Big thanks to my mom, who took the Batobus the week before and told me all about it 🙂
“Two dollars? I’m in!”
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to pass a few hours, and don’t mind a beautiful walk, this is a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon. It would also be a fun date night should you decide to DITCH THE KIDS at home. Which sounds like a great idea…
There are two spots where you can hop onto this open-air ferry:
at parc Saint-Louis across from the Dairy Queen at the base of 32nd Avenue, OR at parc René-Lévesque at Chemin des Iroquois and Chemin du Canal (near the Lachine Canal locks on the south side). Make sure that you don’t get on the ferry that goes across to Châteauguay!
The trip is about 15 minutes, which wasn’t even long enough to trigger my violent sea sickness (small miracle), and was breezy, slow, and pretty. We parked the car near the Dairy Queen (there’s street parking, or take your chances in a lot) and you can also park for a fee near the lighthouse.
Just south of the fountain and bathrooms is the gangway to the boat. Pay right there before you get on.
At 2$ each, and FREE for kids 5 & under, this was a cheap trip. This is just a small people ferry, but you can also board with bikes and inline skates. And since we were there right before the first trip of the day, we only had a minute or two to wait before setting off. We passed by the lovely looking parc René-Lévesque which would be a good spot for a picnic or to wander around, looked at gorgeous boats in the marina, waved at a heron, and then before I could puke, we arrived at the one and only stop at the beginning to the park.
Our lovely boat captain let us know how many minutes there were until they returned to parc Saint-Louis, and gave us some directions on spots we might like to visit, like the nearby ice cream shop and the tourist centre.
We decided against taking the boat back, and instead grabbed a drink at the pretty café near the tourist centre, watched the locks opening, and then travelled back along the walking path beside the Lachine Canal.
WATCH OUT for bikers along the path, as they travel fast, and some parts of the walking path are right beside the bike lanes.
We paused for a bit to explore and enjoy the air conditioning of the Lachine Fur Museum (our second time), and grabbed an AMAZING gelato at Quai des glaces on 21st and Saint-Joseph. There are also tons of restos and spots to eat all along Saint-Joseph.
Tired, happy, and slightly sunburnt, we arrived back at the car. A great morning!
Things to note:
–The schedule for the ferry changes throughout the summer, you can find all the info HERE. The boat doesn’t run if it’s raining or there are high winds. There’s a phone number to call for more info. PLEASE CHECK THE WEBSITE before driving over.
-The boarding fee is for ONE WAY only. If you want to come back on the boat it will be another 2$ each. Which might be worth it depending on whether you want to walk back or not…
-It was halfway through our trip that I saw that life jackets are right in the seats we were sitting on. And then I felt like a horrible mom.
-I COMPLETELY forgot to ask if strollers are allowed on the boat. I’m going to assume they ARE, if there’s room, but I strongly suggest calling if you’re bringing one.
-Bathrooms are available near parc Saint-Louis and parc René-Lévesque, as well as at the tourist centre by the Lachine Locks. There’s also a fountain to cool off in at parc Saint-Louis as well as a splash pad along Boulevard Saint-Joseph at parc de la Marina d’escale.