Lifestyle

12 things you need to do before being considered a Montrealer

Being a Montrealer isn’t all that easy (although, fall is a possible exception), and being officially known as a Montrealer involves far more than simply having a 514 area code. Here are the rites of passage you need to go through before you move from resident to native...

1. Master the art of driving through endless construction

From large potholes in the middle of the street, to orange cones lined up around the busy highway roads, there’s no doubt about the chaotic mess that’s causing an abundance of traffic in the city. The trick is to navigate it without having a mental breakdown...

2. Visit the lookout on Mont Royal

Whether it be going on a romantic first date to see the view of the city from atop, or just being a spectator to a family of raccoons methodically attempting to klepto people’s fries, the look out on Mont Royal has been a Montrealer’s favourite go-to chill spot in the city.

3. Barhop on St. Laurent Blvd till closing time, then feast on $2 chow mein

If you haven't at least once had a night out of town barhopping from one bar to the next on the strip of St. Laurent till closing time, then you must be living under a rock. And probably not a rock located in Montreal. This town's nightlife made the list on CNN’s Top Nightlife Cities ranking in as lucky number 7. After a night of social overdrive and alcohol intake, it's an unspoken tradition to finish the night right by satisfying your appetite with $2 chow mein at Chez Mein. Don’t forget to add the peanut butter sauce.

4. Protest, or be a casual spectator to it

As Montrealers, we're a passionate demographic and there's no surprise that Montrealers channel their passion into protesting for their beliefs. From the rise of tuition hikes to pension protests, if you're not part of the protesting, you need to be at least a casual spectator to it and refrain from causing a "hissy fit".

Merci bucket
Katherine Sehl

5. Adopt Quebecois swearing into your everyday lingo

Like it or not, swearing expressions like "tabarnak" and (gasp!) "esti de calisse" will undoubtedly become part of your everyday lingo. And it will be awesome.

6. Learn the art of Montreal jaywalking

We're all fond of jaywalking. Every Montrealer knows it's illegal, but we still do it nonetheless. And if you're a true Montrealer, you've at least committed this oh-so-taboo act on a regular basis (even if you received a ticket for it).

7. Casually withstand our brutal winters

Montreal weather is pretty bipolar, and our winters are especially brutal, which is why in order to be considered a Montrealer, you need to be able to withstand the winter weather. While you can go ahead and complain about it, you’ll need to prep yourself in advance and grow a tough skin. Because a true Montrealer will BBQ in the cold weather.

8. Learn to love poutine

Honestly, this is the easiest one on the list.

9. Go on a shopping spree in the underground city

At one point or another, Montrealers are guilty of spending their pay cheque in the underground mall in the heart of Downtown -- possibly because of the great shopping, or possibly because the world above ground has frozen over.

10. Take part in one of the many free festivals that run through the summer

From witnessing murals come to life at the street art festival, to a series of free live bands being played at Jazz Fest, to a variety of festivals that embrace the multiculturalism of the city, Montrealers know that summer means free fun times and endless street food. Which is why they know better than to plan their entire month's vacation away from the city.

11. Experience the STM in all its unstable glory

Every Montrealer will admit, our metro system isn't exactly in tip-top shape. But you do need to take it (unless you love hunting down a single parking spot for a hour). Thankfully, there is a cure for the frustrations it creates.

12. Visit the Old Port for a quaint taste of the City

From horse-drawn carriages to cobblestone streets and European-inspired restaurants with beautiful terrasses, if you want to experience the quaint side that the city has to offer, the Old Port is the place to be. Sure, tourists go there, but any true Montrealer has to, as well.