Montreal Ice Sculptures

by Joey deVilla on January 28, 2009

The first bit of the Gilles Vigneault song that every good Canadian high school student used to know goes like this: “Mon pays, ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver”. Translated from French, it means “My country is not a country – it’s the winter.” In Quebec, that’s very true.

The winter temperatures in Montreal dip considerably lower than they do here in Accordion City. Luckily for the Montrealers, their culture is descended from the one that invented joie de vivre, and as expected, they’ve managed to turn the cold into a party. In spite of the –25C (-13F) temperatures on Saturday night, Crescent Street had been closed to traffic for a street concert and dance party, which was shockingly well attended.

Another way Montreal took advantage of the cold was by putting ice sculptures everywhere. I took only a few pictures; had it been a little warmer – say a balmy –10C – I’d have taken more.

Here’s some corporate ice sculpting: an entire hockey game cast in ice, solely for the purpose of convincing people to drink Bud Light. I’m not so keen on the beer, but I love the statues:




One more pic: this guy and his crew were sawing large blocks of ice into bricks to form a wall around a restaurant not far from my hotel. They were doing all this at around 2:00 a.m. on a Saturday night, when the chill was so bad that every breath I took formed ice crystals on my beard.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew Louis January 28, 2009 at 1:11 am

Glad you grabbed photos. My hands were too cold to pull out of my jacket.

charmless January 28, 2009 at 3:22 am

Greetings from Saskatchewan, where we thank you for your nice pictures and call you “Wimp!” from the comfort of our regularly -50 windchill.

Sean January 28, 2009 at 8:50 am

Hockey theme + corporate ice sculptures (from an NHL sponsor) + Crescent street + outdoor concert in January = (methinks) the NHL All Star game. I don’t recall such an event (the Crescent street stuff, not the All Star Game) being a regular feature of winter here.

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