Maintaining Normalcy: A Seasonal Comparison of Lockdown in Montréal
A Moment of Rest. A woman finds a moment of rest in the Milton Parc Area. Wearing masks outdoors – as well as indoors – increasingly has become the norm.
Mundane Tasks. Daily tasks, such as grocery shopping, used to be a second thought. Now, a trip to the grocery store entails long lines, masks and hand sanitizer, and wiping down groceries. For some sectors of the population, such as the elderly, a trip to the grocery store can be a life-threatening occurrence each time.
“Ça va bien aller” (“It’s going to be okay”). In response to the pandemic, Montréalers started using the phrase “ça va bien aller” accompanied by paintings of colorful rainbows as an expression of solidarity among Quebecers. The message, seen in the windows of homes and businesses across the city, offers a sentiment of hope and optimism.
An almost unrecognizable Saint Laurent. Boulevard Saint Laurent, previously known as the central hub of Montréal’s thriving nightlife, has taken a dramatically different character. Most clubs along the street are boarded shut, temporarily or permanently closed due to the pandemic. Above, two women rest outside of Pizza Madonna, a classic late-night pizza joint which university students would frequent often.
Months later, the city’s lockdown still has not been lifted. The new imposition of an 8pm city-wide curfew has further impacted businesses, including those which relied heavily on late-night visitors along Saint Laurent.
Boarded up shop windows. Across the city, restaurants, stores, and cafes have gone out of business due to the pandemic. Certain businesses, such as clubs or bars, have been forced to shut indefinitely, and other restaurants or cafes continue to serve customers for take-out or delivery services only.
As the snow piles up and the days get shorter, the laws regulating restaurants and indoor dining remain the same. Six months later, Montréalers still have to rely on ordering out in order to support their favorite local restaurants.
Social interactions and dating in the time of a pandemic. The pandemic has dramatically changed the way friends socialize and how people go on dates. This couple sits separated on a park bench for a socially distanced catch up.
With stricter lockdown rules imposed, it is more difficult to interact with people from outside one’s household. Additionally, the cold winter temperatures make it more difficult to meet up with friends outdoors. Above, a woman builds a snowman in the square by herself, taking advantage of the freshly fallen snow.
Working from home… or outside. In the fall, with cafes closed and libraries shut, students and workers alike had to get creative with working from home. Above, a young man takes advantage of the beautiful weather and brings his laptop to the square.
Capturing the beauty of Montréal. A photographer strolls through Saint Louis Square, capturing the beautiful autumn colors.
Now, amidst the height of winter, Saint Louis Square is noticeably quieter, with less visitors eager to bear the chilly temperatures.
The Daily Commute. A man bikes past Saint Louis Square, taking advantage of a way to stay active while gyms remain shut.
Excursions around the city. While most things in the city remain closed, Montréalers still take advantage of strolling the beautiful streets.
With fewer leaves on the trees and several feet of snow, the streets of the city look more or less the same, albeit slightly emptier.
And in spite of all… the everyday continues. A passerby strolls by Marché Milton-Parc, a locally owned dépanneur and flower shop. In spite of the challenges small businesses have faced, this convenience store remains thriving, supplying Montréalers with their daily needs and selection of plants and flowers.
Now that the fall colors have come and gone, life in the city has adapted with the change of seasons. Although our lives have changed immensely since the start of the pandemic, many have tried to find small ways in their daily routines to maintain a sense of normalcy.