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Photograph: Pier-Olivier Pinard / @popinard

11 photos of Montreal's parks this past weekend that show how much we miss one another

As weekends warm up, Montrealers are flocking outside to reconnect—but are Montreal parks safe?

JP Karwacki
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JP Karwacki
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The message from public health officials remains the same—to stay indoors, only going out if it's essential—but with this past weekend's sudden flood of people in parks demonstrates another need: Reconnecting with one another.

If you paid a visit to any Montreal parks this past weekend, with the sun shining during the day and the temperatures nearly reaching 20°C, it probably resembled spring seasons of years past with Montrealers sprawled out on blankets, talking and enjoying company. If you looked more closely, however, you probably noticed a two-meter distance between everyone.

The influx of people in parks led the city to close parking spaces in places like Lafontaine Park, and the presence of police could be generally seen everywhere, with officers riding bikes and double-checking that people were in fact two meters apart from one another. Currently, no fines will be issued if Montrealers respect social distancing from one another.

Here's what things looked like in some of Montreal's biggest parks:

Parc Jeanne-Mance

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Parc Wilfred-Laurier

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Parc Lafontaine

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Beaver Lake

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Lachine Canal

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If you're thinking this is a matter of public shaming, or some kind of rogue's gallery of people being unconcerned for the health of others, that's not the purpose here.

Sure, there are people who are only passing through and trying to stay active, but stationary gatherings like these tell us that people have indeed been getting stir-crazy and, in some cases, found the warm weather to be their only permission to see people they otherwise have trouble being apart from: Relationships (can you imagine significant others who live in separate apartments?), family, those we turn to for counseling and comfort and advice. You name it.

Is it safe? Provided that you keep your distance and don't share food or drink, it's permissible by the city. We're not encouraging anything here—going out to a park on the weekend is your choice. Just make sure to keep your distance if you do.

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