You're Not A True Montrealer Until You've Lived Through 8 Out Of These 12 Winter Struggles

Why does the wind cause us physical pain?!

Staff Writer
Montrealers walk on a snowy sidewalk while a snowplow clears the way.

Montrealers walk on a snowy sidewalk while a snowplow clears the way.

In the summer, Montreal is a glorious place to be. The birds sing, the leaves are buffeted by a refreshing breeze and the sun shines radiantly above us all. There are pedestrianized streets and bike lanes galore, fresh meals and ice cream on every corner, parks full of picnickers and people pretending to be picnicking as an excuse to get buzzed on a weekday. In short, it's a blast.

But in winter, life is not nearly so sweet. There's ice and snow and hail and wind and more ice and more snow and ARGH! It's like everything is out to destroy your vibe at all times.

The one saving grace of surviving a Montreal winter is that, once you've done it, you're one step closer to being a real Montrealer. We live through the hellscape of snow and ice in order to arrive at — nay, to earn — the next summer season.

So take joy in tallying how many awful experiences you've had in this city. If you make it to seven, know that you've been through enough bullsh*t that you deserve the honour of considering yourself a Montrealer at heart.

Experienced physical pain from the wintry wind

The wind hurts your face… why do we live somewhere where the wind hurts your face?! Bonus points if you've ever actually gotten frostbite. FEELING like you got frostbite doesn't count.

Not found parking due to SNOW EVERYWHERE


#Montreal #snow #aggressiveness

Every car-owning Montrealer (God bless your patient souls) knows the struggle of not being able to park anywhere, because oh look, there's a FREAKING SNOWBANK!

Worse still, even the carless have been woken up by snow removal processes or that godforsaken 3 a.m. tow truck alarm.

Braved a treacherous street crossing


Only Canadians will understand 🇨🇦❄️#montréal #winter #snow

It's a special type of pain to watch as the sidewalk and road become indistinguishable under a solid 10 cm ice sheet. Facing partially snow-covered construction signage and confusing pedestrian directions is another pain, so count yourself another point if you've ever risked a walk through the mess anyway — even though drivers are awful and twice as careless in the winter.

Laughed at someone falling on ice...

... only to immediately wipe out on the very same ice. It's humiliating, but it's also a rite of passage. Why do those always have to be so uncomfortable? Can't we have a rite of passage where you gently experience a mild, pleasant sensation and you still get the celebration afterwards?

Gotten salt stains on your boots

Salt stains on boots are annoying, especially when your winter fit relies on a strong footwear moment. Count another point for yourself if you've ever experienced salt-slush buildup so bad it makes actual ankle-height holes in your trusty jeans.

Been driven off the sidewalk by a snowplow


#pov #hiver #montreal #deneigement #snow #removal #snowremoval #yul #fyp #pourtoi #fypシ #iceicebaby

There's little more hellish than getting screamed at by a sidewalk plow and its power-hungry driver, who force you to step into a snowbank in those hole-y jeans just to get out of their way.

Realized, mid-shovelling, that you're way too out of shape for this


#winter #quebec

It's embarrassing and loud and UGH why do we have to scoop the sky's massive dumps every year? For those of us with work-from-home employment situations, it's a particularly shameful process to realize just how much your muscles have atrophied during the freezing season.

Slid down a treacherous, icy staircase outside an apartment


Vieux Escalier🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲 Ket #lehoodestfatigué #montrealstairs #montrealhouses #montrealrealestate #mtl #montrealtiktok

You just wanted to enter your own home, and now you're stuck clinging to the railing of a rotting, rickety spiral staircase while you slide down the unshovelled steps, hoping against hope that the single screw still holding it to the main structure of the building won't fail.


Gotten sick — unreasonably sick — of the TINY GRAVEL BITS ALL OVER YOUR HOUSE

You step on another tiny sharp piece of Satan and you think you might explode, but you can't explode, because you have a job and a life and you still have to shovel the godd*mn driveway again.

Overheated to the point of sweating profusely on the boiling metro

Becoming overly hot and sweaty in the metro because you’re so bundled up is an experience easily forgotten in the summer, but it's all too familiar in mid-winter...

Then, just when you're pitying yourself for getting so sticky and gross, the wonderful metro woman announces that your line is being halted indefinitely. Great!

Add a bonus point if you've ever been stuck on the metro for the length of time your whole commute was supposed to take.

Gone out underdressed to avoid coat check...


-20 + snow storm & we’re still in heels 🎀 #montreal #snowstorm #canada #fyp

... and instantly regretted it.

It's oh-so-tempting to go out for the night via Uber or transit without a coat or gloves or a hat, because freezing outside a bar or club for a while is still better than having to wait for coat check at the end...

... until you're waiting for said Uber or transit and your fingers are turning red-then-blue-then-falling-off-then-oh thank god the car is here.

Add another point if you've ever been underdressed, yet perfectly styled, while walking in stiletto heels down Saint-Laurent through the piles of snow. You're more powerful than any blizzard.

Opened the door to a restaurant and gotten squeezed between other people desperate for warmth

Finally, you make it to your dinner! You rush from the car to the door of the restaurant, expectantly waiting for the embrace of warmth from inside — and then you crash into the two or three other parties all trying to wait for a table inside the curtained-off entry area. Now no one is comfortable, and we're all overheating again because there's no room to take off our coats.

But the food is hot and good, and the snow is falling gently outside. Between leisurely bites, you start to wonder why you ever felt such animosity towards such a beautiful city.

Then you see someone wipe out on the ice out front, and it all comes rushing back.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Willa Holt
Staff Writer
Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog, often found covering weird and wonderful real estate and local politics from her home base in Montreal.
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