As the weather gets warmer and the canopies start rolling out over the terraces, any Montrealer will tell you how great it feels to know that spring is finally here. In a city that spends over four months covered in snow, the anticipation of summer is tangible: sunny days lounging and warm nights enjoying this city’s marvellous nightlife.
To think Montreal had such humble beginnings 375 years ago. What started out as a small fur-trading post in Nouvelle-France has changed a lot through the centuries, growing into one of Canada’s most important commercial centres. It became a city where the French and English populations of the New World mixed and learned to live with one another. Through the years, the city has attracted people of all walks of life, some of whom chose to settle down here despite the harsh winters. In this culturally rich setting, you’re bound to hear not just French and English, but Greek, Italian, Spanish and Chinese to name a few. This sense of community built through diversity is what Montreal is all about, people of all backgrounds coming together to make something good even better.
Having grown up in this great city, you have the chance to see wonderful examples of architecture around every corner. Walking through Montreal’s streets is in some ways a lesson in the beauty of contradictions. The French and English influences that shouldn’t go together, somehow blend seamlessly to create a landscape reminiscent of Paris and New York all at once. Since we live in such a young country, we get many visitors from across Canada unaccustomed to seeing buildings and monuments that have stood for hundreds of years. Montreal wears its history proudly and is glad to share it with the world.
As a proud Montrealer, I love sharing that history as well and it’s why I love working for a company with roots as deep in Montreal as The Coca-Cola Company. After all, Coca-Cola was well established in the city back when we were celebrating its 275th birthday! Montreal was the second city Coca-Cola expanded to in Canada, back in 1909, after its bottling plant in Toronto couldn’t keep up with demand. In fact, Coca-Cola and Montreal ended up being such a perfect pair that the first plant here had to be expanded just a year after it opened. I love the feeling that in my own way I get to contribute to the legacy of a company that’s been bottling and serving communities here in Quebec for over a century.
Now as we watch the last remnants of the cold winds of winter blowing through the city and wait for the weather to warm up for good, let’s raise our glass bottles to this city of beautiful contradictions. Happy Birthday, Montreal!