From festivals to Franglais and parties to poutine, this is what life in Montreal is all about.
For the past year, life in Montreal—as with most places around the world—has been quite different from most Montrealers are accustomed to. The festivals have gone virtual, the tourists have (mostly) stayed away, and the vibrant food scene has suffered as restaurants and bars have had to close their dining rooms and stick to delivery.
Still, there’s a lot to love about living in this city, including both the things that we can still do right now (thank goodness for public skating rinks) and the things that we’re looking forward to doing again when the pandemic ends.
If you’ve ever lived in this great city—whether you were born and raised on the island or spent a few months calling Montreal your second home—you’ll likely identify with most of the items on this list. And if you haven’t lived in Montreal but want to… this is what you’re in for!
1. You’re used to hearing (at least) two* languages on a daily basis.
*but usually many more! More than 20% of Montrealers speak at least three languages.
2. You’ve gone on leaf-peeping autumn drives.
3. You’ve wondered how anyone gets any work done when there seems to be a new festival happening every single week.
4. You have very strong opinions about where to find the best poutine and bagels in town.
Are you #teamStViateur or #teamFairmount?
5. You’ve spent your Sundays people watching at Tam Tams.
6. You consider a -5° day in February to be “mild”.
7. You've wondered how a city that gets so cold can also get so hot.
8. You’ve made it from one end of downtown to the other in winter without going outside (thanks to the Underground City).
9. You’ve skated on a pond, lake or river.
10. You’ve donned your most ridiculous onesie, snow pants or brightly-coloured toque and scarf to join the crowds at Igloofest.
On that note: you call it a toque, not a beanie or hat.
11. You’ve accepted that you’re never going to see *every* mural in the city...
…but at least that gives you something to look forward to!
12. You’re used to greeting people with a double kiss (pre-Covid, of course).
13. You’ve filled your plate with maple-y goodness (and gone back for seconds) at a cabane à sucre.
14. You’ve spent entire Saturdays hunting for treasures in the city’s vintage clothing shops.
15. You find it impossible to name your absolute favourite restaurant, cafe or bar, because you have about 20 of each.
16. You’ve argued with someone from Toronto about why Montreal is so much better.
17. You know that it’s best to buy your beer at the dep and your wine at the SAQ.
18. You’ve filled up on free samples of fruits and veggies at Jean-Talon or Atwater Market.
19. You’ve wondered why certain roads seem to ALWAYS be under construction.
20. You call it a terrasse, not a patio.
...and you’ve spent countless afternoons losing track of time on your favourite ones.
Quiet afternoon at the Botanical Garden? Bike ride along the Lachine Canal? A quick metro ride to Saint Helen’s Island to enjoy La Ronde, Parc Jean-Drapeau and the Biosphere? Wander the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal? Get close to wildlife at the Biodome? An afternoon at one of the city’s other world class museums? How are you supposed to choose?!