This weekend I went to Toronto. I noticed something…

Pedestrians in Montreal are true jaywalkers. Pedestrians in Toronto are not at all! They really wait for the little white man to come before crossing the street, even when there is no car in sight.

I seemed to be the only one crossing on reds or anticipating the light (when it turns orange in the other direction, start crossing). Waiting in the cold when there’s no car coming doesn’t make sense!

Maybe these clear signs near crossings help Torontonians know how to cross at lights. Should we have them in Montreal too?

7 Comments so far

  1. Long (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

    To me, those lights are about security and not law. Basically, when you can cross without getting yourself (and others) killed or simply unharmed, there’s no reason not to cross.

    The worst thing that can happen while crossing the street on a red light, when there is not one car around, is getting hit by a meteor or a bolt of lightning, but no matter how unlikely it sounds, it could anywhere, even while you’re reading this.

  2. DAVE (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 11:16 pm

    This is Montreal, signs are only suggestions here :D

  3. vanou (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 8:18 am

    Hell no! Let me cross the street whenever I want…

  4. Lisa Hunter (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 10:21 am

    I’m a lifelong jay walker, and the only time I’ve come close to getting mowed down by a car was when I was crossing legally, with the light.

  5. Laiya (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

    I generally wait for the light just because I’m too lazy to run and dodge cars. But there are some streets where it’s safer to just cross when you can or else get run over by cars turning. When I was in Halifax, I had so much fun just putting my toe down in the street at crosswalks because all the cars would just come to a complete stop! How quaint. No to the signs for Mtl. That’s so Toronto.

  6. mare (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 12:51 pm

    As someone who had once a jaywalker on my hood (It was dark and he suddenly appeared in my headlights. I did brake but he was too close. He only had a broken arm, but still) I don’t jaywalk. As a pedestrian you might think cars will see you, but drivers are often only looking at the traffic lights and at other cars, and oblivious to pedestrians and bicycles. Especially in Montreal. Every year jaywalkers die, and they wouldn’t if they weren’t jaywalking.
    My advice: walk defensively, don’t take your right of way; when crossing watch over your shoulder if turning cars see you and stop.

  7. kirsten (unregistered) on February 20th, 2007 @ 12:20 am

    Montrealers jaywalk because

    a) cars cannot turn right on a red light (as they can pretty much everywhere else), so it’s easy to judge if you’re at risk of being hit


    b)many, many streets are one-way.

    If other cities (Toronto included) had these conditions, there would be more jaywalkers. Personally, I like the easy attitude of pedestrians here, though not being able to turn right on a red was annoying for the brief time we had a car.

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