It was an amazing time in my life, but I also learned a couple of things about the school I called home for so long. Things that now, almost a year post my Concordia life, I'd like to share with all of you.
Although it was announced on August 6 that students would not be required to wear masks while in class or in the library, this was subject to change and the current situation appears to have forced a stricter update.
Les cas de COVID-19 augmentent et on doit se concentrer sur la quatrième vague.
🎥On fait le point en direct👇 https://t.co/DSS8C6HIcV
"The CEGEPs and universities, well, there are students who come from all regions of Quebec, and then there are even students who come from abroad," said Premier François Legault in a press conference on August 17.
"So, we can already tell you today that, for the start of the school year in CEGEPs and universities, masks will be mandatory not only in common areas, but even in the classroom."
Legault said public health will make a recommendation about masks for primary and secondary school classrooms, as well as daycares, in the coming days. He said it's possible that the recommendations will differ from one region to another.
"I want to be very clear. If public health makes the recommendation to have masks in primary and secondary classrooms and in daycare, we will do it. There's no question of taking any chances," Premier Legault said.
Located at the corner of Chemin de la Côte-Saint-Antoine and Avenue Harvard, the flowers average about 7 feet tall, with the tallest ones reaching close to 10 feet, according to Jérôme Lussier, who planted them.
Lussier told MTL Blog he has been growing flowers and vegetables in the curb extension near his house — with permission from the borough — since last summer, turning the space into a community garden.
The Flowers Get The Boot
Lussier said he was alerted to an August 3 Facebook post by Peter McQueen, city councillor for Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, stating that the flowers exceed a three-foot height limit. According to the post, the sunflowers had to be replanted within six days or the city would cut them down.
"I'm all for planting, beautifying [...] residents doing their own thing," McQueen told MTL Blog. "But they are right where a car coming up Harvard [would be] looking to see if a car is coming down Côte-Saint-Antoine, blocking their view of that car. And that is no question a dangerous situation."
Residents React To The News
Lussier told MTL Blog he understands why he needs to take down the sunflowers — especially since the seeds came from a kit and he didn't know which variety they were or how high they'd grow. But other neighbourhood residents criticized the city's decision on an NDG Facebook group.
"Beware the killer sunflowers!" wrote Tanya Maria. "My point is that a compromise could've been found instead of just ripping them up."
"People need to see beauty now, colour and feel good again especially after the long haul of Covid," wrote Missy M. "Let it grow it's a special magical site that brings people joy, sunflowers have amazing energy."
Missy, who referred to the situation as "Sunflowermagedden," also questioned why the borough wasn't more concerned with bigger issues, such as renovictions and malfunctioning street lights, instead of focusing on the sunflowers.
Meanwhile, other commenters agreed with the city's decision.
"No way you'd be able to see me crossing the street in my wheelchair with these in the way. Safety first," wrote Alison Levine.
Montrealers Can Adopt A Sunflower
People have already begun reaching out to Lussier, he said, expressing interest in adopting the plants in an attempt to replant them.
Lussier said he plans to remove the plants Friday morning at 9:30 a.m.
If you're interested in taking some home, he asks you to show up to the corner of Côte-Saint-Antoine and Avenue with appropriate containers.
"I can totally understand why people have become attached to them. I have become attached to them in a way. You know, they're flowers with big personalities. And they are an unusual sight," Lussier said.
For now, there are a number of other plants still thriving in the community garden, including cucumber and basil. Lussier said he may plant sunflowers in the same spot next year — but "a smaller variety."
Montreal has been ranked the ninth-best city for students in the world, according to QS Quacquarelli Symonds, an international higher education network that analyzes education throughout the world. It tied with Boston and Paris for ninth place.
The city fell three spots in the 2022 best student city ranking compared to 2019, going from number six to number nine.
London and Munich made up the top two student cities in the world while Seoul and Tokyo tied for third.
In order to be considered in the best student cities ranking, cities must have a population of over 250,000 people and be home to at least two universities featured in the QS world university rankings. Montreal currently has three: McGill University, Université de Montréal and Concordia University.
Although Montreal's affordability is competitive compared to many cities in the world — including Toronto and Vancouver — it ranked 52nd for affordability, according to QS. The affordability ranking is based on tuition fees, retail prices, an iPad pricing index, and the city's cost of living.
Montreal ranked 10th in the world for the QS student view ranking, which is based on the student experience in the city and the proportion of students who would remain living in the city post-graduation.
QS cited a friendly student environment and a world-class education as Montreal's main attractions for students across the globe.