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.