Postcard from... Montréal
Monday 06 January 2014
The winter storm that has been crossing North America in recent days has not only seen plunging temperatures and a number of deaths, but the usual travel disruption one associates with extreme weather.
Having visited Montréal a number of times in recent years, I know that trying to fly out of the main Montréal airport, which is about 12 miles out of the city, in the snow, can be an experience.
Your taxi navigates the city streets with feet of the white stuff piled up at the sides (a virtue of the overnight clearing operations) before racing down the highway.
In winter, if you are not a hardy local, you can spend days trying not to go outside. When the temperature goes below -20C (including wind chill), which it has in recent days, the media is full of warnings about how the chances of frostbite and pneumonia multiply.
Even without weather-based cancellations I was actually advised at the hotel that if I was flying to the US I might want to try Plattsburgh International Airport over the border in New York State. So many Montréalers, as well as those in other parts of Quebec, now use it to fly to some destinations in the US that it has taken to calling itself “Montreal’s US Airport”.
An estimated 70 per cent of passengers come from Quebec, and the airport does its best to cater for a French-Canadian audience, with bilingual signs and a bilingual website. Late last year, local lawmakers also approved $54m (£33m) to upgrade the terminal to handle 300,000 passengers by 2030.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 huge atomic bombs
Nepal earthquake video: Terrifying footage shows moment avalanche hit Everest Base Camp
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Support Engi...