Ice Canoeing Challenge 2017

11 FEB 2017

12 FEB 2017

For more informations

514-826-2050 / 514-704-4417

The first ice canoeing race took place in 1894 in Quebec City; there would be many more intermittent ones between 1894 and 1955, between Quebec City and Lévis. Montreal’s many Fête des neiges celebrations between 1988 and 1992 hosted many such races. In 2013, after 20 race-less years, Héritage Maritime Canada was granted the right to restore the tradition and organize a Montreal-based ice-canoeing race.  The Circuit Québécois de Canot à Glace hosts four main races: La Grande Traversée Casino de Charlevoix, La Course en canot du Carnaval, La course de la banquise de Portneuf,  and the Grand Défi des Glaces – as well as the famous Défi canot à glace Bota Bota Montréal.

Relevant Information for the Montreal Race

There are three participating categories:

  • MEN’S ELITE CATEGORY (RED VEST) The Men’s Elite category regroups all the circuit’s best teams. Experienced canoers’ final goal is to gather the most points so that they can earn the most prestigious titles of the Circuit Québécois de Canot à Glace. This category is truly performance-based.
  • WOMEN’S ELITE CATEGORY (YELLOW VEST) This category regroups the Circuit Québécois de Canot à Glace’s best female canoers, and things get extremely competitive. Just like with the Men’s Elite, the team that finishes with the most points will earn the Circuit championship title – they will impress many as they paddle towards victory.
  • SPORT CATEGORY (BLUE VEST) This category is composed of men’s teams and mixed teams. The teams that sign up in the Sport category don’t do it for the awards, but rather for pleasure and to truly surpass themselves.


The different categories will depart at the following times:

  • 12 : 45 : Women’s Elite Category
  • 1PM : Sport Category
  • 1 : 15 : Men’s Elite Category

All participants will be allotted 2h30 to finish the race

The number of laps for each category is:

  • Women’s Elite: 3 laps = 13 km
  • Sport Category: 3 laps = 13 km
  • Men’s Elite: 4 laps = 17 km

Since all categories depart at 15-minute intervals, teams of different categories will be on the circuit at the same time. It will be possible to tell them apart by looking at the coxes’ different coloured jerseys: blue, yellow or red. The start and finish line of the race will take place at the Clock Tower’s basin. After they depart, the canoes will head towards the Alexandra Basin, where a canoer on each boat will have to touch an orange buoy which will serve as a first checkpoint. The canoes will then reach the second checkpoint located at the end of the Bickerdike wharf. The teams will then continue their voyage towards Saint Helen’s Island to reach a third checkpoint which resembles a “door” near where the river boats are docked at Jean Drapeau Park. After the third checkpoint, they will have to brave the strong Saint-Marie currents in order to finish the first lap and return to the start/finish line near the Clock Tower.

Five Great Places Where You Can Check Out the Race

  • The Clock Tower Quay in Montreal’s Old Port
  • On the waterfront near Saint-Pierre street in Montreal’s Old Port
  • Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau (Observers must pay to access spa)
  • The City of Montreal’s Cité du Havre Park
  • The river boat dock on Saint Helen’s Island in Jean-Drapeau Park.

Outdoor events