Montreal's ski and snowboard enthusiasts might not have to travel quite as far to get their snow fix this winter.
It's all thanks to La Pente à Neige, an non-profit organization that's opened a winter sports hill about a 10-minute walk from Angrignon Metro, at Ignace-Bourget Park.
The hill has been in the works for a couple years and toboggan slope is free.
However, there are fees for the tubing slope and lessons for skiing and snowboarding. There are discounts for residents of the Southwest borough — and those with a lower income.
"We have policies to ensure that everybody can access the activities that we have on site," said spokesperson Andrew Borrelli.
If you live in the Southwest, you get 15 per cent off the regular price.
Lower-income patrons get up to 50 per cent off, depending on the number of people in the family and their income.
Getting active in the winter
The slope is split into three sections for now — one for skiing and snowboarding, one for snow-tubing, and one for traditional tobogganing.
The organization's goal is to offer accessible winter activities, especially for Montreal's "more vulnerable populations," Borrelli said.
"We know very well winter can be tough, the cold weather can make us want to stay inside a bit more, so that makes us more socially isolated," he said.
La Pente à Neige offers ski and snowboarding lessons for beginners who are four and five years old. They also provide ski and snowboard gear for anyone hoping to give the small slope a try.
Cold won't stop snow-lovers
On Friday, when the temperature hovered around -20 C, families gathered at Ignace-Bourget for the site's opening day.
"It's really fun. It's accessible, and it's cool," said Kathy Fontaine, who lives in the Southwest.
Fontaine spent her afternoon snow-tubing down a snowy slope. She said she thinks it would be a great place for her son to learn to snowboard — something he's wanted to do for a long time.
For Luc Bessette, who was at the slopes with his daughter, the day couldn't get much better.
"I like it because it brings the kids out more," Bessette said. "Hopefully this will bring more kids out."
Plans for the future
Though the organization's members are very excited that their project has finally come to life, they hope this will only be the beginning.
"In the long-term we'd like to see parks like this exist in parks across the city," Borrelli said.
But he added that even putting the site up this winter has been a lot of hard work.
They also plan to put a snowboard park in place for people who want to shred the gnar, winter style.