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Montreal Boxing Day shoppers brave the cold and the crowds

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WATCH: Send in the plows: snow removal army hits Montreal streets – Dec 26, 2017

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the town, thousands of shoppers turned the stores upside down.

On St-Catherine Street, lineups started early Tuesday morning, shoppers eager to get their hands on hot bargains.

Not only did they have to brave the crowds, they also had to brave the weather, with the wind chill dropping below -20C.

At Fairview Mall in Pointe-Claire, people lined the halls waiting for stores to open at 1 p.m. Outside, parking spots were few and far between.

WATCH: Boxing Day losing part of its lustre: retail expert

To some, this might all seem like a nightmare, but to many Canadians, Boxing Day is a much-anticipated yearly tradition.

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However, what we’ve long known to be the major retail event of the year now has some stiff competition in Canada, according to RedFlagDeals.com, an online promotions site.

“We asked our users: Do you think there’s going to be better deals on Black Friday or on Boxing Day?” said Jeff Novak, the website’s brand director. “And over 50 per cent said they thought there’d be better deals on Black Friday; only 20 per cent said they thought the best deals would be had on Boxing Day.”

The American shopping phenomenon has gained momentum in Canada over the past few years.

“The nice thing about Black Friday is that it happens before the holidays,” said Novak. “So if you’re buying holiday gifts [and] you’ve got a lot of people to buy for, it’s a great time to save money.”

READ MORE: Winnipeg shoppers brave chilling temperatures for Boxing Day deals

For Montreal’s Boxing Day aficionados, it seems like Black Friday hasn’t quite taken off.

“It kind of became a thing a few years ago, but honestly I don’t do it often,” said shopper Gabrielle Deslauriers.

Novak agrees that even if Black Friday does continue to gain popularity, Boxing Day is still here to stay.

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“I think it has become so ingrained in our culture and so wrapped up with a lot of families’ traditions that even though it has lost a little bit of its lustre, it will definitely continue in the time to come.”