Last updated January 3, 2016
Montreal is a great winter city. With winter stretching from mid-November to mid-March and steady snowfalls most winters, it's a well established epicentre of winter sports activity.
The city is also situated within a short distance of the Laurentians and is itself built around one of the Monteregian hills. It has to be admitted that no Quebec mountain comes close to rivalling the Rockies or the Alps for size, but some of the Laurentian and Montegerian slopes are perfectly scaled for skiing and snowboarding activities.
The official site for Mount Royal offers a two-page PDF showing skiing and snowshoeing trails and including a guide to the regulations for winter sports on the mountain.
Downhill skiing (Ski alpin)
The Gazette made a Google map of nearby ski resorts in 2012 and it's still mostly valid.
Here's a Google spreadsheet showing the various ski resorts with details, courtesy Faiz Imam.
SkiQc is an iPhone app tracking ski conditions on Quebec hills. SkiQc is also available for Android on the Google Play store.
These are the highest ski hills close to Montreal:
Snowboarding (Surf des neiges)
Most hills offering downhill skiing also offer snowboarding as well as tobogganing and/or tubing (glissade sur tube).
Snowboarding on the Bonjour Quebec site.
Cross-country skiing (Ski de fond)
Without leaving the island of Montreal it's quite possible to go cross-country skiing in a number of locations besides Mount Royal (ski trail listed in kilometers):
Morgan Arboretum (15 km)
Angrignon Park (11 km) (at Angrignon metro)
Maisonneuve Park (near Pie-IX or Viau metro) (11.1 km)
Botanical gardens (near Pie-IX metro) (3 km)
Pointe-aux-Prairies (22.2 km)
Île-de-la-Visitation (8.6 km)
Bois-de-Liesse (10 km)
Cap Saint-Jacques (five different trails)
Most of the parks are free although you have to pay if you want to park a car. There's a small fee to get into the Morgan Arboretum.
There's also cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in Parc Jean-Drapeau (Jean-Drapeau metro), the Bois de l'Île-Bizard and the Îles de Boucherville which are close to town although technically off the island.
The subject of cross-country skiing in the rest of Quebec is too huge to cover on a page like this. Information can be found on Ski de fond Québec site.
Snowshoeing has a long and respected history in Quebec, where indigenous people developed the earliest technology for travelling over snow on raquettes made of bent wood and leather thongs ("babiche").
Besides Mount Royal, these parks in Montreal have snowshoeing areas:
Morgan Arboretum (5 km)
Nuns' Island's Domaine Saint-Paul
Angrignon Park (2.5 km) (at Angrignon metro)
Maisonneuve Park (near Pie-IX or Viau metro)
Pointe-aux-Prairies (7.2 km)
Île-de-la-Visitation (8.6 km)
Bois-de-Liesse (9.1 km)
Cap Saint-Jacques (5 km)
If cross-country skiing in the rest of Quebec is too huge a topic, snowshoeing is even less restricted in its practice, and is often done on a very casual and unstructured basis.Snowshoeing on the Quebec cross-country ski site.
Les sentiers de l'Estrie Eastern Townships snowshoeing site.
Skating is practised both indoors and outdoors. Indoor rinks tend to be better maintained and have more facilities. Outdoor rinks, however, put you out in the open air and are more in the spirit of the season.
Many parks have rinks for general use:
1000 La Gauchetière West has a year-round indoor skating rink which rents out skates and has various admission deals – see their website.
There's tobogganing in Mount Royal Park (the slope facing Park Avenue is shown above) as well as inner-tubing on the slope overlooking Beaver Lake.