Okay, true story, I consider myself to be a pretty good person. Like, I follow the the rules. I don’t jay walk, ever. I stop at stop signs for a full three seconds. And I don't download games unless they've been released by the official manufacturer in my country.
Why is that? I don't know. Maybe I'm paranoid, or lazy, or both - but my point with all of this is that I, like a tiny handful of my fellow Montrealers, waited until Niantic officially released the Pokémon Go app in Canada to start playing the game.
And it was kind of a dumb move on my part, to be honest with you guys.
I knew I was going to be totally obsessed with this game before it came out. I played a version of it on my friend's phone when it first became available in Canada, and I was legit hooked; but even if I'd never touched the game a day in my life, I'd still be obsessed with it.
When I was younger, and way too consumed with the first gen Pokémon show, I could only dream that something like this would come out. Now that it has, I mean, it's not only nostalgic, but also hugely satisfying. And, as it turns out, super fun. And intimidating. Very, very intimidating.
Since I waited for the official app to come out in Canada, I'm already at a disadvantage. There have been champs playing this game for a whole week before I did, racking up levels and rare Pokémon like nobody's business. (Also, this would probably be a good time to mention the fact that the sheer number of people downloading the app had the servers down for, like, two hours, so I had to wait even longer to catch me some Pokémon).
Plus, I feel like a literal Slowpoke about everything. I just got to level 5 today. I'm still trying to decide between Mystic, Valor, and Instinct - meanwhile, there's a Valor gym near my house protected by a legit Dragonite.
And it's not like I've been in a Poké blackout for the past week, either. I’ve been seeing people’s statuses. I’ve been reading. I know how awesome it gets as you progress, which makes it all that much more painful to have to start at level 1. I know what I can have. I’ve tasted it. And yet here I am, scrambling to catch 52 Drowzees to get my XP up.
But at the end of the day, this game’s awesome, friends. And no matter what level we’re at... well, we’re all in this together.
Pokémon GO has been going strong for over a week now (officially) in Montreal, and it's already changed the way plenty of people are going about their lives. We're home to one of the friendliest, most outgoing and passionate communities in my humble opinion (FOR VALORRRR!); we just want to catch 'em all! It's kind of a double-edged sword, though, since we Montrealers tend to do things at 110%. AKA shouting "DRAGONITE" at 1:00am in the middle of Cabot square & pissing off all non-players, as well as leaving behind an endless trail of overflowing trash and litter.
I love what Pokémon GO has been doing for our community! People have been much more open and friendly to one another, meeting new friends and discovering new places all alongside catching and hatching our favorite nostalgic little pocket monsters. I don't want this to get ruined for us, so here's a list of things you should avoid doing in Montreal if you don't want to get a ticket.
This should be self-explanatory, but I understand that nothing was done with malicious intent. You're there for hours with your lure set up, that Charmander finally spawned and you don't want to walk away from it & risk losing those glorious candies. I get it; but please, be aware of your surroundings. Bring a garbage bag with you when you're planning on farming so when the lures run out, you can simply tie and and place it next to the trash bags. There! You've taken care of your precious pokecluster spot and avoided a ticket.
2. Don't Jaywalk
This is the absolute easiest way to get nailed with a ticket. Wait for that green light to run after Haunter, or else you'll find yourself staring at something other than your phone with the same emotion as hatching a Weedle.
3. Don't Park on Private Property
Police have officially started giving tickets to people who have been parked in cars camped next to lures for loitering/private property violations. While this definitely sucks as cars are ridiculously convenient (it's a charging station and weather-resistant? DOWN.), unless you want that fat ticket inhibiting your journey, you best stay away from the red signs.
4. Don't Disturb Neighborhoods at Night
While those prank YouTube videos are hilarious, try avoiding running with literal hordes of people shouting various pokémon. We have to stay respectful to the residences; don't forget, pokémon usually spawn around people's homes! "Noise Polution" & "Public Disturbances" have legitimate laws and regulations, so try not to push those boundaries too far. Now, if you're at the Olympic Stadium at 11pm and that Clefable managed to respawn, go nuts!
5. Don't Fight Other Teams
As the leader of the Valors, I have immense pride in my group and faith in the passion & ability of each and every one of my team! That being said, my best friend happens to be one of the admins for Team Instinct. So, obviously we're still besties! Just because someone chooses a specific color over another, it gives no right to cause legitimate judgement and arguments between people. We're all in this to play together, to enjoy the community and grow alongside one another! No time for hate when there's too much fun to be had, so let's leave that pettiness at the door and cheer each other on while we're out hunting.
