Winter is here! (And it's snow joke)
Dearest citizens of Concordia, as you’re probably well aware, winter has reared its cold, snowy head.
While some among you may have been overcome with childlike glee upon looking out at this week's prodigious snowfall, for others (most notably myself) these first days of Serious Wintertide tend to translate into the commuter’s version of Dante’s Inferno.
But while there is plenty of time to reflect upon the tilting of the earth’s axis as you traverse the seven layers of traffic Hell, winter is not all doom and gloom.
In fact, as a native Montrealer, I like to fancy myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to extracting warmth and joy out of the season. To this end, I have put together a handy list to help you do the same.
6 snowy-day tips for Concordians
1. Sort out your commute
Bookmark your local transit authority's website or make sure to download their app if they have one. Whether you're travelling by bus, train or metro, it's always a good idea to double-check that your chosen method of transportation is running on time (especially if it’s stormy).
Bad weather could mean possible delays, so this precautionary measure might save you from unnecessarily freezing your butt off while waiting for a bus that isn’t coming.
2. Go underground
No need to expose yourself to the blustery winds of winter: Montreal’s Underground City is a subterranean haven from the cold. With 32 km of tunnels that cover 12 square kilometers of the city’s downtown core, you can find everything you need without ever having to go above ground.
3. Head down ... hill
Sub-zero temperatures don’t scare you? Good. Skiing is a seasonal staple, and you’re missing out if you don’t take advantage of the fact that Montreal is ideally situated for day trips to nearby ski resorts.
Bromont is less than an hour’s drive from downtown and charges only around $56 for its night trails.
Mont Blanc, aka the place I broke my leg, is a little more than an hour away and boasts the second highest ski peak in the Laurentian region. Bonus: it costs $47 for a full day student ticket.
If you’re planning on skiing often but are limited in terms of cash flow there’s Saint Sauveur. Also close by, this mountain resort offers a dirt-cheap pass for $309 to skiers between 6 and 25 years old (valid all winter.)
4. Head up ... Mont Royal
For winter thrills even closer to campus, head up to Mont Royal. The park offers ice skating on Beaver Lake, as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails and tobogganing. If you don’t have your own gear, you can rent skis or skates or snowshoes at the Beaver Lake Pavilion.
Most public parks around the city also have outdoor skating rinks. For information on ice conditions, check the City of Montreal website.
5. Go for a bike ride
Yup, that's correct.
Just because it’s snowing doesn’t mean you have to put your bike away; invest in fenders, put on a pair of slick tires (which cut through slush and snow rather than riding on top of it) and keep your chain from becoming a winter casualty by coating it with cycle-specific winter lube.
6. Find a cozy place to enjoy a warm beverage
Who needs natural sunlight when you can drink chocolate? A cup of cocoa’s power to combat the winter blues cannot be underestimated.
Wondering what else to do on campus? Check out Concordia's Student Services.