Montreal is such an enigma... we thrive in the winter when it comes to snowy activities and fearlessness of the cold.
But when it comes to icy sidewalks and unplowed streets, we're only human.
And it seems like Montrealers are at the end of their rope this week.
TL;DR Montrealers are just shy of using the salt from their own tears to clear the snow and ice off the city's roads and sidewalks. The tweets below show just how fed up people are with the dangerous conditions.
Of course, the city can't control the rollercoaster of weather events we've been having. With all the thawing and freezing, potholes and ice are inevitable. But with that said, as an urban community, we rely on higher-ups to protect us, in a way.
We don't have the power or resources to always keep ourselves safe, which is why we rely so heavily on the plow or the salt truck to come by promptly and regularly when the weather takes a turn.
This happened Jan 25th on St Jacques and Regent in NDG. 10 weeks off work. When the temperature drops below freezing you salt the sidewalks; anyone with half a brain knows that pic.twitter.com/RKLdvtxD5t— Nathan Gagne (@NathanGagne3) February 4, 2019
When the city lets us down, accident happen — like the broken bone pictured above.
And of course, we know this is just one case of likely dozens, especially when you consider seniors trying to maneuver through the madness of Montreal.
Slipped on an icy sidewalk and hit my head... #LaSalle— Lorr 333 (@Lorr333) February 7, 2019
Was walking down the sidewalk with my friend he fell and broke his 2 front teeth,definitely need more salt 🧂 .— yomairis (@yomairis16) February 5, 2019
Some injuries are worse than others, but any injury is cause for concern.
Winter is a tricky time for a lot of people... with the cold and lack of sun, it's easy to want to hide indoors. That desire increases tenfold when you realize you're walking into a minefield of potholes and black ice.
I'm appalled that no businesses seem to bother cleaning up the slush puddles on the inside of their stores. Could be my inner grandpa talking, but seems like lawsuits jes waiting to happen.— DownToYesGood (@GrenonMark) February 4, 2019
Like I mentioned above, it's not all on the city. While we must rely on the city of Montreal to deal with public property, much of the city is private property.
In Toronto, a by-law states that you must shovel your walk and the sidewalk adjacent to your property. This should be a rule of common courtesy, by-law or not.
Businesses, in particular, have the ability to make a real difference because they occupy much of the property that sees a high volume of foot traffic.
Thank you weather advisory.....just fell on my arse! Fuck! #montreal#weather#winter#fall#hurt#canada#world#ice# pic.twitter.com/TLRSwOmYbk— Carolyn Tremblay 🇨🇦 (@Carolyn21_t) February 7, 2019
If every storefront made it their mission to clear the sidewalk fully in front of their business, we'd have a much easier time getting around the Plateau and downtown.
Plus... it would likely help their businesses.
@Montreal LOVE Montreal and had an amazing weekend, but PLEASE clean your sidewalks...almost fell many times— Jackie Dean (@JackieMDean) February 3, 2019
In fact, it would likely help out our tourism, too.
People flock to Montreal and the province of Quebec in general during the wintertime because it's so magical and there's so much to do here when the snow falls.
But as the tweet above confirms, even if someone loves the city they're going to hate the constant fear of walking downtown!
There are ice-bottom lakes for sidewalks in front of daycares, seniors walking in traffic bc of said ice. Meanwhile, two city workers in this truck: one having a nap, the other reading a magazine. Break time? Only maybe. #ndg #montreal pic.twitter.com/ZNEkxQwd0q— Russ Cooper (@RussCooperMtl) February 8, 2019
@projetmontreal sidewalks in downtown Montréal are awful, covered in insanely thick ice (de la Gauchetière O). So much for the city’s « Let’s keep folks safe by snow removing! » I would’ve taken a photo but I was afraid I’d fall on my ass and end up in the emergency room. #fail— Zoe Koulouris (@zoek72) February 7, 2019
At the end of the day, though, it comes down to safety.
As an able-bodied person, I'm nervous at times walking down the icy sidewalk. I simply cannot imagine what it feels like if you rely on a cane or a motorized scooter to get around.
The city of Montreal is not accessible on every level summer winter the city is clueless , we pay good money to taxes for services we don’t get ... something is not right here— M (@mks129ca) February 5, 2019
So in a way, it does come back to the city and the tax dollars that we expect to see coming to life when the snow falls and the ice hits the streets.
Not to mention the potholes that are wrecking cars left and right. It's certain that there is no simple solution, but that doesn't mean we can't create a solution that works for the whole city.
Since the snow removal team I hired have sucked all winter and show up once in a blue moon getting in great shape shovelling snow— Strummerman 🇨🇦🇮🇹🍝🏒⚽️ (@Marp2057) February 4, 2019
And at the end of the day, we should all just try to be like @Strummerman above, and look at things on the bright side.
The sidewalks are deadly and icy, so here's your chance to take an old person's elbow and do your good deed for the day.
Until the city magically starts taking care of all the unwanted ice and snow, that's the best we can do for each other right now.