© MTOQ, Cécile Benoit - McGill College Avenue

Renewed energy and freedom herald the advent of spring.

Enter the sun, a gentle breeze, long-lost friends, trendy epicureans, some of the most beautiful women in the world and what do you get? A city where bliss reigns!

With the first rays of spring it seems like every house and building in Montréal empties of its occupants. The streets are reclaimed, lighting up with thousands of smiling faces, and winter gear gleefully abandoned.

As patches of snow melt under the sun, the race is on. Who will be first to strap on rollerblades, hop on a bicycle, shed long sleeves or set up parasols on crowded outdoor terraces?

Eyes sparkle and glances meet: strangers no longer, people strike up easy conversation. The air buzzes with excitement, rebirth, even euphoria. Exhilaration infuses the streets as hundreds of thousands of individuals fall head over heels in love with their city all over again, revelling in the long-awaited advent of spring.

The first warm days of the season are ideal for trips to public markets such as Atwater or Jean Talon. Each affords such a delicious change of scenery that it’s hard to believe you’re still in North America. Across the city, people of all ages and origins flock to markets to pick up flowers, fruits and vegetables, fish, charcuterie, local specialties, and to immerse themselves in the myriad colours, flavours and aromas.

In late March, the fashion-conscious and the plain curious flock to admire the latest collections from the city’s reputed designers during Montréal Fashion Week. Then in May, the metropolis is handed over to culture seekers, with the ever-popular Montréal Museum Day.

Strolling about, it’s impossible to resist the wealth and diversity of the architectural and historical heritage of this City of Festivals, whose inhabitants are known for their gentle, open and welcoming ways.