I love living in Montreal, but winter here is The Worst. It is cold, the days are short, I pay more in a single Hydro bill than I do for the entire spring and summer combined – and the state of the sidewalks sucks.
I can layer up, I can get a light therapy lamp, and I can budget for increased expenses – but I can’t control precipitation and fix Montreal’s sidewalk infrastructure. So, to try and cope with what I can’t change, I’ve decided to reframe my walk to work as an outdoorsy adventure – all that’s missing is a ski lift!
(Note: after a freezing rain storm, +1 difficulty applies to every street)
To determine the ratings, I took the following questions under consideration:
- How flat (or steep) is the street?
- Does the sidewalk get cleared of snow and ice in a timely manner? (-1 difficulty)
- Have I ever been afraid of slipping in this area? (+1 difficulty)
- Have I ever slipped and bailed in this area? (automatic diamond rating)
What do you think? I didn’t take into consideration human traffic when I made these ratings – do you think I should have? Have I underestimated the difficulty of your own commute? Do you have a story to share about that time you did a half-split (but saved your coffee!) while walking on a perfectly flat but perfectly icy road? Leave a comment below!
Map by Sophie Cousineau, based on McGill University campus maps