18 November 2012
I’m sitting here by the window in our new home on Rue Cartier, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal. It’s a lovely place to be. I watch the world outside – the squirrels on the branches of the leafless trees, old ladies with their shopping carts rugged up and walking down our quiet street, kids skating home from school. It’s 4pm and the sun is setting, and it’s about -5 degrees out there. Winter doesn’t officially arrive for another month which worries me. The temps will just keep dropping, until they hit the occasional -30 that we’ve heard about in the dead of winter, but that shouldn’t happen until mid January. Oh dear. It feels different here though, and I like it. It smells different, and looks different, and sounds different. When I first arrived here on the 27th October the last of the yellow autumn leaves were just hanging on. Within a week they were on the ground, brown and dry. Seems like we just missed the famous autumn colours of East Coast Canada but not by much. I finally feel a little culture shock after all, this IS Quebec though, a French-Canadian province.
We haven’t felt it to be too much trouble getting on without speaking a drop of french. Most people here are bi-lingual which is helpful, but I really do hope we pick up a little before too long. We’re living in a cute french speaking neighbourhood called Le Plateau Mont Royal, where the streets are characterised by brightly-coloured houses with wrought iron stairways, cafés, book shops, and a laissez-faire (‘let us be’) attitude. It’s a bit hip, but it still feels like theres a community vibe here. Best of all though is that EVERYTHING we need is just a short walk away, and we can buy all our groceries from locally run stores at the end of our street.
As an introduction here’s some pictures of our new home. In order of appearance: downtown, Parc La Fontaine, our new home, last of the famous Tam Tam drum circle for the season, Mont Royal and view over downtown, Old Montreal, and the Old Port.