Yet another year has come and gone, and my has 2015 been quite the trip.
2015 has brought immense changes in the city, province, and throughout Canada, what with the high profile national and global events that occurred, along with some relatively minor stories making just as much of an impact.
Because we feel that both the big and small events are equally important, we've compiled a varied list of the "best" Montreal moments that went down in 2015. Obviously, this list is pretty subjective (hence "best" being in quotation marks) as there's no real scientific scale to utilize on moments within a year, so don't get too miffed if something you think is super important didn't make the cut.
We're also focusing solely on the positive stuff, the moments that changes Montreal for the better (worst moments is another list!) so enjoy this uplifting stroll through memory lane as we outlines the best Montreal moments of 2015.
Justin Trudeau Becoming Prime Minister Of Canada
Technically this is a "best moment" for all of Canada, but since Justin's riding is in Montreal and the nation's new PM is originally from the 514, we're counting this as a major Montreal win, too.
Since being elected, Justin has been the gift that keeps on giving. Notable moments include his gender-equal cabinet ("Because it's 2015"), officially getting the ball rolling on legal marijuana in Canada, continuing the Trudeau legacy, surprising Montrealers in the metro, and being married to an incredibly accomplished woman who is role model for Canadians in her own right.
Montreal Ranked #1 City In North America For Students
When Montreal is placed on the world stage in a positive light, we can't help but be reminded how amazing our city is. Montreal being ranked the #1 student city in North America was such a moment, showcasing to individuals around the globe (and in the city) just how forward-thinking, affordable, and enjoyable our metropolis is for students and citizens alike.
Other noteworthy world rankings Montreal attained in 2015 include:
- #1 Most Romantic City In North America
- #2 Most Affordable City In The World
- #5 Best City In The World For Female Entrepreneurs
- #5 Most Unpredictable City In The World To Travel To In Your 20s
- #9 Best City To Be A Woman In Canada
The Berri-UQAM "Love Over Fear" Demonstration
After the Paris Attacks, when the world was gripped in a maelstrom of negative emotions, a group of young Montrealers decided to remind everyone that it is love, and not fear, the conquers all.
Taking to Berri-UQAM metro with the signs and shirts seen above, the trio of young men (otherwise known as Generation Y Not) brought passersby to tears with their message.
A media storm then popularized the demonstration, but the powerful demonstration began in Montreal, and demonstrates how forward-thinking our citizens can be.
P.K. Subban's Donation To The Montreal Children's Hospital
Some may say that P.K. gets more positive press than he deserves, but when he donated $10 million to the Montreal Children's Hospital, it was pretty hard to make that claim without seeming like a total dick.
The "biggest philanthropic commitment by a sports figure in Canadian history," Subban's donation was a shining moment for the Habs and the entire city.
Honourable mention: The Canadiens' season opening winning streak. It was a hell of a ride at the beginning, with the Habs nearly beating the previously held record for the number of undefeated straight wins, but the magic didn't last.
Montreal Aiding Syrian Refugees
Montreal and its citizens continue to go above and beyond in aiding the incoming refugees from Syria and Iraq, eclipsing the individuals who criticize Canada's initiative and made it controversial issue when it should simply be about people helping other people in need.
The many Montreal organizations (PRAIDA, Action Réfugiés Montréal, 25,000 Tuques, and more) who have been helping refugees arriving in Montreal since November are a silver lining to the dark cloud that is the ongoing refugee crisis, demonstrating the good will shared by Canadian citizens.
As a whole, I believe this deserves to be a "best Montreal moment," but if I had to choose one specific intiative, it would have to be the "Harry Potter Trivia Night for Syrian Refugees," if only for creativity alone.
Montreal Hosts Its First Poutine Festival
Why it took so long for Montreal to host its own Poutine Festival is beyond me (we're the poutine capital of the world and throw tons of festivals year-round, so come on) but it finally happened this past July.
A truly epic moment for poutine lovers of Montreal, the Great Poutine Festival better become a yearly occurrence.
St-Lazare Sticks It To The OQLF
Quebec's language police, otherwise known as the Office québécois de la langue française, is simultaneously a source of laughter and intense frustration for Montrealers and the province as a whole. The petition now circulating to shut down the OQLF is proof of that latter fact, while Pastagate showcases the former.
No longer finding the humour in the intense initiatives put on by the OQLF, St-Lazare got entirely fed up. After being told to remove all English from any city signs (despite being a largely bilingual town) by the Language Po-Po, St-Lazare stuck it to them by taking off any and all words from signage entirely.
No, this isn't really a "Montreal" moment as it didn't happen in the city proper, but the story definitely resonated with Montrealers, as it represents an issue close to the lives of citizens. That, and we just want to give some credit where it's due.
Nike Releases A Montreal Canadiens Shoe
Shoes aren't really big news, ever, until you get the Habs involved.
Produced by Nike and sold by Exclucity, the limited edition Habs trainers made Montrealers go wild, because who wouldn't want to wear some sweet kicks and show some city pride?
The SAQ Officially Wants To Start Selling Weed
With legal marijuana in Canada growing closer to becoming a reality, the SAQ decided they wanted a piece of the action.
In an official public statement, an SAQ represented outlined the crown corporation's desire to sell weed in-store when cannabis is legal in Canada. And it makes sense, given that the SAQ has the most experience in managing the sale of a substance in Quebec.
Other liquor vendors in Canada have since done the same.
A huge moment for cannabis enthusiasts across the province, this moment may also bring us all one step closer to being able to readily purchase marijuana fried chicken and not have to make it ourselves. Okay, so maybe not, because its doubtful the SAQ would sell edibles of that sort, but a boy can dream.
CDN-NDG Says "F*ck You" To Fast Food
Casting off the shackles of shitty food, Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce announced its plan to ban fast food restaurants in most areas of the borough. The first borough to do so in Montreal, this marked a step in the right direction for the health of Montreal, and will hopefully other areas in Montreal to do the same.