Lake Champlain is the large body of water forming much of the border between New York and Vermont, and extending into Quebec. To a Montrealer, it's a major feature of the neighbourhood.
The islands and peninsula in the northernmost part of the lake are especially fascinating, since despite being in the USA they are as much a part of the culture of rural Quebec as of New England or New York.
Does Lake Champlain freeze up in winter? Well, sometimes.
According to the graphic from this site, Lake Champlain failed to freeze over six times during the thirteen decades 1816-1945. In the decade 1996 - 2005 it also failed to freeze six times. That's an impressive trend.