Sunday, March 11, 2012

spring in montreal / sidewalk maintenance

The sky's blue. The snow's melting. There are sandwich boards on the sidewalks warning pedestrians of chutes de glace in French and ice falls in English. In this city, people often like to assume they're bilingual without actually checking how the other language works. What the sign means is that, with little warning, a great load of snow and ice can slide off the steep roofs in the older neighbourhoods in Montreal. Watch out.
Another sign of spring coming is that the street crews are salting the sidewalks--the way they often didn't during the winter when they were covered with treacherous bumpy ice. I can only assume that someone in city administration has decided that another dump of snow is so unlikely that they can finally use the salt and gravel they've been hoarding all winter.
This happens every spring. You don't believe me? Here's a picture of the sidewalk outside our house taken today when the temperature rose to 12C (53F) and the ice was melting all on its own.

What can I say? Up until Friday, I was skittering across the sidewalk on ice. Now the ice has melted and we've got salt.
Another more hopeful sign of spring are the crocus leaves spearing up through the mulch along the backyard fence.

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