New to Montreal

I just moved to Montreal with my brother Ellis after graduating University in Barbados with a Bachelors of Commerce and a Masters in Consumer Behavior. I never thought I’d find myself living in a French city, given that I have never spoken a word of French in my life but Ellis insisted that this is where we will build our lives. The first day we arrived we decided to get familiar with this new cultural city so we took a guided tour of the city. The fun facts that surrounded this metropolitan city astounded me to a point where we took a second tour in the same day. The tour brought us through the downtown streets to the old port and back. All I can say after spending 10 hours learning about this city is… “Wow”! As the tour progressed Ellis and I were keeping our eyes open for the best condo Montreal can offer, but the beautiful scenery had us turning our heads more than being front row at a Victoria Secret fashion show.

            As a writer and a general fact enthusiast, Montreal spoke to me. Montreal was incorporated in 1832; it is the second largest city in Canada after Toronto. The population of metropolitan Montreal is 3,824,221 people. Montreal is among the top 5 largest French speaking cities in the world. Montreal is an island. There are 9 bridges surrounding the island of Montreal and 68 metro stations over four lines that bring you around the city. There are 11 university level institutions in including four that are world-class. Students pay some of the cheapest tuition in Canada. Students that were born in Quebec pay some of the cheapest University tuitions in the world.

            As lovely as Montreal is in the summertime it is the winter season that really tests your dedication to this city. It doesn’t just get cold; it freezes out all the haters. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Montreal was -37.8 C on January 15, 1957. The record low with wind-chill was -49.1 C on January 23. 1976. On average there are 12 days per year with a wind chill below -30 C and one day per year with a wind-chill below -40 C. On average it snows 60 days a year in Montreal. It rains on average every month of the year too. The largest single day record for snowfall was 43 cm’s on March 4, 1971, that’s 17 inches of fluffy white snow. I’d like to see someone from Barbados grasp the idea of walking down the street with snow up to your waist. On the contrary, the record high temperature was 39.6 C on August 1, 1975. The humid-ex reading that day was 46.8C. When it comes to weather, Montreal see’s the extremes of hot and cold.

            A big part of the reason I wished to come to Montreal was for the history and culture. Ellis however, is a big foodie and the second he heard that Montreal has the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada and the second highest in North America after New York City, he did not need any more. In fact, he’s been to Schwartz’s deli 3 times in 2 days. He’s going to love it here… And I’m getting the feeling that I will too.

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