Montreal Ranked The Third Worst City In The World For Light Pollution
Thanks in part to Hydro Québec.
It's no secret that Montrealers like bright lights. From festivals like Igloofest to events like "Montréal en Lumière," the city features a ton of cool events that center around light shows and light displays.
Much of this is due to the fact that our winter days are just too short: a measly 7 hours during the winter solstice. We need to create aritifical light to keep us awake and happy.
Of course all of this comes at a price: a report from 2018 by The Revelator ranks the brightest metropolises in the world, and Montreal ranks as number 3.
TL;DR Montreal ranks as the third worst metropolitan area in the world for light pollution, according to a recent report by The Reporter, with a recorded brightness of almost 5 times the global average.
Montreal ranks just below Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia, and Moscow. The results may seem surprising. The report accounts for this surprise, noting that lighting is often "culturally influenced." Northern countries, which experience short days, and hot southern countries, which see more evening activities, have a tendency to be more brightly lit.
Not to mention that the cost of electricity in Montreal is very low compared to the rest of the world. Other countries need to restrict their citizens' use of light: in Montreal, storefronts and skyscrapers can stay lit all night long.
So, this is how Montreal comes to outshine some cities that we would expect to see at the top of the list, like Beijing or New York, both of which don't even make it to the top ten. It also outshines Toronto (as per usual).
This photo by astronaut David Saint-Jacques shows Canada's eastern cities at night. You can see how bright Montreal is.
The report warns of some adverse effects of exposure to artificial lights: health effects can include depression, cancer ,and sleep disorders. Not to mention that 80% of the world's population can no longer see the sky at night.