As I was gathering my excitement after agreeing to write for this website, I started thinking about the different subjects I could address. The one subject that I had to start with was Montreal city itself: what is Montreal? Why do we love Montreal? What makes Montreal so great? I started messaging friends and asking them their opinions and interests about Montreal. Here is a gathering of all the answers I received.
First and foremost, the best answer I got was: “Montreal is great simply because we have you living here…” Ok, ok, so it wasn’t the best answer!
Some said they loved Montreal because it’s the home of the infamous HABS! Others said they love it because of the poutine and the beautiful women. One thing almost everyone mentioned was that Montreal was great because of its multiculturalism and diversity. One said: “Montreal is a cultural melting pot where different cultures coexist together to give it its uniqueness”. Sure, it’s officially a bilingual city, but it is most probable that when you go to the bank, the teller will be able to answer you in Greek. When you go to the garage, the mechanic will probably be Armenian. If you need a taxi, the driver will probably be Arab. When you call to get some construction done around the house, the person who answers will probably be Italian.
The Food & Culture
Someone commented: “Wherever I’ve been in the world, I always wanted to get back to Montreal to finally EAT! You can eat your way around the world just by staying in Montreal.” Whatever type of food you are craving for, you will definitely find it here! Thai, Chinese, Lebanese, Italian, Armenian, Haitian, Afghan, Indian, Greek…something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. We all come from different places and backgrounds and we have different beliefs and cultures. One striking importance is that we are tolerant of each other and are open to new ideas, and to our advantage, we learn about different cultures without having to travel.
Our Lifestyle and Nightlife
Now how about the night life we have? HELLOOOOO! Do they not come from abroad to enjoy the night life of Montreal? Do we not hear it all the time that our night life rocks? People partying until 3 AM, running around on the streets, rain or shine, winter or summer. And how about the dozen or so restaurants that are open late so we can go fill up our breadbaskets after all that drinking? Montrealers do not sleep before 5-6 AM on weekends. In the mood for jazz? We have relaxing jazz bars. You want to sing? How about a karaoke bar? You just want to hang out with friends? How about a shisha lounge or a bar to frequent?
It is also important to mention the numerous events and festivals that we have. Just to name a few: Montreal International Jazz Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Francofolies, Vues d’Afriques and Montreal Fireworks Festival.
Onto the beauty of Montreal, one of my favorite places is the Old Port. I can go there for hours every day and not get bored of just walking around and sitting near the water. So many different activities and terraces to enjoy. It is always full of people and music. Also, how wonderful is the view from the top of Mount Royal and how relaxing is it to lie down on the hill after a barbeque at Beaver Lake? Just picture it; long romantic walks, watching the sun rise from the top of the mountain, taking a break from a busy life, reminiscing with friends…
Social and Political Aspects
An important point that was brought up is our freedom. Our voices can be echoed throughout the world, not just Montreal, with the amount of power we have here as individuals.
Other important facts that we can not forget are our free healthcare system and our amazing education system. We can all agree that both are cheaper than in the States and it is very easy for students to get financial help from the government. As a matter of fact, you can get financial help for any type of personal or professional project. In Montreal, where there’s a will, there is always a way!
One person said: “sure we pay a lot of taxes, sure people screw with our tax money and yes people who shouldn’t be on welfare keep getting it, but on the other hand we can all agree that those who really need help also get it.” We have shelters and many different wonderful organizations that help the ones in need, making sure that people are not starving or sleeping on the streets.
Finally, as someone mentioned: “Give these few words to anyone on the planet with a half brain and they will say hey that’s Montreal! St-Catherine street, Crescent, Peel pub, the Old Port, hot sesame bagels 24 hours a day, poutine, smoked meat, the Jazz fest, and last but not least… hockey!”
So yes we have a ton of pot holes on the streets and sure we pay a lot of taxes, but for all the amazing points brought up here…Montreal is great nonetheless and it’s our home!