Irish immigrants began arriving in large numbers during the 1840’s potato famine in Ireland. Arriving at Grosse Isle, Québec, assuming the passengers survived the voyage and cholera, they settled in areas such as Griffintown and Pointe Saint Charles (Montréal), making Québec their new home.
According to the 2006 Census of Canada, the Irish make up 5.5% of the Quebec population at 406,085 with almost 200,000 living in Montreal.
One of the longest-running Saint Patrick's Day parades in the world occurs each year in Montreal. The parades have been held since 1824 and St. Patrick's Day itself has been celebrated in Montreal as far back as 1759.
Now that we have some facts down, I can tell you what happens here to celebrate our Irish population.
First thing we notice is a green line painted down the middle of Saint-Catherine Street in downtown Montréal in preparation for the parade.
Saint Patrick's Day Parade 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
12 Noon at Fort and Ste-Catherine Streets
The streets will be lined with people wearing their green, and you’ll see little bunches of shamrocks pinned to coats and scattered on the pavement. The Irish pubs are serving Guinness, Irish stew, and you’ll have a wide choice of both traditional and popular Irish tunes.
Tis grand it is!
I should mention that it’s not unknown for us to have rain or snow on parade day. BUT….the prediction is cold but sunny for this year. So, bundle up and join the fun.
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.