Montreal's glacier: Where the snow survived summer
Winter never left the Saint-Michel snow dump
The snow fell in the dark months.
It covered the streets of Montreal, at times rising to the height of car roofs as sidewalks turned into sheets of ice.
Then came spring, thawing our frozen city.
The snow melted, vanishing into Montreal's sewer system and gone until the winter months returned — or so you thought.
At Montreal's largest snow dump, in the Saint-Michel neighbourhood, about 175,000 cubic metres still hasn't melted.
The city says it's the most snow to survive the summer since 2008.
City spokesperson Philippe Sabourin calls it "Montreal's snow glacier."
The dark mass of snow and ice, coloured by pollution, would tower above a street of Plateau triplexes.
It's been melting since the spring, with the water forming a lake that the city drains into the sewer.
Thousands of plastic bottles line the shore, which the city collects and sends to the dump.
"Snow in Montreal is a 12-month operation," says Sabourin.
About half the city's snow was brought to Saint-Michel last winter.
The site was originally the Francon Quarry, where thousands of employees used to work. The city bought the land in the 1980s.
At the city's other snow dumps, heavy machinery crushes the snow that doesn't melt, but here there's just too much snow.
"It's huge," said Sabourin.