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Beaver Lake's natural skating rink is closed, perhaps forever. Here it is in all its glory

Montreal has decided to close the historic skating rink on Beaver Lake due, in part, to increasingly fluctuating temperatures during the winter months. Here's a look back at the rink's glory years.

Since 1930s, it's been a key attraction on Mount Royal. Now skating is limited to the refrigerated section

Skaters and skiers are seen here enjoying Beaver Lake on Mount Royal in around 1935. (Harry Sutcliffe/McCord Musem)

For nearly a century, Beaver Lake was the centre of Mount Royal's winter wonderland.

It was built in the 1930s and immediately became a major draw.

Montrealers not only skated on the lake. They skied around the lake's perimeter, glided down the toboggan run and enjoyed horseback riding on nearby trails.
Horseback riders take a stroll on Mount Royal in the 1920s. (Harry Sutcliffe/McCord Museum)

But in recent years, due to increasingly fluctuating temperatures, the ice surface has been closed to skating more often than not.

The lake was only open for 37 days last year, compared to roughly 100 in years past, said Luc Ferrandez, Montreal's executive committee member responsible for large parks.

The lake was designed by architect Frederick Todd in the 1930s. (Harry Sutcliffe/McCord Museum)

On Thursday, Ferrandez confirmed the plan right now is to close the rink for good

Skaters will still be able to use the smaller, refrigerated rink adjacent to the lake. 

In its heyday, the lake drew hundreds of skaters to Mount Royal. (Conrad Poirier/Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec )

Beaver Lake was designed by Frederick Todd, Canada's first landscape architect, who trained under famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Olmsted designed Mount Royal Park.

The lake was built on an old swamp and named after the beaver dams uncovered during its construction.

Skiers are seen here watching skaters enjoy a spin on the lake around 1940. (Harry Sutcliffe/McCord Museum)

The city gave the lake and surrounding area a makeover, which was completed in 2015.

Tobogganing has been a draw on Mount Royal for years. (Wm. Notman & Son/McCord Museum)

The current Beaver Lake is deeper than the original, which means it needs to be colder for the ice to be solid enough to skate on.  

A group of women, part of Misses McIntosh Bute House, are seen here skating on Mount Royal in 1873. Beaver Lake hadn't yet been built. (William Notman/McCord Museum)

Hélène Panaïoti, a spokesperson for Les Amis de la Montagne, said she's still hopeful the city can find a way to keep the lake open.

Lowering the water level during the winter months is one possibility.