I had a 1 p.m. appointment at the Milieu today. I had signed up for a workshop to learn how to make my own kefir. Tired of buying it at the supermarket, and of throwing the plastic bottles in the recycling week after week, I jumped at the opportunity when I came across this workshop.

What’s more, I was lucky today – the weather was beautiful. I love the first rays marking the end of winter, those that melt the snow and bring smiles to the faces of the people I pass in the streets and on the metro.

I arrived late. The other 6 participants and Vivienne, the workshop host, were already seated. A young father, whose kids were in the middle of drawing, smiled at me when I walked through the door.

I joined the group, a little intimidated when I heard English being spoken. But this slight unease soon dissipated and I quickly felt comfortable among the other women of all ages and backgrounds seated around me, as we juggled two languages.

I found that the kefir-making process was much simpler than I thought. I listened to Vivienne, asked questions. I loved when she smiled at me while answering.

And while each participant continued to chat, I looked at them, their smiles bringing one to my face. I was not just attending a workshop on making kefir. No. This was a place of gathering, inviting me to take part. It was inviting me to meet people and share our lives.  

This was a place for building relationship, something we definitely miss in our big cities.

A place where we can feel at home. A place I will definitely return to.


Six years ago, Eleonore left her birthplace in Europe and brought her luggage with her to Montreal. She quickly fell in love with the enjoyment of life and the simplicity that the city and its people had. As well, she became addicted to riding her bike! As a curious person, Eleonore asks lots of questions and is passionate about public spaces, social connections and the individual.