There's nothing Montrealers love more than exploring the natural beauty all around, like the dreamy fields of Bleu Lavande. Moving to a new location less than an hour and a half from the city, it's the perfect place to go when you're in need of an escape not just in the summer, but now throughout the year.
MTL Blog reached out to Bleu Lavande to learn all about its plans for the new season and its new location.
Although the lavender season is only in the summer (the plants will be cut mid-fall), that doesn't mean it isn't worth the drive to the Eastern Townships throughout the year.
Partnering with Moment Factory, Bleu Lavande will offer an immersive experience — even in the off-season — called Champs Chromatiques ("Chromatic Fields"), an indoor simulation emulating the sights and sounds of the lavender fields swaying in the wind.
The installation is described as a multisensory, "immersive and interactive multimedia experience" where visitors are invited to "bathe in the colours, sounds and gentle movements of an infinite lavender field."
There will also be an educational spot inside to learn more about horticulture and the history of Bleu Lavande.
It's official — 2021 was the hottest year on record for Montreal, according to Environment Canada. It beat out the previous hottest years, 1998 and 2012, by a mean few hundredths of a degree.
This rise in temperature in Montreal is attributed to new weather patterns, causing scorching temperatures in June, August, September and October. "August and October were record-breaking months," said Environment Canada spokesperson Simon Legault.
"We were lucky that July was below normal because if it hadn't happened that way, [...] we would have shattered the record instead of just breaking it," he added.
A few hundredths of a degree may not sound like such a big problem, but temperatures in Montreal (and around the world) have been steadily rising.
The average annual temperature in Montreal from 1951 to 1980 was 6.5ºC, according to ClimateData.ca. Last year's mean temperature came in at a whopping 8.6ºC. This drastic increase in fortyish years has already begun to show its effects — not just on our electrical bills in the summer, but also the health of the population, the Climate Action Network says.
Whether or not 2022 will be even hotter remains anyone's guess. Projections for an area as small as Southern Quebec can only be made a few weeks in advance.
What we do know is that February and March should be significantly warmer than January.
"A few short intense waves of cold are coming in," Legault said of January, adding that February and March are expected to be "close to or above normal temperatures."
A Bombay spokesperson described the maze as a "large-scale [...] whimsical oasis" with walls that "cloak the discoverable experiences within."
The maze installations are being created by Quebec's Charlie Larouche (Glassware Artist), Jeroen Kleijn (DJ & Olfactory Artist) and Chantal Royer (Botanical Artist) who were inspired by the taste of Bombay Bramble, a new naturally-flavoured raspberry and blackberry gin.
The experience will be completely free, and anyone over the age of 18 can take part.
In addition to a Bombay Bramble sample, guests will leave with a signature Bombay Sapphire Balloon Glass that they can use to stir up fun drinks at home.
Hedge Maze at the Old Port
Bombay Sapphire Canada
When: August 6: 4 p.m.-8 p.m.; August 7 and 8: 1 p.m.-8 p.m.
Address: 430, boul. Saint-Laurent, Old Port, Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: Hedge mazes are fun, but even better when they're boozy.
In a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute, over half of Quebec respondents said that Canada should reach a vaccination rate of at least 75% before opening the U.S. border.
With many Canadians already envisioning a life post-COVID-19, the poll found that a "vast majority (69%)" are willing to wait it out until "at least three-quarters" of the country are fully vaccinated before opening the border to travel.
Only 22% of Canadians would be willing to open the Canada-U.S. border immediately, according to the survey.
Thirty-five percent of Quebec respondents agreed that the country should wait until over 75% of the population has two vaccine doses. Thirty-seven percent agreed that having 75% of the population fully vaccinated is adequate.
Only 20% of Quebec respondents agreed that the borders should open immediately.
Respondents in Alberta and Saskatchewan were the most interested in welcoming back Americans, according to the poll, as 42% and 30% of respondents, respectively, want the border to open immediately.