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Team Building Activities: 5 "Elemental" Ways To Bond At Montreal's Parc Jean-Drapeau


Parc Jean-Drapeau
is one of the city's great outdoor playgrounds. Located 5 minutes from downtown Montréal, the man-made island in the St. Lawrence River was originally created to as the site for the 1967 International and Universal Exposition (or "Expo 67" as it is commonly known). These days Parc Jean-Drapeau hosts the annual Osheaga music festival and Montréal's Formula 1 Grand Prix race, as well as providing plenty of green space(s) for Montréalers to get fresh air and exercise.

For event planners and corporate managers, the park is not only home to a selection of stellar meetings venues, but also acts as an ideal location for a wide variety of team building activities. With that in mind, special team building packages are offered by Parc Jean-Drapeau, or here are five ways to use the park to strengthen your group.

ICE

Each winter, the annual Fête des Neiges takes over Parc Jean-Drapeau. The festival offers Montréalers and visitors the opportunity to try their hand at a variety of winter activities: tube sliding, dogsledding, skating and more. What many people don't realize, however, is that the Fête des Neiges site can be rented on weekdays for corporate activities.

Team twist! Break your group into small teams and have them complete an "ultimate outdoor winter checklist," such as building a snowperson, making a snow angel, snowshoeing through the woods and skating through an obstacle course. Have them document each achievement with a photo. Afterward - over cups of hot chocolate - invite each team to share photos while talking about which activity they found the most challenging (and how they overcame the challenge).

FIRE

Montréal summers are known for warmth and energy, and nothing embodies the spark of the city quite like the annual fireworks competition. After a day of explosive brainstorming, bring the team to new heights atop the Tour de Lévis. Climb the 157 steps for breathtaking views of the Montréal International Fireworks Festival, which explode at eye-level before the tower.

Team twist! To fire up the adrenaline, hire a local climbing outfitter to arrange a rappelling challenge. Have your team members lower themselves down the side of Tour de Lévis. Bonus points if you rappel while the fireworks explode.

AIR

One of the best visual perspectives of Parc Jean-Drapeau - and the city of Montréal - is from the air. With a helicopter landing pad on site, local tour companies offer one-of-a-kind tours of the mighty Saint Lawrence waterway, with exceptional vantage points of the historic park, the Expo 67 venues and the greater Montréal area.

Team twist! As part of your incentive program, start with a helicopter tour and finish with a catered BBQ at the Terrace du Lac - a gorgeous patio that overlooks the lake on Île Notre-Dame.

EARTH

Nature prospers at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Among the most beautiful corners of the park is the Floralies Garden, which is adorned with thousands of flowers, trees and shrubs, as well as a couple of lagoons and a plethora of public artwork. At the centre of the garden, La Toundra Hall makes an ideal venue for hosting major events. With a beautiful large-windowed room overlooking the verdant landscape and the city of Montréal, the multipurpose hall is equally suited for corporate meetings, office parties and products launches.

Team twist! For a group that is less familiar with each other, a photo scavenger hunt in the garden is a low-pressure - yet highly educational - way to break the ice. To set this up, simply liaise with the park's event manager to create a scavenger list that suits your team needs.

WATER

Montréal is an island, and as such, the city is surrounded water. Parc Jean-Drapeau was an important site for water-based sports during 1976 Summer Olympics. Today, the Basin extends over 2.2 km and hosts such activities as rowing, canoe-kayak, dragon boats, and high-performance championships and competitions.

Team twist! A dragon boat lesson with H2oplayground is an ideal way for your team to get rowing in the same direction. If you want to incorporate a competitive edge, divide your group into teams and challenge the teams to a race at the end of the day. The prize for the winners could be a sunset helicopter tour!

FAST FACTS

Site name: Parc Jean-Drapeau

Address: An island in the Saint Lawrence River, east of downtown Montréal

Website: www.parcjeandrapeau.com

Twitter: @ParcJeanDrapeau

Facebook: Parc Jean-Drapeau

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