Outdoor enthusiasts: Get ready for winter in the Outaouais!

Published on December 7 2023

As soon as the first snowflakes fall, you feel a surge of joy and you rush to the closet to take stock of your winter sports equipment. Youre a true winter lover, and late fall fills you with anticipation and excitement. It’s time to get ready for your favourite sports!

Keep active with indoor sports


Keep moving with indoor sports activities that will make the shoulder season more bearable. What’s more, they’ll boost your mood and your fitness! 

Head to Espace Hygie, a top-of-the-line multifunctional sports centre. Strengthen your postural muscles in a Pilates class, find your balance in a suspended hammock in aerial yoga, and improve your cardio on the Biocircuit and your endurance with a SkillX session. 

Meet friends at La Sporthèque for a game of indoor tennis or squash. Build up those thigh muscles with a rhythmic spinning session, or de-stress with hot yoga. Swim laps in the indoor pool and join an aquafitness class. 

Although the Gatineau Sports Centre hosts regional and national competitions in several sports disciplines, it’s also open to the public. Discover a complex that includes an Olympic-size pool, gymnasiums, exercise areas and a training centre. 


Sometimes climbing the walls can be a good thing! Visit Altitude Gym, Klimat or Bloc 9.81 for some gravity-defying exercise. From bouldering to wall climbing, each centre offers unique facilities and outstanding service. 

There’s no need to wait for the cold weather to lace up your skates! The Slush Puppie Centre has several skating rinks. Take advantage of free skate times or rent ice time for your hockey team. For an exciting evening of junior hockey, cheer on the Gatineau Olympiques. 

Your winter gear: Where to get it


Hours of winter fun can be hard on sports equipment! To make the most of another season, it’s time to visit Sport Échange Outaouais to service, upgrade or replace your gear. You can also rent new or used equipment for the season: downhill skis, snowboards, cross-country skis, fatbikes, ice skates and more! Throughout the winter season, Relais Plein Air also offers a sports equipment rental service: cross-country skis, ski sleds, snowshoes, walking crampons and winter bikes. Accès Gatineau + cardholders benefit from a free rental service for 1 hour per week.

Stay warm this winter, avoid frostbite, and dress like an onion—in layers. Les Promenades Gatineau and Les Galeries de Hull are home to several retailers where you can find your snowsuit, winter boots and sports equipment, all under one roof! 

Want to hit the fabulous snowmobile trails this winter? Make sure you’re set up with the latest vehicles, snowmobile clothing and accessories from Équipements Maniwaki or 819 Motosports Inc. You can also rent snowmobiles at Équipements Maniwaki, Location MASS.

 

Dates to keep in mind: Registration deadlines and season passes


Make the most of the snow that will soon be piling up. Don’t miss any sporting events! 

Do you love cross-country skiing? Plan to register for the Canadian Ski Marathon, February 9–11. Get ready to ski distances ranging from 12K to 160K on groomed trails through breathtaking scenery. Register before December 18 to get the early bird rate! For the Gatineau Loppet, register by December 3 and get a discount on the registration fee. Hours of adventure and wonder await you at this event, which runs February 16–18. 

The Outaouais’ five downhill ski centres have fired up their snow cannons! If you haven’t already, book your season pass for Mont Ste-Marie, Vorlage Center, Mont Cascades, Sommet Edelweiss or Camp Fortune. And check out Experience Outaouais‘ winter packages to plan a family weekend of fun in the snow. 

As you know, Gatineau Park is a prime spot for outdoor activities. Don’t forget to buy your NCC pass early to get access to the snowshoe, cross-country ski and fatbike trails. 

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The transition between fall and winter sports may seem endless, but there’s more than one way to take care of yourself, have fun, and look forward to the beautiful season ahead! 

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Here are 100 activities to add to your bucket list for an amazing winter. Chances are you’ll tick a few boxes! 

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