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FEBRUARY 2006 - Recent Posts
Check out the archives for last month's posts.

City faces :: 24.02.05
After the fire :: 23.02.05
Yesterday's city :: 22.02.05
Signs :: 15.02.05
Post-election blues :: 14.02.05
St. Viateur Street :: 12.02.05
From CDN to the Main :: 11.02.05
Dusk comes early :: 10.02.05
Francisco Garcia :: 08.02.05
Winter light :: 07.02.05

 

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ABOUT URBANPHOTO

Urbanphoto was established in 1999 as a venue for people to  explore the urban environment through photography. It is edited by Christopher DeWolf, a student, writer and amateur photographer from Montreal.

 


 

City faces
Friday, February 24, 2006 - Christopher DeWolf


Waiting for the bus on Mont-Royal.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf


Walking on Ste. Catherine St.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf

Head to the archives for last month's posts.


After the fire
Thursday, February 23, 2006 - Christopher DeWolf


Demolishing a fire-ravaged building, Park Avenue.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf


Rubble after a fire, Park Avenue.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf

Head to the archives for last month's posts.


Yesterday's city
Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - Christopher DeWolf


Aldred Building from afar.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf


St. Alexandre Street in the Fur District.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf

St. Antoine Street is nicer than it was five years ago. Millions of dollars have been poured into this Montreal artery as part of the Quartier International project, an ambitious makeover of an historically significant part of town that had fallen into disuse and disrepair. New sidewalks, attractive new street furniture and beautiful new buildings were added to the street. But St. Antoine Street is still empty. Ever since the street was disembowelled in the 1970s by the Ville-Marie Expressway, a highway that runs partly in a trench and partly in a tunnel, it has been relegated to the margins of Montreal's memory. The St. Antoine of old was a vibrant commercial street in the heart of downtown Montreal. Now, it's a traffic funnel lost somewhere that is neither here nor there.

The tragedy of St. Antoine Street is underlined by a collection of vintage Montreal streetscenes from the STM, Montreal's transit agency. I've compiled some of the most interesting shots from that collection, including old photos of Montreal's main streets: Ste. Catherine, St. Denis, the Main. Some are surprising -- chic, vibrant St. Denis was a demure residential thoroughfare in the 1900s and decidedly a lacklustre street in the 1950s -- and others are remarkably unchanged, superficial aspects aside.

Speaking of the forum, you'll notice that, after months of difficulties and downtime, café l'urbanité is awake once again. Actually, it's more of a rebirth than a revival: because of a technical glitch, user and post data cannot be imported into the new forum, so we're having to start from scratch. If you were a lurker before, now's the time to finally get involved. And if you haven't been to the café before, why not check it out?

Head to the archives for last month's posts.


Signs
Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - Christopher DeWolf


St. Mathieu Street.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf


Fixing a sign on Parc Avenue.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf

Head to the archives for last month's posts.


Post-election blues
Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - Christopher DeWolf


Election signs on de la Gauchetière.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf

The election campaign has been over for awhile now and we've all had time to get used to the idea of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Our latest leader certainly hasn't lived up to his Reform Party ideals; the floor-crossing and patronage appointments of his cabinet would do Sir John A. Macdonald proud. Maybe Harper is trying to live up to the tactics of Canada's first Tory leader.

And what about cities? If you recall my Maisonneuve column on the election, I don't think too highly of the Conservatives' urban agenda -- or rather, its complete lack of an urban agenda. Fearful of encroaching on provincial powers and hopelessly out of touch with many urban voters, especially those in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, Harper's party has never given much thought to urban issues or the massive municipal infrastructure deficit. There is one bright note, though: Lawrence Cannon. His appointment as Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is an inspired choice, especially after eighteen months with the hopelessly incompetent Jean Lapierre occupying the Transport portfolio. Cannon has first-hand experience in municipal politics and he was the leader of a Quebec municipal organization. Most importantly, note the addition of "infrastructure and communities" to the name of the Transport Department. Even if the Conservatives lack Paul Martin's New Deal for Cities, at least they've acknowledged the importance of cities and urban infrastructure by giving them priority at the cabinet table. That's more than the Liberals ever did.

So when it comes to city issues, here's hoping -- optimistically or naïvely, however you want to see it -- for a fruitful and productive 38th Parliament.


Rounding the corner, Berri and Mont-Royal.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf


Beaubien Street near Molson Park.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf

Head to the archives for last month's posts.


St. Viateur Street
Sunday, February 12, 2006 - Christopher DeWolf


Poster on St. Viateur Street.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf


Woman with a ball on St. Viateur.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf

Head to the archives for last month's posts.


From CDN to the Main
Saturday, February 11, 2006 - Christopher DeWolf


Gatineau Street in Côte-des-Neiges.
Montreal, February 2006. Christopher DeWolf


Dry goods store on the Main.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf

Head to the archives for last month's posts.


Dusk comes early
Friday, February 10, 2006 - Christopher DeWolf


Mont-Royal Avenue and St. Hubert.
Montreal,  January 2006. Christopher DeWolf


Monkland Avenue at dusk.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf


Korean resto on Ste. Catherine.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf

Head to the archives for last month's posts.


Francisco Garcia
Thursday, February 9, 2006 - Christopher DeWolf


Poster art on the Main.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf

Every year, a new wave of art crashes down upon Mile End. Sift through the debris of posters, stickers and graffiti and you begin to find some things that really stand out for their consistently high quality. Several years ago, there was McLean, who covered up two letters of the neighbourhood's stop signs -- which read ARRÊT -- to make a literal statement about art. Last year, Roadsworth used Mile End's streets as a canvas, poking fun at our regulation of public space. Now, most recently, Francisco Garcia has been decorating the streets with his unique art. Using black-and-white photos of family, friends and neighbourhood familiar faces, Garcia creates larger-than-life poster portraits. "I'm tired of glamour," Garcia told Reading Montreal last month. "We get bombarded with large, glamourous ads so I said, 'Fuck that, I'm going to put my own people up.'" It's a sentiment shared by many street artists: fed up with the commercialization of public space, they decide to take control of their own streets. Can you really blame them? Why should companies like Viacom decide what kind of images we see in our own cities and neighbourhoods?

Catch the art of Roadsworth and Francisco Garcia this week at Blizzarts (3956A St. Laurent).


Posters on St. Viateur Street.
Montreal, September 2005. Christopher DeWolf


Posters on St. Viateur Street.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf

Head to the archives for last month's posts.


Winter light
Wednesday, February 8, 2006 - Christopher DeWolf


Crescent Street with Mount Royal behind.
Montreal,  January 2006. Christopher DeWolf


Ste. Catherine from Guy Street.
Montreal, January 2006. Christopher DeWolf

Head to the archives for last month's posts.

 
 
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" face="Verdana">© 1999-2002 urbanphoto.org. No text from this page may be reproduced without explicit written permission from the authors of this site. All photos and graphics are the creation and property of urbanphoto.org unless otherwise stated. Photographs may be used electronically without permission so long as proper credit is given. No photographs may be reproduced in print without explicit written permission. Thank you.