Pop Culture

Jaywalking in Montreal - A Special Feature


By Hervé St-Louis
July 3, 2009 - 23:05

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Montreal has a greater density than most North American cities. Maybe that's why jaywalking is so widespread. It's only when leaving Montreal that you notice how much jaywalking goes on all the time.

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Notice the guy and the woman standing in the middle of the street like live bait. They are expert Montreal Jaywalkers!

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This is Sainte-Catherine Street near Peel in downtown Montreal. One of the busiest street corners in Canada.

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People are always walking on Sainte-Catherine Street for no apparent reason than to be seen, much like 17th Avenue in Calgary, or Yonge Street in Toronto.

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Except in Montreal, people take much greater care of their appearances.

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You'll noticed no one was paying attention to me because I was dressed as a Calgarian and therefore was beneath contempt.

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Ok, back to jaywalking. People in Calgary always ask me why I'm standing in the middle of the street. As you can all see, in Montreal, waiting for the light to change while waiting in the street is normal. It gives you a head start when jaywalking.

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But pay close attention. You have to be no more than one quarter with both feet in the street. Standing on the sidewalk is for tourists.

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When jaywalking you must be carefree. Notice that all these fine citizens are jaywalking on an obvious red light in the middle of McGill College and Sainte-Catherine, one of the most crowded street corner in the city normally full of traffic. While the light is obviously red the people to the foreground are still about to go on and cross the street - casually.

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Look at this man. He understands the jaywalking etiquette although a big red truck is about to road kill him, he is in no hurry to get off the road. When jaywalking you do not rush or run. You must be carefree. Also, notice the guy in the back with the white shirt gently jaywalking as if the light was green.

And that my friends is how you jaywalk in Montreal and fit in. Now imagine doing all of that during the Winter!


Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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