The route is so familiar, paraders could walk it with their eyes closed. People have their usual spots and old habits are hard to break.
But this year, anyone attending the St. Patrick’s Parade is going to have to change their ways.
Construction on Sainte-Catherine Street is forcing the parade to move to De Maisonneuve Blvd.
The celebration will now start on City Councillors Street and head west instead of east, making its way to Mackay Street, wrapping up on René Lévesque.
“It’s gonna be different for sure,” United Irish Societies of Montreal’s Ken Quinn said.
Parade organizers say the change of location is forcing them to re-train their volunteers and to alter their street signs.
“It’s gonna cost us a good chunk of money,” Quinn told Global News.
These changes may be here for a while.
Phase one of the roadwork on Montreal’s iconic commercial strip is slated to last two years.
“Could be three years, could be four years, we don’t know,” Quinn said.
“We’re gonna make the best of it and we’re gonna have a great time.”
As the Irish saying goes: Two shorten the road.
So the long wait to get back to Ste-Catherine Street will be easier if you bring someone along.
“We fully intend to go back to Sainte-Catherine Street, but in the meantime, come to De Maisonneuve and form new traditions,” Quinn said.