Portraits of a Neighbourhood

They stare at you—seven faces, their expressions ranging from jubilant to amused to vaguely perplexed. They are portraits of Café Olimpico’s employees, pasted above a bookstore at the corner of St. Viateur and Waverly Sts., right across the street from the well-known Mile End café (also known as Open Da Night). They first began to […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada by Christopher DeWolf 2 Comments , ,

City in the Snow

Kansas City is amid its first major winterish weather event. The ice came first, then came the snow. I was planning on riding my bike to work this morning, but found that my bike lock was frozen, and was thus unable to unlatch my bike from the porch post on the back of my building. […]

Posted in: United States by Eric Bowers 2 Comments , , ,

When the Buildings Smoke in Calgary

In Calgary, when it’s freakishly cold, so cold your skin starts to burn just from walking outside—cold like it was just a few days ago, after temperatures plummeted to 30 degrees below zero—the skyscrapers release giant plumes of steam as if they were on fire, or perhaps enjoying a few good cigars. I’m glad I’m […]

Posted in: Canada by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment , , ,

Goodbye, Park Avenue

Yesterday morning, Montreal city councillors voted to rename Park Avenue after former Quebec premier Robert Bourassa in a motion that passed 40 to 22. Opponents of the name change were not surprised. We are Montrealers, after all, which means we know enough about this city’s political process that we have been engrained with a deep […]

Three Parking Structures

Quebec City, Quebec. Built in 2006. This one has a green roof. Quebec City, Quebec. Interior built in 1960s, exterior added in 2003. Here’s another view. Malmö, Sweden

Posted in: Architecture, Canada, Europe by Patrick Donovan 3 Comments , ,

Les toits verts : profitons d’un territoire sous-exploité !

Image rendue du Plateau aux toitures vertes Les toits plats font partie de la culture de construction à Montréal et dans bien d’autres villes du Québec. Au lieu de maintenir des déserts de goudron et de gravier sur nos toits, nous pouvons y faire pousser des champs, des potagers et des jardins. Au-delà des avantages […]

Transit Myth-Making, One Button at a Time

The true mark of a city that has shed its pimply adolescent past and gained preeminence is the development of a larger-than-life personality, a personality that is based on layers of collective memories, recollections, human dramas real and ficticious, observed and enacted by oneself. A story of one’s adventures in Camden Town will almost certainly […]

Can A Downtown Be Too Lively?

Madison, capital of the state of Wisconsin, is home not only to a handsome seat of government, but also to the sprawling, lakeside campus of the University of Wisconsin. It’s said that the population of the city grows by a fifth during the school year; the central city and suburbs number about 200,000, and UW […]

Lighting Up the Plaza for the 77th Time

Every Thanksgiving night, the Country Club Plaza district in Kansas City, Missouri sets aglow amid thousands of revelers. The older, faux-Spanish low-rise edifices are adorned with miles upon miles of Christmas lights. The first iterations of what is now known largely as “The Plaza” were built in the 1920s in the formerly swampish southern nether-reaches […]

Ottawa Street Art

Street art like this pops up from time to time in Ottawa’s central areas, but, unfortunately, it is usually promptly removed. Vanity mirror near Bank Street, now replaced with “For Sale” sign.

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada by Nick Wellington 5 Comments ,

Morning Coffee: La Croissanterie

On a recent evening, I sat in La Croissanterie, a small café on Ste. Catherine Street in the west end of downtown Montreal. Before me was a café au lait and a warm apple turnover. Next to me sat a mousy English student whose notes were sprawled across the table. La Croissanterie is a strange […]

Posted in: Canada, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf 8 Comments , ,

Just Another Day in Lavapiés

Photos taken in Lavapiés, a neighbourhood in central Madrid

Posted in: Europe by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Just Another Day in Lavapiés , ,

Then and Now #1: The Windsor Hotel

In the top photo, taken in August 1936, the grand Windsor Hotel sits at the corner of Peel and Dorchester in downtown Montreal. By 2004, at the same corner (Dorchester now renamed René-Lévesque), the Windsor Hotel was no more, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce tower rising in its place. The major part of the […]

Posted in: Architecture, Canada by Kate McDonnell 1 Comment ,

Public Space Cadet

Toronto City Hall from above. Photo by Sam Javanrouh. In last Thursday’s post on David Miller and the recent Toronto election, our handsome and talented Hogtown correspondent, Siqi Zhu, briefly wrote about the Toronto Public Space Committee and its rise to prominence in the civic lovefest of the Miller era. Now, there is absolutely no […]

Posted in: Canada, Politics, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Public Space Cadet ,