We’re not going to hide it, Quebec and Canada are well-known for their epic winter. Like the singer Gilles Vigneault, a great singer from Quebec, says, “My country, is not a country, it is the winter” (as in the famous Quebecer song).
But Montreal, is much more than that!
Sure, it can snow from October to April, but summers are also very hot. Don’t be impressed to have +35°C when you get here in August, and come very close to -35°C a couple months later!
Even if those icy temperatures can scare you, you have to know that the winter in Montreal is very dry. So you may have -15°C, no wind, the sun shining, and you may even be warm under your coat! On the other hand, summer is very humid, with heat waves that can become quickly suffocating.
It is for this reason that you will always here Quebecers talk in percieved temperature : with wind chill in winter (the windier it is, the colder you feel), and humidex during summer (the more humid, the hotter you feel).
To survive these extreme temperatures, Montrealers created an underground town! More than 30km of underground “walkways” link the most important residential and commercial buildings of downtown Montreal around a maze of shopping malls. Consequently, it’s possible to go shopping without getting out in the cold even once.
Nevertheless, there’ll always be those who say that there are 4 seasons in Montreal: “It’s already winter”, “Winter”, “It’s still winter”, and “The season of construction work” (the majority of the construction work takes place during summer).
Sure, in 2014, we reached -38°C perceived in Montreal, but it’s not always like that!
Usually, it snows for the first time in October or November, and the snow finally stays on the ground in December, so Christmas is usually white!
The coldest months are January and February, with temperatures that vary a lot from one day to the other.
Another common problem of the winter in Quebec is the lack of light. Indeed, the sun often sets before 5pm. Going to your classes and coming back in the dark may be depressing for some people… we hope that our activities will cheer you up! 😉
The first beautiful days come back in March and snow starts to melt. The last traces disappear before May.
While temperatures are negative during the night and positive during the day, the sap “climbs up” in the trees and Quebecers rush to the maple groves (sugar shacks) to “sugar up their lips”.
Mother Nature is usually criticized during that period, alternating warm days with snow storms.
Don’t be surprised to see Quebecers lightly dressed once the sun comes out! After months of snow, you too will go out in shorts and t-shirt as soon as temperatures will be slightly above 0°C!
The first heat waves arrive in June, and they become more frequent in July.
Montreal enjoys a warm and sunny climate, favouring the sweet doing nothing and making you want to join all the festivals offered in the city.
A part from the tanning sessions in several parks across the island (of Montreal) or on the riverbanks of the St-Laurent river, Montrealers enjoy the amusement park La Ronde or the attractions of the Old Port .
The Indian summer (été indien as in the famous French song) can show up until the end of September
Trees feature their famous red and orange colors at the end of September.
Quebecers take advantage of this season to go walking in the woods and go apple-picking in several orchards across the Province.
The hockey season also starts during this time of the year!