DS’s school had fall break last week, so we spent five days in Montreal at my SIL’s, and then a few days in the Eastern Townships on the way home. This was our first time in a metro area and also our first time across the border in almost two years. The weather was mostly cooperative, at times unseasonably warm and sunny, at times brisk, plus some overcast and rainy days. We did a lot of urban walking in Montreal, plus a bunch of hiking in Bromont and Sutton.

What struck me most was how increasingly casual the city has become and how quiet the streets are, even weekends/evenings. We were staying in Villeray, with trips into Little Italy, Mile End, Outremont/Mont Royal, and HoMa.

Street style was heavy on jeans and sneakers, with a smattering of boots (mostly chelsea or combat-lite) and still some sandals (!). Sneakers ran the gamut from retro-classic to contemporary, and younger folks in particular seem to have embraced both the dad sneaker look and platform versions of old favorites (Converse, Vans). Jeans were either slim/skinny or 90s-style relaxed and baggy with a high rise. Lots of gear, too: joggers and leggings were as prevalent as jeans. In terms of toppers, shackets and bombers were the two trends that seem to have gained the most steam. Shackets tended to be fuzzy, light neutral (either plaid or solid), and ranged from low-hip to above-the-knee. I saw bomber jackets in all sorts of materials, from taffeta to tweed to leather, and ranging from exaggeratedly cropped to exaggeratedly long, and black was definitely the predominant colour.

But in all honesty those wearing fashion jackets stood out, as simple hoodies, along with practical shells and puffers from Arcteryx, MEC, Columbia, etc were definitely the norm. The nature of pandemic life (WFH, socializing outdoors) seems to be causing urban and rural style to converge, and there seems to be little motivation/occasion to dress up…

Remarkably, pretty much my whole packing list for the trip, including gear and lounge, is in Finds.