Featuring one of Montreal's best outdoor skating rinks, Beaver Lake is a popular winter destination in Mount Royal Park. Beaver Lake, better known as Lac aux Castors by locals, is a natural ice rink built in the 1930s atop the iconic central city park—a choice spot to bring kids, a date, and the whole family. It was designed by Frederick Todd, Canada's first landscape architect, who trained under famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Mount Royal Park.
The skating area is a total surface of 2,500 square meters (26,909 square feet), which includes a refrigerated skating rink section resistant to sudden winter thaws which can ravage natural ice surfaces, maintaining an even skating surface in spite of unexpected weather conditions. In January 2018, it was announced that the natural ice rink will be closed for good due to warmer winters and melting ice, so now visitors can only skate on the refrigerated rink near the chalet on Mount Royal.
Skating Season: December to March
Outdoor skating season in Montreal usually runs mid-December to mid-March but in the case of Beaver Lake, it can start as early as the first weekend of December and stay open until mid-March. Speedier skaters are advised to drop by during quieter times, on weekdays and later in the evening to avoid the mass of crowds and kids during peak times on weekends and winter holidays.
When to Visit
Early December is usually Sunday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The rest of the season is generally from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. On December 24 and December 31, 2018, the rental office closes at 5 p.m. and stays closed December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Note that these dates and hours represent rental office opening hours. Check ice conditions before heading out. Contact information is at the bottom of this page.
Admission and Rental Fees
Admission is always free, though rentals cost extra. Regular ice skate rentals are $9 for two hours; two-blade skates are $4 for two hours, and learn-to-skate walker is $4 for two hours. Skate rentals require money deposits which are refunded when rentals are returned in good working order. You can also pick up children's helmets ($2 for two hours) and carrier sleds for babies ($5 for two hours with $5 deposit). For master figure skaters (or for anyone who may want to spruce up their skates), there are skate sharpening services for $7. All rentals require an I.D. with a picture, given back upon rental return. The rental office is located in the Beaver Lake Pavilion.
Lockers for storing personal belongings are available onsite. Either bring your own lock or rent a lock on the spot ($3.25 with $5 deposit). Vending machines, as well as a café (open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week), are located in the Beaver Lake Pavilion.
How to Get There
Beaver Lake Pavilion is located at Mount Royal Park, 2000 Chemin Remembrance, Montreal, Quebec H3H 1X2. Bordering neighborhoods include: Plateau Mont-Royal, Outremont, and Côte-des-Neiges neighborhoods surround the park. Most people drive their own cars to get there, however you can take public transit, such as the Mont-Royal Metro & Bus 11.
For more information, call (514) 843-8240 or (514) 280-8989 or visit the Friends of Mount Royal website.
Note that dates, opening hours and rental fees are subject to change without notice.