière is a towering beauty visible from the Science Centre. Or walk away from the water and along Old Montreal's cobblestone roads to reach one of the most beautiful churches in North America, a Gothic sight for sore eyes. Blink and you might think someone transported you to Paris.
*Note that prices, food and drink selection and hours of operation may change without notice.Continue to 2 of 11 below.
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Clock Tower Beach Photos