The 198th Saint-Patrick’s parade hits the streets of Montreal

March 19, 2023
The 198th edition of the Saint-Patrick’s parade hit the streets of Montreal today.

Montreal’s Saint-Patrick’s parade, the oldest North American parade of its kind behind just New York,  took to the streets of Montreal’s downtown core today, for the 198th time since its inauguration in 1824. It also marked the first full-on version of the parade since 2019, when celebrations were brought to halt for the first time in its history, due to the global covid-19 pandemic – although a striped-down version did take place in 2022.

Ironically, the weather which had been showing signs of an early spring in the days leading up to the parade, turned back towards winter, as Montrealer’s awoke to snow fall and bitter cold conditions Sunday morning – and with the forecast looking nice for the rest of the week, showing that the luck of the Irish might not be an actuality after all. Still, a rather large number of people turned out to the sidewalks of the downtown core, to watch the floats, marching bands and local celebrities saunter down Saint-Catherine’s street.

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As the parade’s noon start time approached, sunshine shone down through the clouds and temperatures slowly began to rise, as Montreal’s Irish community joined thousands of other cultures, all clad in green, for the near three hour spectacle that proudly, marched and danced its way from Du Fort, along Sainte-Catherine’s street to its completion at the corner of Peel street. People of all ages and creeds cheered the parade on, some with cans of beer or sipping from flasks, while a heavy police presence keep the gatherings off the sidewalks and out of danger.



Many of the commercial spaces that were passed by the parade shows the signs of the times, as many sit vacant and waiting to be rented out to new business ventures. For the many establishments along the parade route, the sight of the thousands of people that had amassed on the streets was a sight for sore eyes. Many businesses closed during the pandemic, and as a result of the gentrification and the housing crisis that has been so prominent in Montreal since those dark days.

People simply no longer have enough remaining expendable income left over after rent or mortgage payments to go out and enjoy the cities indulgences. As a result, restaurants and bars are welcoming fewer and fewer patrons into their establishments, and with their rents also increasing for spots considered prime locations, staying afloat is becoming more and more difficult.

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Today however, people were lined up outside the Irish pubs along Crescent street, vying for a spot at the bar where they might enjoy a good old fashioned pint of Guinness in celebration of all things Irish in honor of Saint-Patrick’s day.