5 ways to spot spring in Montreal

The long winter receded with April's gradual thaw, and now the May flowers are beginning to pop up all over the city.

April showers have brought May flowers after a long winter

The snow has melted at last, and Montreal has survived the thaw. It's time for sunny days and colourful blossoms. (Submitted by Christine Latreille)

Spring has sprung in Montreal, and while it can't be 24 degrees every day, the warm weather is positively here to stay.

The long winter receded with April's gradual thaw, and now the May flowers are beginning to pop up all over the city.

1. Blooms

Flowers mark the first sign of spring (on this list anyway), and they serve as perhaps the most visceral reminder that sunnier days are on the way.

The purple blossoms of the perennial scilla have popped up in the woods in Mont Royal Park and are brightening up lawns across the city. (Submitted by Annick Landreville)

Bright colours dot gardens, parks and street corners, as wildflowers and tulips begin to bloom.

For Montrealers who have grown used to seeing a monochrome of white and grey for the last few months, patches of bright green grass and vibrant petals are a much-needed dose of colour.

Scilla are the first wildflowers to emerge in Montreal, signalling spring in this Montreal garden. (Submitted by Giang Nguyen Huong)

2. Bare arms

This is a city full of people that love the feel of warm sun on their skin.

As soon as the sun comes out, Montrealers ditch the coats, jackets and sleeves.

And who can blame them? 

It's not too early to lay a blanket out in the park and start working on this season's tan.

3. Birds

The songs of birds that have returned to Montreal, nestled in branches and perched on window ledges and fire escapes, are a certain sign that spring has arrived.

If you're lucky, or you happen to have a stash of tasty birdseed, you might even get up close to one of our feathered friends.

4. Balls restored

The rainbow balls strung across a kilometre-long stretch of Ste-Catherine Street East signal the start of May in the Gay village.

The rainbow balls get strung up in the Gay village just as April wanes — a staunch indicator that the last of the winter weather is over with. (Kristy Rich/CBC)

The moment the strings of 200,000 colourful balls go up, you can bet that's the last we'll see of winter storms and ice.

The balls stay up all summer, through Montreal Pride and into September. The street is also blocked off between St-Hubert Street and Papineau Avenue.

5. Bikes everywhere

While some Montrealers brave the icy streets as avid winter cyclists, the majority of people hop back on their bikes once the snow is gone and the winter's grit has been swept away. 

The urban bike paths are scenic trails full of cycling enthusiasts taking in the fresh air and getting a little exercise during their daily commute.

Bixi stands have also cropped up, offering the casual cyclist a chance to hit the road, as well.

Bixi is back, and users can be seen zipping around from one place to the next — a sure sign of spring in the city. (Charles Contant/CBC)

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