It's springtime in Montreal, and it ain't pretty
City launches cleanup initiatives as melting snow reveals trash, dirty gravel and mud
After a string of dreary weeks, spring is finally beginning to peek its head out in Montreal — but it's not all sunshine and daisies just yet.
What's left of the snow has begun to melt, leaving streets riddled with trash, dirty gravel and muck.
Used coffee cups, discarded water bottles and even old mattresses can be seen strewn around the city, not to mention heaps of gravel and muck clogging gutters and drains.
There is something to look forward to, though.
Sunny, double-digit temperatures are in the forecast starting Saturday, and the thermometer will climb steadily every day until Tuesday.
On Saturday, we can expect a high of 10 C, which is below average for April 21, according to Environment Canada.
"For April 2018, the first 20 days were very, very cold compared to what we're used to," said Alexandre Parent, a meteorologist for the weather agency.
Last year, on April 16, temperatures reached 26 C, he said.
Although it's unlikely we'll see more snow this year, Parent said we shouldn't rule out the possibility just yet.
"Spring is a battle of winter against summer," Parent said. "I sometimes say it's not really a season, it's just a transition into summer."
He added that for the first 20 days of April, winter won that battle.
City cleaning up
Even though the sun has yet to show its smiling face, Bixi bicycles are already available, and some restaurants have started setting up outdoor terraces.
The City of Montreal also launched spring cleaning operations on its streets, sidewalks and in parks today.
"We will work hard to make a beautiful city for the summertime, but we need the help of the citizens," said Jean-François Parenteau, manager of citizen services on the city's executive committee.
For example, he said, since Montreal is an island, there is a lot of shoreline to clean up.
"We want to do big cleanup in the parks to make sure that [they] be welcoming for the citizens."