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A Post Asked About Montreal's 'Unwritten Rules' & The Answers Prove We're Lovable Weirdos

People who stand on the left side of the escalator. 🚩🚩🚩

Senior Editor
A Post Asked About Montreal's 'Unwritten Rules' & The Answers Prove We're Lovable Weirdos

Every city has its codes of behaviour, those norms and collective habits that give rhythm to the urban frenzy. Much of the delight of living in a city springs from those subtle moments of unspoken mutual understanding.

So what are the conventions that define life in Montreal? Local harpist Marie Hamilton, 29, took to Reddit to find out. Her post asking for a list of Montreal's "unwritten rules" has garnered hundreds of upvotes and comments.

She told MTL Blog that the post was inspired by her own experience moving to the metropolis.

"I was curious to hear what Montréalers had to say about the unwritten rules of our city," she said.

"There are so many little aspects of Montréal culture that go unnoticed until it's mentioned or god forbid someone breaks the rule!"

"So much of it I had to learn when I first moved here from Rome. I have so many funny stories of breaking or fearing I was going to break those unsaid rules."

And there seem to be a lot of them. Montrealers flocked to the comments section to give their input.

from montreal

The local sense of order seems to be the most popular trait.

A few pointed to the practice of standing on the right side of the escalator to let others pass on the left. Others mentioned Montrealers' intuitive habit of forming straight lines while waiting for the bus.

"We pretty much form lines a civil way everywhere. First come, first served," a top comment reads. Another commenter raised the noted exception of metro riders, who, they say, tend to crowd around doors when entering and exiting.

There's also the weird custom of picking a bagel camp and engaging in fruitless, uninformed arguments about dough. "Pick a favorite bagel place and fight anyone that tells you another is better," one commenter wrote.

Then of course there's the famous "bonjour-hi," which, as another commenter explained it, is both a greeting and an invitation to pick a language, but not something you can say back to someone.

Other replies to Hamilton's question seem to imply that though Montreal pedestrians and motorists are mortal enemies, they are united in their complete disregard for the rules of the road.

"Crosswalks are merely a suggestion," one person wrote, commenting on the widespread culture of jaywalking.

Meanwhile, for those behind the wheel, traffic lights mean something a little bit different in Montreal.

"For drivers: yellow means gun it, light switching to red means 'attache ta tuque,'" someone wrote. "For anyone else, switching to red means a brief moment of introspection on your own life value before setting a foot on the road."

But the best part of Montreal might be its culture of tolerance.

As one commenter put it: "you can be as weird as you want and people will let you live in all walks of your life."

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