The Word on the Street Is . . . Tempo

Translation Word on the StreetIt’s that magical time of year when Tempos start popping up all over town.

For most Montrealers, Tempo has nothing to do with speed or music; its origins lie in the idea of temporary, for a Tempo is just another “brand name-gone-common noun” that designates a temporary car port. Most times, they’re used by people who stuff their garages with so much junk that their car doesn’t fit inside. Instead of getting rid of the crap, they opt for an urban eyesore solution.

But I don’t mind the Tempos—their presence is poetic. The first steel skeletons to appear in driveways are a harbinger of winter. The leaves have fallen, a cold wind blows, and Tempos line the streets, their white tarps billowing like sails on a sea of snow.

On a different metaphorical note, the tempo is like a trailer. It has a short life expectancy and comes in single and double-wide models. And, let’s face it, it’s a bit trashy

But whether you love ’em or love to hate ’em, the Tempo is here to stay.

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