Montreal

Meet the people who braved the cold in Montreal for New Year's celebrations

Did you decide against venturing out in the cold to celebrate New Year's in Montreal? Well, these people didn't. Here's how they survived and thrived.

Thousands turned out for Montreal's 2018 bash, also marking an end to its 375th anniversary celebrations

Montreal rang in 2018 with frigid temperatures, musical acts in the Old Port and a blast of fireworks at the stroke of midnight. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Last night's polar temperatures didn't stop about 150,000 brave, brave partygoers from descending on Montreal's Old Port to ring in 2018.

An extreme cold warning that has not relented for the past few days was still very much in effect, with windchill values that made it feel like nearly –40. 

But Montreal was one of the few Canadian cities — along with Quebec City — not to cancel its outdoor New Year's Eve celebrations. 

The bash started with DJs playing tunes at 6 p.m., then the musical acts took the stage on Quai-Jacques-Cartier at 9 p.m.

They included DJ KXO, Garou, Vincent Vallières, Daniel Bélanger, Les Deuxluxes and Mes Aïeux. The singers and band members were bundled up, donning warm hats, mits and boots that matched their outfits. 

Quebec band Mes Aïeux headlined the NYE show in Montreal. It was lead singer Stéphane Archambault's first return to the stage after four years of absence. (Radio-Canada)

DJ Magic Stan took over after that, keeping the ones-and-twos warm until 2 a.m. DJ Champion et ses G-Strings had been scheduled for the gig, but cancelled because of a broken piece of equipment, according to the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal's 375th Anniversary.

The party also marked an end to the city's 375th anniversary celebrations.

Reda Braada and Nadir Khan didn't want to stay in for New Year's Eve and decided to endure the cold instead. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

Reda Braada, left, and Nadir Kahn, right, put their warmest clothes — several layers — and headed to the Old Port Sunday evening, ready to endure the cold until 2018 arrived.

Kahn had a few tips for others who want to spend time outdoors, despite the glacial weather. He advised people to wear layers, go inside "periodically."

He added, "This is the most important if you live in Canada: you have to be tough and have a positive attitude."

"No matter what, you're going to freeze, so you just have to have fun and, obviously, make sure you're keeping your extremities warm." 

He and Braada weren't surprised Montreal went against the grain by not cancelling its festivities. 

"People are always going to go out, no matter what. That's just kind of how we are," Kahn said. 

Mariluz and Carlos Gutierrez said they'd warm up by walking around and with coffee as they awaited the midnight countdown Sunday night. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

"It's really cool. It's really beautiful," said Carlos Gutierrez, right, who'd ventured out with his partner, Mariluz. "But it's cold," he conceded. 

"I think Montreal is prepared," for this weather, said Mariluz Gutierrez. 

The couple said they were planning on sticking it out until midnight and would warm up by walking around, and grabbing some hot beverages.

Lisa Margolis and Edward Albert came all the way from sunny and warm Los Angeles to celebrate NYE in Montreal, where it was about -35 with windchill Sunday night. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

Lisa Margolis, left, and Edward Albert, right, came all the way from sunny and warm Los Angeles to celebrate the New Year in our chilly Montreal. 

"We're not used to the cold," Margolis said, laughing. "We thought, 'OK,' we'll figure it out.'"

Albert and Margolis said they were coping with lots of hot tea and wine.

"Montreal is hardy. Go Montreal!" Albert said.

Julie Sirois and Simon Lachance weren't just celebrating the New Year, but their six months together as a couple as well. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

Simon Lachance and Julie Sirois didn't just celebrate the New Year — but took the opportunity to mark their six-month anniversary as a couple. 

"We wanted to celebrate big time," Lachance said. "They give you food and they've got fires everywhere, and when the party's going to start, everything's going to warm up for sure," Lachance said, adding the couple planned to stay for the countdown.

"You only live once, so go get dressed, go outside and have fun!"

With files from Simon Nakonechny and Radio-Canada

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