Winter fun on the canal: ensuring safety while respecting the environment!

Friday, February 4, 2022

New for the 2022 winter season: the Parks Canada team grooms a 13-km section of the Lachine Canal path for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy!

The grooming of the path allows users to practise winter activities, such as walking, snowshoeing and fat biking, and enjoy what winter has to offer in an enchanting setting right in the heart of Montréal!

Grooming operations are well underway, and the Parks Canada team is working hard to provide a safe and enjoyable experience. To prevent the formation of ice patches, we use a formula made of a natural material, wood chips. 

EcoIceGrip—an eco-friendly de-icer/anti-slip product—is made of softwood chips of a certain size, soaked in a pH-neutral brine. This product has the characteristic of becoming embedded in the surface during application rather than sitting on top. As a result, even after several thaw cycles or rainfall, the chips will remain on the surface and refreeze to continue to provide traction. They are safe for concrete, biodegradable and gentle on dogs’ paws. Other noteworthy features are that the chips do not block drains and sewers and can be composted, used as mulch or spread on the ground to decompose at the end of winter! 

This is much better for the environment than traditional abrasives, such as de-icing salts, which can damage the path and the surrounding environment.

If ice patches still form on the path surface, the team will use the “ice crusher,” a rotating icebreaker that crushes ice patches using a serrated roller. In short, the team has an arsenal of efficient and eco-responsible tools to enable you to enjoy your favourite winter activities safely! 

 

Caution is advised

Despite all these efforts to make the path safe, it is important to keep in mind that it is normal for the trail surface to be slippery when weather conditions are poor and/or changing. We encourage you to exercise caution and good judgment at all times before heading out on the trail. To prepare for your outdoor activities, you can visit the Lachine Canal Winter Trail page to check the trail conditions. 

Have a great winter season!