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An American Tourist Asked Reddit Why Montrealers Are 'So Cool' & The Replies Didn’t Disappoint

"Why is everyone so cool here?"

Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
A scenic view of Montreal's downtown skyline from Mont-Royal.

A scenic view of Montreal's downtown skyline from Mont-Royal.

It's safe to say Montreal has got being cool down to a science. City dwellers across the world might try hard to concoct their own formulas for "cool," but few can compete with Montreal's distinct and buzzy style chemistry. To any average visitor, that effervescent charm and sophistication can seem like some intimidating magic.

A post by Reddit user and U.S. resident u/010kindsofpeople dared to ask why.

"I'm an American tourist. I come every summer for at least a week. Everyone here is f*cking cool," the post, shared here with permission, reads. "Punks, hipsters, art people, and even the boomers are out in sick patterned rompers and shirts. How does this city do so much constant style? Has it always been like this?"

from montreal

The good people of Montreal delivered some thorough answers.

One user replied with the theory that it all comes down to Montreal's lower cost of living compared to other major cities such as Toronto.

"I think our low cost of living helps us allocate funds to express, invest and enjoy ourselves whether it be with eccentric clothing, dining at hip food joints or attending local events and festivals, we have more freedom to relax, gather, cultivate and indulge," they wrote.

The response earned approval from several other commenters, including, it seems, some Torontonians: "Can confirm as someone in Toronto, the focus is on succeeding in your career to keep up with the housing market/inflation."

Another commenter mentioned how Montreal is a "people" city, where the importance of community and social exchange runs deep and creates unspoken bonds between strangers. "I firmly believe part of the reason is the mid-dense, walkable, human-centric nature of our neighbourhoods," they began.

"We hang out outside, on our stoops, on our streets, we see people we talk to people we shop in our local stores, we're able to stay relatively fit and build an identity around who we are and the people we hang out with and the places we go to […] this is a major factor when you compare Montreal to, say, Cleveland or Houston or whatever other large city that's stereotypically 'without culture' in the U.S."

Others concurred. "Man this is saying a lot considering how f*cking cold the winters are over there. Just goes to show the success of human-centric neighbourhoods even in climates where it isn't feasible to be outside for five months a year," another Redditor said.

And of course, Montreal's booming fashion industry was another popular theory to explain residents' coolness.

"I think it’s actually that Québec has a fashion and garment-making industry still," another user wrote. "When you make the fashion, you have knowledge in the community that also affects what people are willing to wear every day. And there’s just deeper knowledge here."

Whatever the case, we're definitely as cool as ice.

    Mike Chaar
    Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
    Mike Chaar is an Assistant Editor for MTL Blog focused on recalls in Canada and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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