Saint-Leonard is a borough of Montreal that has, over the years, been heavily stereotyped for its Italian culture. If you ask anyone in Montreal what they think of Saint-Leo, chances are they'll tell you something along the lines of, "a bunch of italians, bro." Raised in Saint-Leonard myself, I've been victim of the many stereotypes that come with living in the borough. I wish I could say that most of what people say or think of Saint-Leo isn't true, unfortunately, I would be lying. Many of the stereotypes are very much correct, depending on the person of course. But some are just plain false.
Here are the most common 'stereotypes' people have on Saint-Leonard Italians.
Photo Cred - SEIQ
1. You went to high school at John Paul then Laurier Macdonald
It is pretty common to go to a school near your house. Nobody feels like travelling hours to get to school, especially in high school. That being said, the majority of Italians from Saint-Leo call John Paul and Laurier Macdonald their high schools. It's pretty insane how 90% of the students at Laurier are Italian, and how those other ethnicities become so Italian-ized after spending hours and years surrounded by Italians. Regardless, not all Italian Saint-leo go to LMAC, some go to other schools, but decide to come hang out in the circle after class.... you get my point.
Photo Cred -The Telegraph
2. You are somehow related to someone in the Italian Mafia
This is just not true. Not everyone Italian is somehow related to a mobster. As much as some people like to act like they are, or that they have some sort of relation to the Italian mob, it's not true.
Photo Cred -Her Campus
3. You know everyone's business
Saint-Leonard is a pretty small borough of Montreal. Mix that with Italians who LOVE to gossip, and you are living in a world where everyone knows everything about you and your friends/family. For some, privacy is a priviledge, especially when living next to those 70 year old Italian nonna's who sit outside and stare at you when you're getting home at 6AM on Sunday morning.
Photo Cred -Wikipedia
4. You started smoking Demaurier cigarettes in high school
Smoking cigarettes in high school with your friends may have seemed like the chillest thing, right? Buying a pack of Dumaurier's at the dep gave you a sense of pride and importance. There is this stereotype that Italian's from Saint-Leo all started smoking Dumau's in high school. Well turns out, they also smoke Bensons, sorry.
Photo Cred - Panoramio
5. You've chilled at Central or Delorme at least once in your youth
A common chill spot for Saint-Leo Italian teenagers is Central or Delorme. You know you've hung out, drank beer &/or tornado at either or. Own it.
6. They won't ever leave Saint-Leonard
There is this common belief that Italian's from Saint-Leonard will never leave. They will forever call Saint-Leonard home. They will either buy a duplex up the street from their parents, or live in the apartment upstairs. Fact or fiction, you be the judge.
Photo Cred- Montreal Food Divas
7. You've rolled into Milano's after a night out.
Every person is guilty of it. Period.
8. You go out as a squad.
Nobody likes to go out alone. But apparently, people from Saint-Leo can't even go buy bread without bringing a friend. Italian's from Saint-Leo stick together like glue on paper, you'll always find one with the other. At least they're committed....
Photo Cred - Le Point
9. Your first job was at one of the many Inter Marche.
Finding a job is never easy. The struggle is real. There is the stereotype that almost every teenage Italian living in Saint-Leo has or apparently still does, work at the closest Inter Marche. Packing bags and stocking fruits is the way to go, bro.
10. You're not from Montreal, you're from 'Saint-Leo'.
Ahhhh, we get it. Most Italians from Saint-Leo are very proud to let everyone know they are from the east end. They are sure to let you know that no, they are not from Montreal, they are from Saint-Leo. Thanks for the clarification, bro. I couldn't tell.