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As the Snow Flies Illustration by Patrick Doyon.

As the Snow Flies

Mim Kempson on how to survive a Montreal winter.

IT WAS A NOVEMBER AFTERNOON when I first saw confetti falling from the sky. I was sitting in a café off Mount Royal Avenue and I peered at the other patrons, assuming they’d share my bewilderment. They did not. My friend Sarah, who happened to be the barista, joined me as I rushed outside. Out on the sun-bathed street, I marvelled at the glittery specks that fell onto my face. “Félicitations,” Sarah ex- claimed. “C’est ta première neige!

IN THE MONTHS BEFORE I moved from Melbourne to Montreal, the technicalities of winter were often on my mind. My experience with snow was limited to Hollywood movie sets and news stories about polar vortexes. I had many questions: how do you walk without slipping? How do you stop snow from getting into your eyes? Would an umbrella work?

My friends and family didn’t make things any easier, regularly ...

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