Taking a leap of faith is never easy. On the day we shot Natalie’s jump, winds were gusting at almost 40 km/h and early rain threatened to make our day a downer but then the sun slipped out of the clouds and Torri Higginson scaled the high platform, camera crew quick on her heels. On “action!” Natalie leaped into the unknown, floating above a sun drunk Old Port. And just like that, we all took a leap with her into a new season of This Life.
Whether you have a fear of heights or not, Montreal, known for its five course meals, easy terrace living and dotted construction zones has a lot more to offer in the way of extremes.
Old Montreal Zipline
This one’s a no-brainer. Follow Natalie’s footsteps by hitting up the city’s only zipline. The ride spans about 1,200 feet and takes around 45 seconds to complete, but it’ll feel over in a snap as you reach top speeds of 60 km/h. If you’re feeling brave, take the hands off the line connecting it to your harness for an extra jolt of excitement.
Pro tip: Go for a ride on Wednesdays in July when the zipline closes at 11:30pm to catch stunning views of the world class fireworks exploding in the distance.
At LaRonde, Montreal’s island amusement park, you can strap into this mind bending roller coaster that will make you feel like you are putting your life on the line. Completed in 2006, this 18.7 million dollar ride has consistently brought thrills and chills to locals and tourists alike. Once you’ve been “secured” into an over the shoulder seat and harness, you’re instantly slung across six camelback hills. The up and downs make it feel like you’re constantly being fired by a slingshot. The ride hits a max height of almost 180 feet and tips speeds of 110km/h making it the second fastest roller coaster in Canada.
Cave Diving under Park Pie-IX
The Italian-Canadian neighbourhood of St. Leonard boasts an altogether different type of blood pumping activity that might not make you scream for your life, but will undoubtedly take your breath away. At the epicentre of Park Pie-IX sits the Cavernicole Cave, a creepy entanglement of narrow underground passages first discovered in 1812. La Société québécoise de spéléologie offers guided tours of the cave, where helmeted explorers are lead through a series of claustrophobic tunnels where it’s said patriots of the 1837 rebellion used to hide weapons and ammunition.
Surfing the Lachine Rapids
By Habitat 67, the block apartments built for the old Expo, lies a somewhat little known standing wave on the St. Lawrence River that is perfect for white water rafting and river surfing. Head there and you’ll find an eclectic mix of people -- aka not just old dudes who haven’t showered -- who are happy to point and laugh at amateur surfers like me.
Another pro tip: Move past the idea that surfing with dignity is possible and get on that board! After you manage to stand up on your surfboard everything else ceases to matter; except for your rocketing blood pressure.
Diner entre ciel et terre
Why not bundle the city’s great food, beautiful sites and extreme activities by booking a reservation here. Diner entre ciel et terre is a nomadic dining event that lifts eaters 50 metres into the air via crane to drink in beautiful sights and good wine. This year, they set up shop in Laval (a suburb north of the city) but their headquarters are located in downtown Montreal. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until summer 2017 for the next batch of events, but make no mistake, a bavette tastes a million times better when suspended in mid-air.
Whether you are more couch surfer than cave diver, enjoy your Sunday nights and all the episodes of This Life to come. Adrenaline rushes only last so long...
Keeps tabs on the THIS LIFE blog for more behind the scenes material and interesting what-nots. I'm Max Morin, Junior Writer, Story Coordinator and your official insider for all things THIS LIFE.