Aside from my bias affection for Toronto (which has wavered over the past few years, to be honest), Montreal is my favourite Canadian city. It has European charm and 1960s-1970s grit. The subway system is concrete and cold, and looks like a bomb shelter. And the subway cars – well, I’ll stop myself before I start making endless references to their toy-like structure.
But I love Montreal’s character, especially in the winter: the small apartment buildings with winding, colourful staircases covered in snow; the big beautiful blue lanterns on St. Laurent; the crowds of university students who were unfazed by the weather and dressed up on a Saturday night; the hole-in-the-wall diners that serve hot beans to warm your belly; and the street graffiti.
I visited Montreal during an incredibly cold weekend and took some pictures before my fingers froze.