For my old colleague Peter Triassi Montreal was always somewhere that he spoke about with fondness as one of the favorite places that he had lived in. As someone who wasn’t Canadian, I never really had Montreal marked down as somewhere that I wanted to go to, I was more drawn to places like Vancouver or Toronto. As it happened however I took my girlfriend to Montreal some years ago, and to put it quickly, fell in love with it and moved there. Something that I have really found fascinating since the move here is the stark contrast between the summer and the winter, and most importantly how quickly and seamlessly the locals adapt.
The changing face of the weather is absolutely incredible here and the temperatures can go from minus 30 in the winter and up to 30 in the summer, a huge swing in temperature. This is something however which is consistent and so the entire city is geared up for these changing seasons, it really is incredible just how much it can change from one season to the next.
Sports are a really good indicator of just how quickly these guys switch things up and whilst there are sports at a high level which are played all year around, I am referring more to the amateur players. During the summer months you will see them playing soccer and basketball in the parks, lapping up the heat and enjoy themselves. By the time winter comes however, it is ice hockey and skating time, the lakes freeze, the skates come out and those who were shooting hoops just a few months ago are now tearing down the lake on their skates.
As I have met more people in the city You invariably go to their homes and it is amazing just how set up we all are for all weathers. Most of us here have 4 coats which we will use at varying times throughout the year. I have to be honest I had lived through cold temperatures before and thought that I could handle the winter with an relatively warm coat. It was not until that first winter hit however that I had to go out and buy a huge coat, because minus 28 degrees is absolutely no joke at all.
Even vehicles get the cold weather treatment as soon as though cold snap begins and those vehicles are quickly given snow tires and get loaded up with rescue equipment, and everyone has a 4×4 for when they need it most.
I think what surprised me the most is just how expected this sea change is in terms of temperatures. It does of course make perfect sense that they would have all of the gear that they need for the changing seasons but it just stuns me how ready and how quickly things get changed over. It is almost like a grocery store which spends boxing day putting the easter eggs out.