ARTICLE: Valentine’s Day Hope, by David Stern

This piece was submitted to the Citizen Journal project of the Peter-McGill Community Council. Please note that the opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of our organization. This project aims to create space for the voices of residents, students and friends of the neighbourhood through articles, photos, videos, and podcasts in any language. Are you interested in contributing? Contact us at benevolat@petermcgill.org!

These days, living in Peter-McGill, you might wonder if people are happy, if things are working out, if there is still hope and feelings of loneliness are behind us.


Daily, I see a plethora of hard realities; stores closed, people out of work, social isolation and people experiencing difficult situations.


Stores and restaurants continue business in a new reality with new regulations.  Years ago, store windows displayed their best items.  Now, these displays have been replaced with signs advising you of store capacity limitations, mask coverings, hand washing, social distancing and aisle arrows telling you in which direction you can walk.


While frequenting Ste. Catherine Street one day, I noticed something that seemed to be missing – smiling, people kissing, hand holding, couples talking, sharing a coffee etc… With a nightly curfew commencing at 8pm, it occurred to me that even dating is more limited for the time being.


One might wonder how to approach dating and the pursuit of love during a pandemic.


Reviewing the Peter-McGill Neighbourhood Portrait, did you know that slightly more than half of Peter-McGill’s households are made up of a resident living alone? With universities and CEGEPs close by, it stands to reason why so many dwelling units have single inhabitants.


So in the days of mask wearing, lockdowns and curfews – how can you meet someone? 


Well if you want to find someone special, you could try volunteering.  With so many different organizations such as Chez Doris, Résilience Montréal and Innovation Assistance needing help, volunteering can offer an opportunity to meet someone.


If you are unable to volunteer at this time, another option could be online dating.  Some platforms are free while others require membership fees.  Coupled with security measures and scammers, one should certainly do research before embarking.


Perhaps online dating isn’t your preferred avenue.  You could instead rely on friends. Friends may be a good option as they may know someone ideal for you. 


A fourth option is dog walking. Percy-Walters Park has a fenced in dog park that would be perfect for meeting fellow dog lovers in a socially distanced manner.  


These are just a few ways to meet new people and possibly develop new relationships.  


A message from me to you:  Know this and believe it – there is someone special for every single person in this world and yours is still out there.


I conclude with this thought….


May your love not be masked 

May your happiness not be distanced

May your mind not get despairing

May your life be healthy, beautiful and long 


Thank You 

David Stern