A Love Letter to Montreal

When I arrived in Montreal in fall of 2014, full of hope with a splash of  naïveté, I experienced the effortless beauty of the city around me with a general sense of awe and admiration. Interestingly enough, though it had the potential to be foreboding, this new city wasn’t all that threatening. Instead, Montreal became the personal playground of the incoming class of 2014. I think most of my friends would agree we paraded around Montreal as if was an extension of McGill – often to the dismay of the city’s inhabitants.

Montreal existed for a while in my frame of reference as a place synonymous with the McGill bubble. Looking back now, it seems it took me far too long to shatter this illusion. It finally struck me one day travelling back into Montreal mid-second year when the border patrol officer asked me the standard question, “where do you live?” I hesitated… I had always said Albany. But wait! I live in Montreal now. Montreal had become my home.

This transformation did not entirely solidify until the summer of 2017. Only then, the summer before my fourth and final year at McGill, did I travel further out though the veins of the city. I hunted down cannolis in Little Italy, tried (and failed) to assemble ingredients to cook with from Jean Talon market. I actually understood my way around downtown and into Old Port. I found new restaurants to eat at besides Chef on Call. It struck me then that these other pockets of Montreal weren’t even so far out from my original *bubble.* How did I wait so long to explore them? I’ll never know.

Montreal is an absolutely gorgeous place. Ranked fourth best student city in the WORLD according to the QS Rankings in 2018, Montreal held the crown for #1 in 2017, dethroning Paris. The factor that supposedly gave Montreal the winning edge in 2017 was reported student opinion and experiences. We have SO much fun in this city – almost too much fun.

While many of my peers, including myself, have scattered out across the globe from where we came and beyond, Montreal will remain near and dear to our hearts. No matter where you are in your McGill journey, feel lucky to call Montreal your home for however long you do so – you’re in one of the reigning top five best student cities in the world!


Information obtained from: https://www.topuniversities.com/city-rankings/2018

Images obtained from: Emily Van De Loo

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