So you're preparing to leave Montreal? Well then to you, madam/sir, we say good luck. Because without even realizing it, Montreal has seriously spoiled you.
"What?" we hear you saying. "I'm leaving Montreal because there isn't enough for me here," followed by a criticism about the lack of employment, or health care, or some other jab at the state of the roads.
Honestly, we can't argue with that, as Montreal doesn't do the best job when it comes to basic things every city should have, but who cares about that stuff anyway.
Montreal is a city filled with the "little things", small magical delights you love with all of your heart but probably don't realize just how amazing those things are until they're no longer yours. Which is why, all of us, need a little reminding of 19 things you'll miss when you leave Montreal.
1. Fresh Bagels From St-Viateur
Crisp, yet doughy, slightly sweet while just the right amount of salty, a bagel straight from the oven of St-Viateur is an experience you simply can’t get outside of the city. Perfectly paired with some cream cheese and lox, you’ll be missing these Montreal bagels (and Fairmount’s, I guess) once you realize all other bagel-styles are massive messes of dough that mine as well just be a loaf of bread.
2. Summer Sunday Afternoons At Tam Tams
Spending an entire Sunday drinking on the grass, chilling with friends, and taking in the weirdness of Montreal culture (drummers, dancers, LARPers, and the like) is an unforgettable experience, and one you can only get at Tams. While it may come but once a week here in Montreal, you won’t find the same any where else.
3. A Cold Fresh Orange Julep Drink
A magical blend of orange and cream, the mighty Orange Julep is a true staple of Montreal. Paired with the iconic-and-classy atmosphere of the roadside casse-croute that is the Big Orange stand, venturing to get a Julep is never too out of the way. And don’t let anyone tell you an Orange Julius is the same thing, because that's a dirty lie.
4. A Soft Serve Cone At Kem CoBa
No ice cream joint hands out magical soft-serve creations like Kem Coba. Sure, the line may always be super long, but you know it’s worth it once you get your first lick.
5. $2 Chow Mein On Saint-Laurent Street At 3:37am
An experience that affords equal parts pleasure and shame, an unhealthy amount of two dollar chow mien (affectionately referred to as 2chow) is the perfect end to any nighttime debauchery in Montreal. The fact that you can’t get the same peanut butter soaked noodles elsewhere just goes to show that a night out will never be as epic as one in Montreal.
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6. The Free International Fireworks Competition Every Summer
The most prestigious fireworks competition in the entire world, L'International des Feux Loto-Québec lights up the night sky with a myriad of colours every single summer. We take them for granted right in our own backyard, but guaranteed you miss them once you are no longer part of the multicoloured magic.
7. Montreal's Many Food Festivals
Montrealers live to eat, and that couldn't be demonstrated any better than the plethora of food festivals the city hosts all the time. From winter to summer, there is always some sort of food-based celebration going on, a fact our taste buds know and love.
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8. Brunch At Bagel Etc.
Weekend brunch is one of the best simple pleasures of living in Montreal, and no diner is quite as classic as Bagel Etc. Of course, you may have your own favourite brunch spot, but when it comes to unique Montreal-inspired dishes that quickly cure even the worst hangovers, it’s gotta be Bagel Etc.
9. Always Being Baffled By The Long Line Ups At Schwartz's
Sure, Schwart’z is great, but any real Montrealer knows there are plenty of other smoked meat spots that are just as good and lack a giant line. Either way, Montreal smoke meat is obviously only available in Montreal.
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10. Being Able To Buy Beer At Any Dep In The City
Truly an under-appreciated privilege, it's sometimes easy to forget just how central deps are to our daily life. That is until you find yourself somewhere that won't sell you beer and wine right around the corner from your house.
11. Being Able To Order Poutine At (Literally) Every Single Restaurant
When you see poutine on a menu in Montreal, it should come as no surprise. But leave the city, and you quickly realize how amazing constantly having that option really is. Being able to enjoy the comfort that is poutine at practically any restaurant is unseen elsewhere. If anything, finding a good poutine is a mission in itself in other cities.
12. The View
Combined with the walk it takes to get up to Mount Royal’s lookout, this makes for one of the most romantic things you can do, anywhere. But even if you’re not in a couple, the view itself is too beautiful to forget, and trust me, you won’t.
13. Strip Clubs, Everywhere!
Not that you actually go to any, but there’s just something oddly comforting about the fact that you can casually walk from a bookstore straight into a strip club. You know, if you wanted to.
14. Finding A Good Steamie
The perfect snack (or full-on meal) no matter the time of day (but obviously best late at night), the mighty steamy is not simply a “hot dog,” it is an icon of Montreal itself.
15. Jaywalking Everywhere And No One Cares
Sure, it’s kind of illegal, but when everybody else in the city jaywalks, it’s kind of hard not to. Unfortunately, few other cities give zero f*cks like Montrealers do, so be prepared to actually obey traffic signals.
16. Free Summer Festivals & Performances At Quartier des Spectacles
Pay absolutely nothing and you can see some of the world’s best artists and performances, otherwise known as the best deal ever. Something Quartier des Spectacles gives you every single year.
17. Seeing Street Art Everywhere In The City
Walking around Montreal is like strolling through an urban art gallery thanks to the many murals and street art that graces the city’s walls. Unlike most cities, Montreal actually embraces this sometimes-illegal form of art, making for an artistically charged city with creativity to be discovered literally everywhere.
18. Your Dealer
Because finding a reliable dealer is the hardest part about moving to any city, and they probably won't be as chill as the guy/gal you left behind in Montreal. Branching off that, what you’ll probably miss most about Montreal is the people. The passionate, fun-loving, and altogether accepting clan proudly known as Montrealers.