Montréal: Global capital of urban sports
Montréal is a city known for sports. We have hosted the world’s largest sporting event (the summer Olympics). We have a massively successful hockey team (go Habs!). We host annual events that attract visitors from all over the world (such as the Canada Masters tennis tournament and the F1 Canadian Grand Prix). And we’re also a hotbed for urban sports.
What are Urban Sports?
Essentially, urban sports are sports that are performed in urban settings. For instance, downhill skiing and golf — in their traditional forms — would not be considered urban sports. But activities such as skateboarding, parkour, and buildering were born and developed in city environments. They are considered urban sports.
Why Montréal? Why now?
With the pandemic, skateboard sales across the world have reached an all-time high. People are also flocking to climbing gyms. There are millions of new urban athletes in North America. Notably, both skateboarding and climbing have just made their debut at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and will also be a part of Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028). Break dancing will also be officially added to the Paris Olympics!
Montréal has some important urban sport street cred:
- The Vans Skatepark is the first permanent skateboard facility to be installed at an existing Olympic site
- For over a decade, Montréal has been producing/hosting some of the world’s preeminent urban sports events (see below)
- The clothing brand Dime — born right here in Montréal — is one of the most prominent urban sports brands, and consolidates fashion and skate brilliantly
- The Allez-Up climbing center is an architectural icon and the largest climbing gym in Canada
- Psicobloc at Parc Jean Drapeau is a unique event that will grow and be exported elsewhere in the coming years
Check out these events
Given Montréal’s busy annual sports hosting schedule, it comes as little surprise that we are often named the Top Sports City in Canada. Increasingly, some of the coolest, most unmissable competitions in town are urban sports events, marking Montréal as a hotspot for sports that are born within cities. Here are just a few of the events and competitions that we host or have hosted.
A blend of extreme urban activities, the thrilling Jackalope is the largest action sports event in Canada held each August at the legendary Parc Olympique. Featuring BMX, base jumping, fixed gear riding and bouldering, Jackalope is also the only Canadian stop on the World Cup skateboard circuit. Beloved by adrenaline junkies young and old, Jackalope’s nail-biting action leaves everyone on the edge of their seats.
Vans Park Series
The world’s premiere park terrain skateboarding tour, the Vans Park Series thrilled Montréalers at the Men’s Pro Tour Final in July of 2019. Better yet, the Parc Olympique is now outfitted with a world-class state-of-the-art skate park constructed to the Vans Park Series’ exacting specifications. Look for more events of this nature in the future.
The Empire Open National Skateboarding Championships celebrated 20 years of competition in Montréal in August of 2019. Offering equal prize purse for both men and women, the EO is setting trends in the world of skateboarding.
FIBA 3X3 World Tour
Three-on-three basketball is not only the largest urban team sport in the world, particularly in Western Europe and Asia – as of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it’s a bonafide Olympic sport. Montréal is an international FIBA Three-on-Three World Tour host city – so game on!
International WFTDA Championships
The biggest battle for the title in the International Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) Championships was in Montréal in November of 2019 at Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard. And Montréal continues to have one of the top 10 ranked teams in the world.
Dime Street Challenge
With skateboarding taking on the status of official Olympic sport, the organizers of Dime Street Challenge wanted to bring it back to the streets with a series of challenges using the topography of Montréal's iconic Olympic Stadium. Full of leaps over picnic tables, down railings and eye-popping staircase jumps, the Dime Street Challenge is a street skater's paradise.
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