Stay smart & safe, Trainers! We're not Team Rocket combating Officer Jenny's; we can be the very best while keeping our wallets (& demerit points) intact.
Whether you love it or hate it, Pokémon GO has definitely had certainly led to some interesting situations since it was released in Canada.
Inactive kids are spending their days walking outside. Businesses are seeing more pedestrian traffic. Church's are offering charging stations so people can play longer, and even cops can't resist getting in on the action.
You've probably seen pictures like these in recent weeks of the massive gathering that have even happening near Atwater.
The crowds have gotten so big that the police have been patrolling there regularly to make sure that people aren't bothering the public and that they are staying out of the streets.
And while they're there, even they can't resist catching a few Pokémon while they're at it.
Guys, I really wish I could be one of those people who stays out all night long catching Pokémon. The sad reality is that I just don't have the stamina to do it. My days are packed pretty tight as it is, and adding an all-night Pokéventure to the mix is just not feasible for me.
But I see some of y'all, out there playing the Poké game like the true masters that you are. I admire you, friends, and I want to help. Walking around the city all day/night is sure to be tiring and appetite-inducing, and if you happen to be looking for a spot to satisfy the food crave no matter what time you're done scouring the city - well, then I've got your back.
Lovers of late-night dishes, rejoice. You've legit found your soul spot. Ahuntsic's Paulo Et Suzanne is known for their mind-blowing poutines and delectable breakfast dishes, which they serve up on a 24/7 basis. For an extra special treat after a long day (and night) of Poké-venturing, try their "Philly Bomb", with Philly steak, sausage, green peppers, and more.
La Banquise is, at this point, a legit Montreal institution. Located in the Plateau - perfect for everyone burning the midnight oil catching rares near Mount Royal Park - La Banquise is world famous for its poutines, which are fresh, tasty, and consistently on point. Their menu boasts a wide variety of unique poutines, but try their famous "La Taquise": cheese curds, gravy, and fries, topped with sour cream, tomatoes, and a generous helping of guacamole.
Raise your hand if for you, nothing beats a nice, thick, tasty sandwich. Is your hand raised? Well, it should be, because sandwiches are life. And no one does sandwiches up quite like the people at Joe's Panini. Not only does this spot offer up an incredibly tasty, filling pressed panini - on either brown or white bread - but it's super cheap, too, to the tune of roughly $5. And yes, Joe's is open 24/7, so if you're in the downtown Montreal area looking for Electabuzzes (Electabi?) at night, you knew where to go to refuel.
Hawgs has everything, no lie, guys. This St. Leonard/Anjou spot is perfect for anyone and everyone who's just spent the night hunting Pokémon, not just because of the fact that it's open all day and night, but because of their massive menu. They've got souvlaki, pizza, pasta, breakfasts (at all hours!), smoked meat... Basically, whatever your heart desires, you'll find it here, and you'll also just so happen to find that it tastes seriously amazing. So, Pokémon masters, prepare to reward yourselves for a night well spent.
This Italian cafe is seriously one of my favourite spots to go to in the city. Their lattes are top notch, which actually works out perfectly if you've been up all night Poké hunting, since you just might be in need of a little caffeine fix. Their subs and salads also happen to pretty much be totally out of this world, making it one of the most perfect 24/7 spots in the whole city to refuel after a long night of creeping for rare Pokémon.
Located relatively close to the Olympic Stadium, which is stereotypically known to be lit AF when it comes to catching Pokémon, Miami Deli is pretty much the perfect spot to retire to after a long and hard day in the life of a Pokémon master. First of all, it's got an adorably unique decor and ambiance, which makes it a much welcome change from the streets of Montreal, TBH. Second of all, they've got a wide variety of food - including all-day breakfasts - which makes it an ace spot to go and rest up after a long day of Poké hunting.
If you want a smoked meat poutine done right, then you've got to get it at Jarry Smoked Meat. I don't know exactly what it is that makes this iconic dish so delicious (their fresh, flavourful smoked meat? Their unique, savoury poutine sauce?), but you're doing yourself a huge disservice if you don't try it at least once in your life. And there's no better time to nosh on Jarry Smoked Meat's famous dish than right after you've spent the entire night walking around the city, catching yourself Pokémon.