Freezing temperatures fell in eastern Canada and in particular in Quebec, causing a record of electricity consumption. In Montreal, the thermometer read as low as -24.9 degrees Celsius on the morning of January 11.
This polar cold has emptied the streets of Montreal and discouraged its more sporty inhabitants from going to the city parks, usually so crowded whatever the weather.
Environment Canada has issued extreme temperature alerts for several sectors in the east of the country: in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and also in Newfoundland and Labrador. “It is not exceptional but it is not very common to be as cold as that”, explained to AFP Simon Legault, meteorologist for Environment Canada, according to whom Quebecers “are no longer really used to the cold. “.
With the entry into force of new sanitary measures due to Covid-19, few passers-by dare to face such cold, especially in the tourist district of the Old Port of Montreal, near the city center. Pierre Lapalme, 75, well wrapped up under his hood and hat, remembers that this type of winter was usual during his youth, even “even colder than that”. “I have the impression that it is global warming, we can now see very clearly that the winters are less cold than they were in the 1960s or 1970s,” he told AFP .
a record of electricity consumption
These extreme negative temperatures result in increased demand for electricity consumption. On January 11 at around 8:00 a.m., Quebecers consumed 39,900 megawatts, an absolute record. The precedent dated January 22, 2014, where a consumption of 39,031 megawatts had been recorded. “This is the moment in the history of Hydro-Quebec when consumption was the highest,” Cendrix Bouchard, spokesperson for the Quebec state-owned company, told AFP.