The most enduring legacy of Expo ’67 is surely La Ronde, Montreal’s pre-eminent amusement park, packed with crowds all summer long. Previously run by the city, La Ronde was sold to the American Six Flags chain in 2001, who’ve since improved the facilities – and, it must be said, raised prices.
But if you get your kicks screaming and dodging nausea on roller coasters, you’re probably not complaining, as they’ve opened popular new rides like the Goliath, designed by famed Swiss engineers Bollinger & Mabillard. Of course, they’ve kept intact classics like ’80s wooden monster Le Monstre – a big honkin’ coaster that actually feels dangerous.
La Ronde also is home to the weekly Montreal Fireworks Festival. Every Saturday night, countries including South Korea, Portugal, Italy, China and more, as well as our own La Ronde home team, compete to see who can make the prettiest, loudest explosions in the sky. There’s a musical component too, so if you’re watching from a rooftop, tune into Rhythme FM (105.7) to listen along.
Of course, the best place to watch this spectacular pyrotechnic display is in the park itself. Plus, there’s no better way to cap off a day of heart-stopping coasters – not to mention the funnel cakes. It won’t come cheap – $38 admission doesn’t include food, drinks and parking. A tip, though: take the metro to Parc Jean-Drapeau Station – it’s a cheaper, greener way to go.
Open daily, 22 Chemin Macdonald, Île Sainte-Hélène, (514) 397-2000. Fireworks are on Saturdays at 10 pm, until August 6.