Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles is the largest protected wildlife space in the metropolitan region. Spanning 42 km along the river, the park is made up of several islands and river banks. Situated in Ste-Rose, Laval, the main entrance to the park is accessible by car, public transport and bicycle via La Route Verte #1.

“It doesn’t feel like you’re in the city. The idea of accessibility is really important, by its proximity but also with the fees for activities,” says Jean-François Boily, Director of Sales, Marketing and Partnerships at Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

The park is managed by Éco-Nature, a non-profit organization that reinvests the funds from the activities and rentals on site for the protection of the river.

Both in summer and winter, the park offers a variety of activities for the whole family. Entrance to the site is free, and visitors can bring their own boats or rent them on site. The park boasts one of the largest non-motorized boat rental facilities in Canada and will open as of May 12th, 2018.

For those who want to improve their skills, introductory lessons to canoeing, kayaking and SUP are offered. In 2018, a new activity will be offered: an introduction to dragon-boating in partnership with GoDragon.

A New Exploration Center in 2018
The park’s Exploration Center is currently under construction, and a variety of services will be rolling out throughout the summer. The building, which is LEED GOLD certified, will house the summer day camp, a permanent exposition, the rental center, meeting rooms, and a bistro-style café.

The Decouverte Nature Day Camp
The day camp is offered to youth for nine weeks during the summer period, from June 25th to August 24th. Six different themes are offered depending on the child’s age. The camp is animated by university students studying in a related field, such as Biology.

The majority of the camp activities take place on the river or nearby, and travelling is done by rabaskas, which are large canoes that can accommodate up to twelve people.

Introduction to Fishing for the Whole Family
Other than day camps, introduction to fishing lessons are also available for children. “They get to leave with a free fishing pole and their fishing license,” says Boily. There’s also a guided family fishing experience offered. “It’s a training that’s a little more intense. We even go so far as to demonstrate how to prepare the fish,” he says.

All the activities such as guided canoeing, evening activities for adults and so much more make up the park’s summer offerings. To learn more about the activities being offered this summer at Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles as well as the progressive opening of the Exploration Center, Boily advises to visit the park’s web site, the Facebook page or Instagram profile.

Translation by Lisa Cipriani