When I arrived in Montreal after leaving Toronto, I had pretty clear expectations of Montreal’s inhabitants – not that I was expecting anything negative, necessarily. Maybe I just imagined them to be a bit more austere, like their 8 month long winter weather.
I was very genuinely surprised to find them not cold at all, but pretty cool! The people of Montreal (Canadians in general) that I interacted with during this trip were among the kindest, most helpful and laid back people I have met. They mind their own business without being aloof, they cheerfully presented services without pressure, they served us delicious meals as if we were their friends and they patiently provided instructions where needed.
I asked a French Canadian who has lived here in the US what accounted for the friendliness and cooperation of the people in Montreal, as I had assumed that the summer weather was the reason for it. She shared her experience about people from the US first by saying that on the whole, we have a certain “pre-judgment” of others when we meet them and then depending on what part of the country that person is from, it can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, but eventually, Americans open up beautifully and drop the judgment. Canadians, she said, simply don’t have that “pre-judgment”.
So, from Chinatown, to downtown Montreal, above you can scroll through some of the cool Canadian faces I captured, which are mostly in black and white. Though it took me several days to actually find really solid pockets of street scenes, these city people were also very willing street subjects who were also approachable and detached from what I was doing. They made it easy to be a street photographer.