Photo: Awana JF/Shutterstock

23 Signs You Were Born and Raised in Montreal

by Kimberley Jeane Feb 3, 2016

1. You say “Bonjour, Hi!”

Even though no Quebec politician would dare speak the truth and say that Montreal is truly a bilingual city, this greeting defines you as a Montrealer. To you, “Bonjour, Hi!” is more than just a greeting – it’s publicity for courteous, bilingual customer service and a snark attack on the OQLF.

2. The HABS are your boys

The HABS are sacred. They are your boys whether you like hockey or not. Even if you move away, they’re still your team. No one messes with the HABS. Plus, you can brag about 5 buts = 8 ailes. Do other hockey teams allow their cities to enjoy one of the best pig out foods for free? Mais non! Bravo, La Cage aux Sports!

3. You speak en deux langues at the same fois

First you grew up speaking more French at school, then when you finally got used to it, they switched the programs to include more English. And nowadays, you better watch out what you say and write otherwise the OQLF may bust you. Hence, you don’t know quoi parler anymore. Vive le Franglais!

4. You can swear perfectly in both languages

Your English may not be as good as your French, or your French not as good as your English. But you’re still proud to be bilingual and if something ticks you off, you recite a freaking good rant à la Montréalais, ‘sti.

5. You know the value of a real Montreal poutine

Disco fries, cheese curd fries and other imitations from the US or other provinces do NOT qualify as real poutine. Real poutine is made in La Belle Province. You’ll line up at Poutineville or at La Banquise just to have those crisp fries, stringy cheese curds and mouth-watering gravy. Bonus points if you’re there at 4 a.m.

6. You know the seasons as almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction

Old joke, but it really is always “white season” or “orange season” out there. Construction season never ends. The forecasts for the number of rue barrées, entrée barrées, sortie barrée and détours are unpredictable and change minute-by-minute. A street without bright orange traffic cones looks so strange.

7. You’ve used an app to understand parking signs

Of all the driving frustrations, one of the ones in the city occurs when your car is not even moving. Parking sign confusion leads to more wasted time than actually finding a parking spot. The P$ Mobile Service app is your best friend when it comes to decoding badly written, mistranslated or just plain confusing parking signs.

8. The -30°C winter doesn’t stop you from having fun

The best things happen on the coldest days, but you know that staying indoors and missing the fun would be silly. There is no way you will miss Montréal En Lumiere, Nuit Blanche or IglooFest. And if your friends want to drive “up north” to Mont Tremblant to ski or snowboard, you’re game.

9. You call anything over 5°C “warm” and run outside in shorts

And call all your friends saying “Hey, let’s hit Le Bilboquet for some ice cream and have lunch on an outdoor terrasse!”

10. When you go to Toronto, you roll your eyes at the way they party

Like, it’s only 2 a.m., why are you asking us to leave? We just got here, and we didn’t pre-drink for this!

11. You’ve stopped looking at STM schedules

If only they would add the things that matter, like how long you’ll have to wait outside in the broken bus shelter while the bus driver drinks his coffee in the bus three feet away, or which metro line will be “en panne” today.

12. You’ve memorized the metro PA announcements

And you know that everything between “attention” and “d’autres messages suivront” will either be incomprehensible, about some kid trying to jump off the platforms, or about “service interruption” on the green or orange lines.

13. You believe all visitors from out-of-town MUST go to Schwartz’s and St. Viateur

You still can’t believe that most of the world has never heard of smoked meat. And they are so wrong about having eaten good bagels before.

14. You show off the Musique Plus station

In the 90s, you “accidentally” walked behind the Musique Plus cameras just to say you’ve been on an episode of Bouge de là ! or bragged to your friends that you shared some screen time with Véro Cloutier. Now, you show the studio to your friends who visit from out-of-town and tell them that this is where people came to get a real-life glimpse of Janet Jackson, Pink, Madonna, Britney Spears and other stars.

15. You jaywalk with impunity

And you’re proud to say that you NEVER get fined for it. You know it’s safer to jaywalk than to wait for the green light!

16. You eat different cultural meals in a week because you can

And you take advantage of the the many affordable and to-die-for cultural eateries like Boustan, Piri-Piri, Carlos & Pepe’s, and the bakeries in Chinatown.

17. You take tourists on a “Céline Dion” tour

You proudly show off the Notre-Dame Basilica and eat out at Nickel’s. You top it off by going to the Grévin Wax Museum and taking pictures with the immortalized version of Céline.

18. You know what the “Shatner building” is

And you talk about it like it’s some cool Star Trek shrine instead of a boring university centre. Either way, you’re proud that someone from Star Trek comes from your city.

19. You pronounce it MUNtreal, not MON-Tree-All

And not Mahn-treal. It may be the Canadian way of pronouncing it, but it baffles you that people can pronounce Versailles, Cairo, and La Jolla, but have trouble pronouncing our internationally renowned city of Montreal.

20. You’ve celebrated Canada Day by moving out

In other words, you’ve bribed friends with free beer and pizza for them to carry a refrigerator up and down a narrow spiral staircase on one of the sunniest and hottest days of the year.

21. You like to rire

You worship Sugar Sammy’s unilingual ads in the metro, and you know that the best jokes are 50.5% English and 49.9% French. You get a kick out of jokes about the province’s laws, politics, and even those against your own ethnic group and don’t take them personally. Quebecers can’t take a joke, but Montrealers can!

22. You’ve taken or gone on a date to the Belvédère lookout

With the city and its glimmering lights laid out before you like a beautiful mural, you know things will heat up once you get to the best lookout on top of Mont Royal, especially by nightfall.

23. You can’t get enough of the Montreal skyline

You feel a breath of fresh air and know you’re really home when you see the string of distinct skyscrapers and the famous rotating light on top of Place Ville Marie. Every Montrealer can recognize their city’s skyline; the beautiful view just never gets old.

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