New waves and variant strains of the coronavirus in Montreal continue to rear their ugly heads, while Montrealers reminisce about little things they miss that they once took for granted.
Here are six #MTLthings I'll never complain about again when the pandemic finally goes away.
Editor's Choice: 9 Things To Do For Under $9 In Montreal This Spring
Late public transitMarc Bruxelle | Dreamstime
If you're a student or don't have a car in Montreal, you're acutely aware of the struggle of waiting for an STM bus or a delayed metro that never shows up.
Trust me, I do not miss it — and it'll be hard to resist complaining even once during a post-pandemic winter — but I'll welcome the chance to be outside with somewhere to go after being holed up at home for almost two years.
A long line-up at a Montreal restaurantPaul Mckinnon | Dreamstime
If you thought waiting times at Montreal restaurants were bad before the pandemic, you may not be happy when they're even longer post-pandemic.
With public health protocols likely put in place for the next few years in Canada, restaurants may operate at reduced capacity upon their reopening, causing longer wait times.
However, I won't complain — I'll be ecstatic to dine in a restaurant at all.
A sweaty bar or club
It sounds gross — but I miss Montreal's old days when the city's favourite activity was drinking in a dark room with a hundred other people and some loud Drake track.
I'll never complain about waiting in line for a club again. Just kidding! I totally will not be seen waiting in a club line. But I'll never complain about expensive drinks or sweaty crowds again.
The Old Port when it's chock-full of tourists in the summerThink Design Manage Services Ltd. Think Design Manage | Dreamstime
I'll never complain about tourists in Montreal again. In fact, I'm so deprived of human interaction, I'll TALK to total strangers. I'll even career pivot and become a tour guide, a hotel manager or a flight attendant — who cares about a university degree when you can travel the world?
JK — I probably won't do that. But instead of complaining about our American neighbours gawking at our familiar sights, I'll gawk along with them.
Montreal music festivals being ultra-chaotic
I will never, ever complain about the mess that is a music festival in Montreal ever again. Mosh pits? I'll welcome them.
Drinks spilled on our cute clothes? I won't welcome them, but I won't have a fit of rage when they happen — because accidents happen when you're allowed to be around other people.
Working out in Montreal
Gyms closed almost immediately at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec, and working out at home is virtually impossible for many of us.
The city rejoiced when Quebec reopened red-zone gyms this March, with Montrealers everywhere salivating at the thought of actually moving their bodies. I'll never complain about being able to work out ever again in a post-pandemic Montreal... no matter how much my legs hurt the next day.
We all like to spend our money on silly stuff sometimes. And that's why the City of Montreal is known for many things: good food, beautiful parks, and totally absurd projects that cost several millions and sometimes billions of dollars.
Montreal has a rich history of financial blunders that are arguably equal levels of hilarious and completely depressing.
Here are five totally absurd things that the city has spent money on over the years.
The Formula E Race
😢 Ouch! That hurt! #MontrealEPrix https://t.co/mP7AQ4fYXS— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@ABB FIA Formula E World Championship)1513631504.0
The agreement between the City of Montreal and Formula E went about as well as that driver took that corner in the above video.
Formula E's lawyers sued the city for $25 milliion dollars after newly elected mayor Valérie Plante cancelled the race. The Plante administration spent $600,000 in public funding on legal fees to defend themselves.
In 2018, the race took the infamous Teddy Award for the "biggest waste of taxpayer money."
A mayor's severance pay... after he went to jail for frauding the cityabdallahh | Wikimedia Commons
In 2013, Montreal was reeling from a succession of mayors that straight up just frauded the entire city out of millions of dollars. Perhaps the most notorious of these mayors was former NDG borough mayor and current real-estate agent Michael Applebaum.
Applebaum resigned after he was accused of corruption and was eventually tried and convicted on eight corruption and fraud-related charges, but not before taking a healthy $268,000 severance package from the public coffers.
In January 2020, Quebec courts ruled that Applebaum could keep his severance pay, which really aggravated Valérie Plante, who said that the city would see if they could get the money back.
In the years leading up to Expo 67, Montreal had a problem: there wasn't enough land to build the pavilions at the Expo. It was way too late to change the plans, so what did former mayor Jean Drapeau and his team cook up?
Build an island with the near 15 million tons of rock and dirt taken from the STM metro construction, of course!
With Expo 67 already on the books for $320 million dollars (in 1966 money no less), adding another $40 million to build the island was no big deal, apparently.
The island even has its own Heritage Minute!
