January 14, 2017 5:13 pm
Updated: January 14, 2017 7:08 pm

Skating at the Old Port in kilts and tartans

WATCH: Montrealers braved the cold Saturday to celebrate their Scottish heritage at the annual Great Canadian Kilt Skate at the Old Port.


Montrealers braved the cold to skate in kilts.

The St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal held its third annual Great Canadian Kilt Skate at the Old Port Saturday.

Anyone and everyone was invited to lace up and skate in kilts, tartans or other Scottish attire.

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The annual event is coordinated by the Scottish Society of Ottawa. It celebrates Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister, who was born in Scotland over 200 years ago.

“It’s a way of celebrating our Scottish heritage,” said Gillian Leitch, from the St Andrew’s Society of Montreal.

“Yes, we are celebrating Sir John A., but also the Scottish contribution to Canada and commemorating that heritage by being very Scottish and Canadian at the same time.”

This year, the event is one of seven being held across the country as Canada celebrates its 150th birthday.

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Organizers say the Old Port has great significance for Montreal’s Scottish community.

The city operated as one of the primary ports for the fur trade in the 18th and early 19th centuries and the city’s Scottish traders, built their fortunes on the materials coming in and out of the port. Later in the 19th century, Scottish businessmen used the port for their transatlantic trade.

The port is also surrounded by Old Montreal, where the St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal says newly arrived Scottish immigrants built their first homes and businesses.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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