Houses and murals I’ve walked by for months suddenly popped as if the city turned Technicolour.
Neighbours magically appeared (I wasn’t sure we had any) and sat reading on their door stoop, held vocal practice on their balcony, and planted flowers in their tiny front yards.
Bike paths became highways (I learned the hard way to look both ways before crossing).
The sound of piano floated out an open window six doors down. Guitar the street behind. Violin two blocks over.
The gelato place around the corner opened, offering Chocolate Ginger and addictive Pistachio.
Parc Lafontaine became a quilt of picnickers and sunbathers and students and people who looked like they probably weren’t scheduled for a meeting in the park at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
“Just wait until spring,” Montrealers said to me in January (and February and March and April). “There’s no other place you’ll want to be.”
Now I know what they’re talking about. And they’re right.
Spring fever in Montreal, after a long, hard winter, is highly contagious.
We live in Le Plateau (a friend’s ex-girlfriend’s mother – say that five times fast – had a place to rent). It’s a beautiful, mostly French area of Montreal known for its wrought iron staircases, brightly coloured houses, cafés, restaurants, and as the childhood home of writers Michel Tremblay and Mordecai Richler (both set many stories in the Plateau of the 1950s and 60s). Although now much gentrified, it’s still the home of and inspiration for many writers and artists. Here’s a few more pics…