These days, millions of tourists and Montrealers go to the island to get high at music festivals, enjoy the scenery, and have an all-around great time.
The Mirabel AirportMichel Bussieres | Dreamstime
In the 1970s, Montreal was all about grand ideas and rapid expansion. It was the future, after all, and the city had big plans.
Government officials decided to run with it and build a new airport, which was allegedly funded by both the provincial and federal governments. So it may not have been Montreal per se, but Montrealers' tax dollars went into it.
The result of that grand idea was the Mirabel International Airport. Intended to replace the Dorval International Airport, Mirabel never really lived up to its expectations and was basically abandoned.
In 2014, Mirabel's terminal was demolished, costing upwards of $15 million dollars.
The Olympic Stadium
Even if you barely know anything about Montreal, you've probably heard about the Olympic Stadium and the enormous amount of money it cost the city.
While it looks good on Instagram, the Olympic Stadium, cleverly nicknamed "The Big Owe," cost $937 million in 1976 due to cost overruns and wasn't even finished on time for the Olympics.
Over the years, the Olympic Stadium went through two roofs and several renovation projects that cost a total of $819 million as of 2017.
According to the Parc Olympique, indexed to 2017 prices, the total cost of the Olympic Stadium amounts to $5.2 billion dollars.
So yeah, it really hurt the city, but hey, at least we all have pretty Instagram pictures, right?
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Tatted-up Quebecers know that when it comes to new ink, the hardest question to answer is, "What should I get next?" With Montreal tattoo artists' waitlists overflowing due to COVID-19 delays, we know you want to book your post-lockdown tat ASAP. We're here to help.
Since tattoos are a reflection of your personality, why not use your pandemic personality to guide the tat that will commemorate this experience? Researcher Dr. Mimi E. Lam from the University of Bergen in Norway recently identified 16 'COVID-19 personality types' to explain how we've all dealt with the virus in our own unique ways — we took 'em and ran with 'em as inspiration.
If you're a COVID-19 denier, you probably downplay the threat of the coronavirus and refuse to follow public health guidelines.
We suggest something like this reptilian monster from Saving Grace Tattoo in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, since you might also believe our public health officials worship the reptilian elite.
If you identify as a COVID-19 harmer, you might try to weaponize COVID-19 and put others in harm's way, likely through unsanitary measures like coughing or sneezing on them.
If you're a harmer, get something like this skeleton casually holding coffee from Imago Tattoo Studio in the Plateau, since the threat of death doesn't scare you.
If you're a rebel, you're probably not following Quebec's COVID-19 rules. You might've even received a few $1,500 fines for breaking curfew. If you are following the rules, you're yearning for the day you can do something rebellious again.
Get inked with something like this cup of Lean from Thermal Ink Tattoo in the Plateau to solidify your commitment to partying.
Invincibles are those friends you have who continue to rent Airbnbs in Saint-Sauveur despite calls from public health officials heavily discouraging interregional travel.
If you think you're an Invincible, go ahead and get tattooed with something like this little Pierrot from Flaming Tattoo Club in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve since you've likely been calling our elected officials "clowns" all day and night.
Blamers transfer blame for their fears about the coronavirus to others, projecting pandemic issues onto health care workers and certain racial groups.
Blamers should get a tattoo like an angry lemon from Coop Crève-Cœur in the Gay Village, a testament to their perpetually sour disposition.
Spreaders just want things to go back to normal and believe in COVID-19 "herd immunity." (Super) spreaders make up those in your life who see as many people as possible despite lockdown.
Spreaders should get this tattoo by Frédérique Poulin-Thomas from Repère aux Loups in the Plateau — we think it's fairly self-explanatory.
Realists recognize the effects and risks of COVID-19 and the reality of the pandemic, adjusting their behaviour appropriately. Basically your average Joe.
If you like classic tattoo themes, as realists would, you should book a floral arrangement from Sarah Laub at Adrenaline in the downtown core of Montreal.
Exploiters are a minor group of people who exploit the pandemic for power or inhumanity.
We suggest a bloody and rotting tooth like this one from Nicolas Durand at Semelius Tattoo in Mile-End.
If you're a worrier, you're constantly consuming COVID-19 news and need to know the latest updates so you can share them with your friends.
Worriers should get something like this cute ouija planchette by Carolanne at Black Rose Tattoo in the Plateau — it may be able to give you an indication as to when the pandemic will be over.
Contemplators are thriving in our era of self-isolation, having just been given a prime excuse to stay indoors while contemplating their lives and the state of the world.
