Arse Over Kettle on Montreal’s Icy Sidewalks


Hudson Avenue in the Cote-des-Neiges area of Montreal. Sidewalk has not seen salt or abrasive a week after snow and ice. Leaving the sidewalk impassable.

Okay, now it’s personal. I’ve fallen: I’ve fallen in love, fallen for silly practical jokes, fallen off bandwagons when my team didn’t measure up, even fallen from grace. But for the last few days I’ve been just plain falling.

It all started last week when we had a significant snowfall with a forecast for rain the next day. Sure enough the snow fell, then the rain arrived turning the city into a lagoon. Schools closed as driving was deemed dangerous. (Ironically the hope for a quiet day that would allow clean-up to proceed was dashed when many workers who would have been doing the cleaning called in sick because they had to stay home with their children as the schools were closed!)

Close up of icy sidewalk with thin layer of snow to make it even worse.

Not surprisingly for January, the next day the temperatures plummeted and everything froze. 

Hudson Avenue west-side sidewalk.

Last Friday evening I was strolling along a sidewalk in the Cote des Neiges area when my feet decided they were going to go in a different direction, and I went arse over kettle. No damage done other than to my pride. 

Then last Tuesday while downtown there was a gas main rupture that closed off several streets. I was walking through a lane when I once again encountered sheer ice underfoot and, like they say in NASCAR racing, I got sideways, and before I knew it I was on the ground.

Finally on Wednesday I once again found myself trying to get up from an ice-coated sidewalk. Three tumbles in less than a week. All because of poor, or no sidewalk maintenance. But I was lucky. I did myself no harm. Others were not so fortunate as the overcrowding of hospital emergency rooms testifies. Some were operating at 170%

I’ve put the boots aside and turned to trusty running shoes until something is done about the poor state of Montreal sidewalks this long after a snowfall. 

A properly maintained sidewalk.

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

4 thoughts on “Arse Over Kettle on Montreal’s Icy Sidewalks

  1. First, isn’t it arse over TEA kettle?

    I haven’t gone out since the ice hit, but I bought both Garry and I YakTrakz which are like chains for your boots of shoes. They keep you from falling and Garry LOVES them. Makes a mess of the floors IN the house, but at least he’s not breaking anything OUTside.

  2. No truer words were said. In the city centre (Penfield, Redpath et al) the sidewalk ice is over an inch thick. No salt or sand to be seen. Ville Marie is the mayor’s personal fiefdom. Over the years, the quality and thoroughness of Winter maintenance has steadily declined. In general, we are receiving less snow, yet it takes longer to get the clean up done. The only steady increase has been taxation.

    1. Well put Alan. It sometimes reminds me of the thick layer of ice that was left on sidewalks after the Ice Storm of 98. A little snow to cover it and it becomes a booby-trap! As always take good care and thanks for commenting. Cheers.

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