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Experiencing My City
Hasan Farhan


Loving the cold anyway
Published on
February 9, 2018
Hasan Farhan left Iraq to settle in Montréal in May 2014. Here, he tells us about his first winter in the city, in which he discovered the great joys and minor hazards of wintertime.

 “I chose Québec because I love French,”said Hasan Farhan in his small and carefully designed apartment in the Milton-Parc neighbourhood. “Immigration did warn me that Canadian winters are cold – very cold,”he added.

Preparing for the rigours of winter

Before leaving his country, Farhan bought some boots so he’d be ready for the drop in the mercury that awaited him a few months later, on the other side of the ocean. However, he soon realized that those boots weren’t appropriate...

“They must have been poor-quality autumn boots; they broke before January and didn’t even keep my feet warm,” recalled Farhan.

Fortunately, once he arrived in Québec, he received assistance from the Centre social d’aide aux immigrants

They managed to find him a high-quality coat. The new Montrealer also decided to wear ice cleats all winter long. “In my opinion, ice cleats are indispensable, and I tell every immigrant I meet about them,” said Farhan, who volunteers with newcomers and seniors.

Enjoying wintertime

Glissoires de glace

When he arrived in Montréal, the native Iraqi was wildly curious about his new home and its white landscape. When he first arrived, Farhan went to the Fête des neiges at the parc Jean-Drapeau.  

“I went tubing on the big tires, it was really fun!” he said with a luminous smile.

He loved it so much that he goes back every year! His job as a concierge includes work that has changed his relationship with the carpet of snowflakes.

“My first winter, I loved the snow, but now that I have to shovel it…” he laughed. But despite that, “Today, my country is winter,” said Farhan, paraphrasing Gilles Vigneault without even knowing it.


Montréal: a New Beginning is a digital solution that was launched in June to respond to the information needsof some 280 immigrants who settle in the city… each day!