Batman spotted helping Montrealers dig cars out of snow

Batman has a bit of a sore back this weekend after shovelling cars out of the snow for several hours Thursday in Montreal's Rosemont borough.

About five hours of shovelling took its toll on the caped crusader, who is more often seen helping sick kids

Mehdi Bennani Smires has been the co-owner of MJ Anim’Action for six years and Thursday decided to suit up as Batman to help people struggling in the snow. (courtesy Bennani Smires Mehdi)

Batman has a bit of a sore back this weekend after shovelling cars out of the Montreal snow for several hours on Thursday.

A devastating storm covered southern Quebec on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving residents struggling to get around later in the week.

Sidewalks were treacherous and many cars were encased by about 40 centimetres of snow.

But the owners of children's entertainment company MJ Anim'Action saw it as an opportunity to brighten people's day.

They decided to send Batman to the rescue.

"We went into all the side streets to find people who were trying to get rid of snow and when we found a person who was working we helped them right away," MJ Anim'Action co-founder Mehdi Bennani Smires told CBC News.

The duo stayed close to their headquarters in Montreal's Rosemont borough, delivering about five hours of good deeds to their neighbours.

By Saturday, a video compilation of their exploits, which they posted on YouTube, had almost 50,000 views.

Bennani Smires said almost everyone was very happy to see the Caped Crusader joining the snow removal efforts — except the first person he offered to help.

"They didn't want help, but we decided we wouldn't give up," Bennani Smires said.

Bennani Smires and MJ Anim'Action's other co-founder, Julien Bauby, also went to senior's residences in costume to help elderly people cross slippery streets.

Those searching for a comic book reference to explain why it was Batman roaming the streets with a shovel, instead of another superhero, won't find one. The Batman costume simply had the most insulation.

"I couldn't be Spiderman. It was too cold," Bennani Smires said.

Volunteering for kids

Shovelling as Batman has all the makings of a publicity stunt, but Bennani Smires says it's the kind of volunteer work that's integral to what his company does.

"We have nice costumes and we know how to talk to kids because we used to be children's educators. We know children's needs," Bennani Smires said.

​They now volunteer at Sainte-Justine Hospital, meeting kids in costume, as part of the Starlight Foundation and Rêves d'enfants — two charities that work to lift the spirits of seriously ill children.

"We're people who dress up as superheroes but the real superheroes are the kids, the ones fighting illness," Bennani Smires said. 

The co-founders each have kids of their own and both came to Quebec from France in the past ten years.

Bennani Smires said Thursday's creative volunteering was a way thank their new home.

"We love Quebec, we never want to leave. We really found happiness here."