If you're a local to Montreal, you know that hanging out at Tam-Tams on Mount Royal every Sunday is basically a rite of passage. While such was a weekend norm of summers past, I couldn't help but wonder if the situation that we've been facing during the last few months would play a role in this year's experience. So, I went to check out the event for myself to see if things had changed.
Needless to say, not even a pandemic can stop Montrealers from jamming out.
When first walking up to the part of the mountain where Tam-Tams takes place, I could hear the drums beating from afar.
And upon seeing the groups of people gathered around the drummers, I couldn't help but feel a little déja vu.
Obvious efforts have been made to try and keep people distanced from one another, like the two-metre boxes drawn on the ground for the drummers to space themselves out.
But after seeing the number of people who flocked to Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto this weekend, I think it's fair to say that visits to public spaces can make it difficult to properly practice social distancing.
Here's what the park was looking like around 5 p.m. this Sunday.
If you look closely, you can see the boxes drawn on the pavement, which is meant to have one drummer in each.
It's clear that most people were following this new measure, but unfortunately, things so rarely work out as well in practice as they do in theory.
But, there were police walking around the park to remind people of the rules.
It seemed that while the drummers were doing their best to distance themselves from one another, the people watching them weren't trying as hard.
People continued to gather around the drummers as they have when I've been there in the past.
In my eyes, the groups flocking around the music seemed no different than what I remember from summer 2019.
Mayor Valérie Plante has continuously recommended that Montrealers start wearing face masks whenever they're in public.
While there were definitely a few people following that on Mount Royal, the ratio of who was wearing a mask to who wasn't was pretty low.
In the rest of the park, besides where Tam-Tams was taking place, people seemed to do rather well at keeping their distance from one another.
Many had brought their own blankets to sit on and kept two or more metres from the people around them, which is what we've been asked to do.
Mayor Plante has previously spoken to the public's concern about the high volume of people that has been flocking to parks.
She said she wants people to be open-minded about the fact that nature is good for us and very necessary for people who don't have their own outdoor space.
And, as long as people keep a two-metre distance away from anyone they don't live with, the mayor suggested that it's okay.
So, in that regard, many people at Tam-Tams were respecting the rules.