Contemplators should get tatted with something like this Bojack Horseman number from Flaming Tattoo Club in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve since they may feel Bojack's existential plight all too well.
If you jetted to Costco at the start of the pandemic to clear out every toilet paper roll in stock to keep your anxiety at bay, this one's for you.
Consider this grapefruit by Mathieu at MTL Tattoo in the Plateau to remind yourself of how much extra "emergency" grocery ended up rotting in your fridge.
If you're a supporter, you've probably clapped for a frontline health worker or made a "ça va bien aller" rainbow for your window at the start of the pandemic.
You should get inked with something like this little pug by Clément Sicot from Desolé Maman Studio in Mile-End since it will bring smiles to those who see it — just as you aim to do.
Innovators are entrepreneurs and hard workers who have put their skills to use by creating new systems, masks, vaccines and hospital equipment in record time during the pandemic.
If you're a creative innovator, you should get something like this lovely little sun piece from Chloe Luna Solis at Coop Crève-Cœur in the Village to represent your efforts to help Quebecers see brighter days post-COVID-19.
Altruists have been supporting the elderly in CHSLDs, as well as doing what they can to support the homeless and those in need throughout the pandemic. If this is you, we salute you!
Altruists should get this emotional support ghost duo from Violette Violence at Les Chochottes in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve to represent all the good work they've done to provide support during the pandemic.
The veteran crew is made up of those of us who are old enough to remember H1N1, the OG SARS outbreak and the Ebola virus disease, and consider COVID-19 just another opportunity to avoid people altogether.
Veterans can get dainty script from Atelier Olibrius in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie since they've likely gone through a self-love journey and enjoyed their alone time during the pandemic.
Warriors have been indispensable to the general public throughout the year-long pandemic and make up our frontline health care workers, doctors, nurses and essential workers.
Big ups to all the warriors! You should get something like this mythological Libra warrior from Melle Alyx at Meme Pas Mal MTL in the Plateau as your post-pandemic piece — a testament to how hard you worked despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
We promise this home-grown Netflix series is actually really good, having garnered excellent reviews in The Globe and Mail, Bustle and on Rotten Tomatoes. It also won a Banff Rockie Award for "Best Drama Series: Foreign Language" and a Gémeaux Award for "Best Direction - Comedy."
Three friends in a low-income neighborhood find humor and hope in their lives as they grapple with bad boyfriends and their dysfunctional families.
"Can You Hear Me?" description on Rotten Tomatoes
Can You Hear Me? (called M'entends-tu? in French) is a raw and unique take on class disparity and female friendship in Montreal.
It was also filmed in Montreal, and it's always fun to see if you can spot local haunts on screen.
In addition to starring in the show, Longpré created it and writes for it.
While this series was originally a Télé-Québec production, it's distributed internationally by Netflix where you can find its first two seasons in French with English subtitles.
According to Radio-Canada, the series is available in 190 countries and in 30 languages.
A third season is reportedly coming out in the spring of 2021.
Can You Hear Me? also recently got a shout-out from an unexpected fan: the leader of our provincial government, Premier François Legault.
Legault, who said on Facebook he's seen both seasons, called Can You Hear Me? "magnificent and moving."
He also noted that the show manages to be funny and tender even while addressing tough topics, like domestic violence.
"To be seen without fail," wrote Legault on December 27.
Regardless of how you feel about Legault's political opinions, we can't help but agree with him on this one.
While Montreal is a wonderful city to live in, our winters are harsh and our metro commuters are even harsher. Sometimes, it's as if people on the Montreal metro act like jerks on purpose, put on this planet specifically to annoy you while trying to get to work at 8 a.m. having only woken up less than an hour ago.
Really, we've all been in a situation where a fellow commuter just has the worst metro etiquette imaginable, and somehow, that annoyance compounds when the temperature drops below zero.
So instead of trying out your favourite WWE wrestling move on that annoying commuter, send them these simple rules and make sure they tattoo them on their brain.
Rule #1: You. Shall Not. Pass.
A good metro rider waits until people get off the metro before piling in.
It's even worse in the winter because everyone is wearing 16 layers and a Canada Goose jacket.
You won't feel someone's sweaty leg brush up against yours like you do in the summer, but having a face full of someone's fur-trimmed hood is arguably worse.
Rule #2: Understand that slush turns to mush
Montreal winters create this lovely phenomenon called slush, a mix of snow, mud and street trash that just gathers on the underside of your boots.
When it gets slightly melty, it becomes mush, often found in the threshold of those god-forsaken metro butterfly doors or at the bottom of a staircase.
