It’s our turn, Montreal.
After Making a Case for Living in Calgary made us swoon over their growing employment opportunities, Making a Case for Living in Toronto reminded of us of their world-class arts and entertainment culture, and Making a Case for Living in Vancouver reminded us of how much we miss the ocean, we still knew living in La Belle Province’s most eclectic city is as good as it gets in this country.
After all, Montreal is edgy, emotional, European, and exciting. (The four Es, if you will).
It’s not just our beautiful women and killer poutine – though they definitely help – that give Montreal a joie de vivre far more notable than any other Canadian city.
It’s so much more.
So forget what you’ve heard about potholes, Pastagate, and the Charbonneau Commission and keep reading to find out all the reasons living here is the best choice you’ll make in your young professional life.
We’re Experts in the Food Department
When it comes to culinary excellence, our food scene’s got you covered.
Yes, we make kick-ass poutine (La Banquise, anyone?), and there’s no question we kill it in the bagel department (St. Viateur and Fairmont Bagels, we’re looking at you). Same goes for our smoked meat, maple syrup, steamies… you get the point.
Whether you’re rolling in dough or penny pinching to pay rent, with THE highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada, you’re bound to find something tasty to nosh on no matter what your budget is.
From McMillan and Morin to Chuck Hughes, Normand Laprise, and Martin Picard, we’ve got big names cooking up big things.
After all, there’s a reason Montreal attracts foodies from around the world. Just ask Anthony Bourdain.
We Throw Great Parties
Simply put, Montreal’s party circuit is nothing short of legendary.
For one, every ‘hood has its signature watering hole.
So if it’s barhopping in the Mile End, getting wild in one of the Main’s supper-clubs or eating and partying the night away in an Old Port hotspot that tickles your fancy, there’s nightly fun for all – rain or shine, through heat waves and deep freezes, whipping winds, and the odd ice storm, we always keep the party going.
But our parties don’t just live between dusk and dawn. We’re famous for our festivals, too.
There’s the Grand Prix, the Montreal Jazz Fest, Just for Laughs, and the FrancoFolies, which attract a slew of celebrities to our streets and stages. There’s also Osheaga, ILESONIQ, Igloofest, and La fête des neiges, which take you from the peak of summer right through to the dead of winter and back around again.
Whatever your passion, Montreal probably has a party or festival that celebrates it.
We’re Not Afraid of the Great Outdoors
No matter the season, enjoying the great outdoors is in our nature, and we pride ourselves on being able to laugh in the face of extreme weather, from +400C to -400C.
Want to hang out in a park? We’ve got tons. The most famous one happens to be nestled inside of a mountain located smack-dab in the middle of our “centre-ville.” We’re talking about Mount Royal Park people, where one can jog, walk their dogs, engage in medieval sword fighting, or hit up a weekly drum-circle.
If cycling’s how you get around, you’re in luck. Everyone knows Quebec roads can get sketchy real at times. But have no fear, our extensive network of bike paths is here to get you anywhere you need to be, in one piece.
As for hitting the slopes; unless you’re on cross-country skis, Mount Royal may seem a little flat. But if you drive out of the city for an hour or two, prepare for double diamond heaven.
Though our hills may not top Banff’s sprawling skyline, they sure do the trick when there’s 30cm of fresh “pow” on the ground.
We’re a Budget-Friendly City
From real estate and transport, to food and free entertainment, Montreal wins in the affordability department.
Housing is almost twice as affordable than what you’d find in many other major North American cities. So if you’re in the market to rent or buy, expect to get more bang for your buck here than in Vancouver, Calgary, or the T-Dot.
And despite the odd transit strike, we’ve to give the STM credit for the fine job they do at getting us from point A to point Z without draining our bank accounts…eat it, TTC.
Sure, people complain about the unemployment rate, but this is a grievance aired by many Canadians (fine, other than Calgarians).
Either way, there’s a ton of free and fun things to do. Enjoy a piano concerto in the park, take in a fireworks show on a terrace, hit up the Redpath Museum, toboggan down Murray Hill.
If you’re looking to do it, you can do it in Montreal.
We Speak Our Own Language
Franglais, Frenglish, linguistic schizophrenia… whatever you want to call it, one thing’s for sure: when it comes to communicating, Montrealers like to freestyle it.
Whether you’re grabbing beer from the “depanneur,” planning a “cinq-a-sept,” or taking the “metro,” chances are you’ve confused an out-of-towner at some point.
If you’re fully bilingual, you’ve probably also mixed up metaphors as you’ve spoken them aloud; or subconsciously – heck, even purposely – uttered a multilingual sentence or two in your lifetime.
Language laws aside, we’re unique for many reasons and the odd ways in which we express ourselves is just one of them.
We’ve Got the Habs
Let’s be honest. Toronto might win in the hoops department (by default, really), but when it comes to Canada’s game, no team on either side of the border trumps les Canadiens.
Sure, a black shadow may cast itself upon our city when we lose. But when we win a playoff game, you can hear the mayhem in the streets from miles away.
It’s called passion – a feeling that’s instilled in every one of us who live in this awesome metropolis.
It’s an attitude we apply to all aspects of local life. And this passion, or joie de vivre, is just another reason why we can’t think of a better place to call home.
Cover image from: istock.com/AlbertPego