Last Thursday evening, we slipped on our flip-flops (except me, who took the “urban” part of the invite a bit too seriously and showed up in heeled ankle boots), donned our sunglasses and headed out for some fun in the sun, to celebrate the official opening of the new Clock Tower Beach in the Old Port of Montreal. Yes, Montrealers need wish no longer: the city finally has a beach to call its own.

Inspired by the urban beaches of other cities, like Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Toronto, the Clock Tower Beach was built to give locals and tourists alike a waterfront oasis from which to escape the city grind without actually having to leave the city (thank god). Designed by Montreal-based landscape architecture company Claude Cormier + Associés, the beach is meant to recreate “a vacation mood in an urban setting.”

With bright blue parasols dotting the shimmering sand, refreshing water misters and views of the St. Lawrence River and busy Old Port, the Clock Tower Beach is a refreshing mini-getaway just a short breaststroke from downtown. Unfortunately, swimming isn’t actually allowed, as the current at the beach is too strong, but there is a restaurant, La Buvette by Apollo, which serves salads, sandwiches and wine (!) and there’s a lineup of summer events like sand art competitions and evening dance parties.

Admission is $6.00 for those 13 to 59, with a special rate for children, the elderly and families. You can even purchase a season pass to make life a literal beach all summer long.

Heeled ankle boots not recommended (in my defense, they were open-toe).

Lindsay, guest zurbaine

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