Montreal in winter? Boston residents dream of it. here's why

Montr‘l in winter? Boston’s residents dream of it. Here's why

The metropolis is the talk of our American neighbours. Boston residents would envy the vitality and vibrancy that Montreal manages to retain in the dead of winter, when the mercury is stuck in the negative and freezing cold envelopes the city.

Bostonians would not enjoy the joys of the white season as much as we do and should be more inspired by the Montreal model, argues Boston Globe journalist, Christopher Muther.

“Listen to Boston! Montreal is ready to show you how to embrace winter, rather than avoid it,” he titled in an article published Thursday, after being won over by Montreal’s winter experience.

Fun skating as part of Luminothérapie, the Montréal en Lumière festival or even the Nuit Blanche event: the American journalist is impressed by the list of attractions offered to Montrealers in the middle of winter. In comparison, Boston would, in his view, pale in comparison.

“Quebecers don’t hibernate when temperatures dip below zero and even – 20. I saw it head-on, with my own frost-covered eyes. Residents ice-skated when it was well below freezing, chefs had fun with ingredients harvested across Quebec, and the grand downtown avenue displayed art and light activities to illuminate the long cold nights and draw people outside,” he marvels.

But more than a long list of activities to participate in, it is above all the attitude of Montrealers, the way in which they seem to have appropriated winter, which arouses admiration in Christopher Muther. Assisted by urban planner Olivier Legault, over a coffee, he tries somehow to put a word on the object of his admiration. “Winterity? Nordicity? Wintertude? What does it matter!”

Why is Montreal a hit?

Olivier Legault, who is project coordinator at Rues Principales, an organization that is part of the Laboratoire de l’hiver, explains to him.

“When you go through the academic literature on winter design, it’s all about light and comfort, justifies the specialist. It has to be fun. People need to be rewarded for going out. There has to be magic.”

Winter magic…precisely what the Bruins town seems to lack.

Back home, and with the release of his article, Christophe Muther intends to change things. He would like to import a little of this je ne sais quoi observed during his stay in Montreal. He also appeals to the planners of Boston:

“Perhaps the planners of Boston could look to Montreal and borrow some ideas? Please?” he pleads.

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