'I was blown away': TikTok video shows swarm of rats in downtown Montreal

In the wee hours of the morning on Monday, Paolo Dalla Rosa was finishing a late-night shift at work when he spotted a rat on St. Denis Street in Montreal.

Then, he saw about 19 other rats in a matter of seconds converging on the same spot right before his eyes.

"I was blown away that there were that many," Dalla Rosa told CTV News.

"I just randomly took my phone out to film. I didn't expect there to be that many rats, to be honest."

He posted the video of furry rodents on TikTok earlier this week and it has been viewed more than 11,000 times. The video was also shared on Reddit Thursday where it drew even more reaction from other Montrealers sharing their own personal rat tales. 

Dalla Rosa said he lives in NDG but is currently house sitting downtown and visits family there, too. He's used to seeing one or two rats occasionally scurry by when he's in the area, but Monday's sighting was a little startling, he said. 

St. Denis Street is dotted with popular bars and restaurants. While he said most businesses take care of garbage responsibly, there are a few "bad apples." However, he bears most of the blame on the city.

The video shows the rats running toward an alleyway wedged between a restaurant and a cafe and then into a pile of garbage that he says has been there "for months."

"It has been reported to the city several times by residents in the area and nothing gets done," he said.

"And I know that the people I'm house sitting for have made several attempts to contact the city to have something done about the rat problem. They've also called about that pile of garbage that you see in the video that has been there for months."

The City of Montreal could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday.

Exterminators who spoke to CTV last month say they were busier than usual dealing with rat problems and since public works projects can disrupt rats's homes — in sewers — the rodents are looking for new places to live.

Rats found in food establishments fall under the responsibility of the city's Division de l’inspection des aliments. Otherwise, rats spotted on public property can be reported by calling 3-1-1.