If you aren't paying attention and rudely pushing past everyone, that mush can send you crashing to the ground along with others in your vicinity.
Also please do not put your muddy boots on the seats.
Rule #3: Breathe (into a mask)
There's a little something called a global pandemic still happening and while it looks like a vaccine is on the way, wearing a face-covering is still mandatory unless you fall under one of the few exemptions outlined by the Government of Quebec.
The Government of Canada has outlined its recommendations for an appropriate face-covering online.
And. Cover. Your. Nose.
Rule #4: Personal Space
If you only take away one rule from this guide, let it be this: personal space.
Now more than ever, personal space on the metro is absolutely crucial. You're under layers of clothing and so is everyone else, can you think of anything worse than being crowded up against someone?
Rule #5: Personal Space!!!
Ok, I lied. You have to take away two rules.
But seriously, be respectful and respect others' personal space in the metro during the winter. With possibly more people taking the metro as the frost sets in, it's especially important to think about the space you occupy.
The STM recommends spreading out across metro platforms and within trains for optimal physical distancing.
Rule #6: Kindness is hotter than Guy-Concordia in January
We all have our issues but remember that kindness is always in fashion.
When we're in the metro, we're all literally in the same boat. Though there are a few bad apples that ruin it for everyone, following these simple principles of metro etiquette will guarantee you have a happy metro ride this winter.
Because honestly, we all need a little break from the stress.
With winter coming up, Montrealers are bracing themselves for their annual dose of Quebec winter depresso (seasonal sadness sounds cuter when you liken it to coffee, doesn't it?) — and sometimes there's nothing to do but swear about it.
When Quebec gets hit hard by winter — which inevitably happens every year — we usually begin the hibernation process, emerging only to enjoy sporadic winter activities, such as skiing or snowboarding, Nuit Blanche and Igloofest.
It's unknown whether winter sports will go on as normal this season, and no one's counting on winter festivals, so the only activities we can "look forward" to are the inevitable: falling on ice, cold hands and digging our cars out of heaps of snow.
While much is uncertain in the world right now, here's something we know for sure, as we anticipate the bitter chill of impending winter, curse words are going to come in handy.
And all Quebecers know, Québécois profanities are among the best in the world.
You may know all these French Canadian cusses if you were born and raised in la belle province. Feel free to use them alone or, if you're proficient, try combining them all into one fun sentence!
CrissJennifer Corklin | Dreamstime
Why You Need To Use It: This word is perfect for when you see the winter's first major snowfall. Directly translated to mean "Christ," the verb crisser can be used in a variety of expressions, like criss ton camp (GTFO).
TabarnakDusan Kostic | Dreamstime
Why You Need To Use It: Directly translated from a tabarnacle, a holy box where the host and blood of Christ are stored (it's wine), this word is perfect to use when you're struggling with trying to break the ice on your car's windshield or wheels.
Esti/OstieAstrid Gast | Dreamstime
Why You Need To Use It: This word can be uttered when Quebecers are slipping on icy winter sidewalks or trying to trek their way through the province's enormous snowbanks. Directly translated from the Catholic "host," it's perfect to use when the Quebec winter takes its toll on your daily activities.
CalisseJohnypan | Dreamstime
Why You Need To Use It: It's immensely satisfying to use this word after you've fumbled and gotten hurt due to harsh Quebec winters. Cut your finger on a sharp icicle? Calisse! Nostrils so cold you can feel their hairs freezing? Calisse!
Nique ta mèrePavel Biryukov | Dreamstime
Why You Need To Use It: Although this is technically a French swear term, it's widely used in Montreal's Arab communities.
For lack of a better explanation, this term means to engage in sexual activity with a person's mother, making it the perfect term to use when you get into a traffic dispute with an incompetent winter driver.
CiboireMarc Bruxelle | Dreamstime
Why You Need To Use It: This word is directly translated to mean ciborium, a container for the Catholic Church's host. It's a versatile word akin to the F-word, and you can pepper it onto any negative winter situation you may encounter in La Belle Province.
Pro tip: Add a "Saint" prefix to make Saint ciboire, the perfect replacement for "holy f**k!"
Esti de calisse de tabarnak!Masezdromaderi | Dreamstime
Why You Need To Use It: This combination is considered the "holy grail" of Quebec profanity. Although each word has a different meaning, you can use them all interchangeably and combine them to use in an extremely dire winter situation you may find yourself in.
Is your front door snowed in? Esti de calisse de tabarnak! Does your car struggle to start due to extreme winter weather in Quebec? Esti de calisse de tabarnak!