Montreal

Costumed kids still hit the streets even as some Quebec towns postpone Halloween

It was a dark and stormy night, but kids in Montreal still braved the rain to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.

Opinion mixed whether it was a good idea for municipalities to delay festivities

Kids in all sorts of colourful costumes hit the streets Thursday to trick-or-treat in the rain, even after the city of Montreal postponed Halloween festivities until Friday. (CBC)

It was a dark and stormy night, but kids in Montreal still braved the rain to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.

Parts of southern Quebec are under weather warnings, with rain, wind and even snow in the forecast. In the Montreal area, 50 to 80 millimetres of rain is expected to fall by Friday morning.

The possibility of heavy rain and high winds — forecasters were predicting wind gusts of up to 90 km/h yesterday — prompted many cities and towns to delay trick-or-treating until Friday.

They include Montreal and many of the surrounding municipalities on the island, as well as Magog, Trois-Rivières, Drummondville, Longueuil and Saint-Lambert. 

Others, including Quebec City, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Montreal-West and Châteauguay, are going ahead with their festivities.

Double the candy?

John Belvedere, mayor of Pointe-Claire, said he wanted to leave the choice to parents and their kids about which night to go out trick-or-treating.

"I've been out on Halloween in snow, in rain, in sleet, in hail. We all survived so we're leaving it up to the parents, and I think the parents can make the proper decisions according to the weather conditions," he said.

In neighbourhoods where people are offering up candy on both Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, some canny kids are hoping to double their intake by going out twice.

Sasha Dubrovsky, left, said that Montreal is known for having wild weather and joked that taking his kids out in the rain would make them 'gritty.' (CBC)

Melissa White, whose children go to school in Pointe-St-Charles, told CBC her kids are clamouring for the chance to go out twice.

"That's what my son said: 'Oh, double candy! Two nights in a row!' I don't know, we'll see. They don't need that much candy," she said. 

Devon Packer, a student at Royal Vale Elementary, said he's not sure about collecting a double haul.

"That feels like cheating to me," he said.

Kids dressed up for school on Halloween in Montreal. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

Toronto took a jab at Montreal's decision to push Halloween back a day, with the office of Mayor John Tory saying it has no plans to "mess with Halloween."

(The city is also expecting messy weather, though not as much wind or rain as Montreal.)

"Mayor Tory hopes families across the city have a fun Halloween night, and assures kids that their costumes are still great even if they have a coat on as well," the mayor's office said in a statement.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante tweeted Wednesday asking parents and their kids to wait one more night.

On Thursday, she acknowledged not everyone was happy with her decision — but suggested it was a case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't."

With a smile, Quebec Premier François Legault​​​ said this was one controversy he would avoid.

"I wish all of our children to have fun tonight or tomorrow night," he told reporters in Quebec City. "I'll let the municipalities take the decision."

'It's Halloween. It's tradition'

One of the first places to announce it was holding off on trick-or-treating was Sainte-Julie, on Montreal's South Shore. That is where Kristy Cullen and her four kids live.

She said her oldest daughter, who is nine, cried when she came home from school on Wednesday.

"She was like, 'That ruins everything. It's Halloween. It's tradition,'" Cullen told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.

Alexia Auclair, 9, Emmett Auclair, 4, Olive Auclair, 8, and Eloise Auclair, 6, ready for indoor Halloween in Saint-Julie, where trick-or-treating has been postponed until Friday. (Submitted by Kristy Cullen)

Cullen said her kids have gone trick-or-treating in the rain before, and have never minded adding rain boots to their costume.

Kim Pollock, a Longueuil mother, said the rain adds to the spooky Halloween ambience.

"Will we get wet? Yes. But, I mean, kids have to learn today that we're going to [get] dry. It's not going to hurt them," she said.

"I think we're bubble-wrapping them a little too much."

With files from Kate McKenna and Sarah Leavitt

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