Montreal, Quebec, is an urban wonderland when Christmastime descends on the French-Canadian city. But the metropolis' enormous Christmas tree could use a little love this year. The New York Times chronicles
the troubled tannenbaum
as "unloved" and an "eyesore."
"It's horrible, it's completely awful," said one visitor.
"It's quite sad, really," said another.
Posts on MTL Blog
noted the tree was ranked as "# 1 Most Ugly Christmas Tree in Canada" while People magazine said
the tree was being shamed on social media.
Its trunk is crooked, it's thin and doesn't even have a top.
The city of Montreal hired professionals, Sapin MTL, to choose and deliver a majestic tree, with the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City as a model. The Times
reports that in Sapin's effort to find an extremely tall tree—in this case, a 100-foot-tall balsam fir from eastern Quebec—they opted for something considerably thinner. Additionally, handlers decided to chop off the top of the tree to accommodate its shipping.
Making matters worse, the tree is covered in red plastic triangles—the logo of the Canadian Tire retail chain, which paid for the tree's lights. The Times
reports a small child, standing at the base of the tree, asked her father why the tree, "looked like a store."
Meanwhile, officials from Sapin MTL insist the tree isn't ugly. Instead, they say, it's "naughty."
"I think we can celebrate the Christmas magic and stop saying it's ugly, ugly, ugly," Sapin MTL principal Jean-David Pelletier told The Times
. "Now, in Quebec, there's Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion and the naughty fir—we prefer that to 'ugly.' Naughty is better."