Parking in the City, At What Price?

It would be nice if everyone got around by public transport, but the reality in North America is that a majority of people in most cities get around primarily by car. This is true even in Montreal, which has the continent’s highest per-capita rate of public transit ridership. Accommodating the car, then, has always been […]

Hidden City

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hidden City ,

Three Visions of Montreal

Today, the corner of University and La Gauchetière is as cold and forboding an intersection as you are likely to find in Montreal, bordered on all sides by charmless office towers. In 1945, however, as this photo shows, the corner provided a spectacular cutaway view of three remarkable buildings. Each represents a different facet of […]

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Cornices of Montreal

Various neighbourhoods, all residential buildings. A sequel to this earlier Mile End collection.

A Sultry Evening in Malaga

Malaga, a city of nearly a million on Andalucia’s Costa del Sol, has the unfortunate reputation of being run-down. As a result, it’s somewhat off the tourist path, but this might actually be a good thing: beyond the grimy port and the imposing apartment blocks of its suburbs, Malaga has a charming and very convivial […]

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Retro Malls and Department Store Kitsch

Like many teenagers in suburbia, I spent too much time in shopping malls. Unlike others, there was a purpose to my wandering. My goal was to find the quintessential department store restaurant. This dream restaurant would have a somewhat dated charm: brown and orange wallpaper, faux-traditional 1970s furnishings, waitresses with Marge Simpson hair, Jell-O cube […]

The Old Town and the Sea

The St. Lawrence River in Montreal. Photo by Matt Hobbs If we don’t get a handle on runaway greenhouse warming, sea levels are predicted to rise by approximately 20 feet, or seven meters. If you think this won’t affect Quebec, think again. Using the Google Maps API and NASA climate projection data, a clever person […]

Posted in: Canada, Environment by A.J. Kandy Comments Off on The Old Town and the Sea , ,

Politicians, Slippery in More Ways than One

Quebeckers head to the polls today in a provincial election that might produce the first minority government in more than a century. Most of the snow has melted, but for most of February and March, the election provided for more than just news-hour entertainment: it made for great impromptu tobogganing for people who don’t have […]

“This is Where We Make Good on Life”

Sometime around the St. Patrick’s Day snowstorm that undid all of the progress spring had made so far, somebody decided to give people in Mile End a bit of an escape from the weather. Photos of green parks, summery shadows and outdoor cafés have been stapled onto hydro poles near St. Viateur Street. Only one […]

The King of Kowloon

Before we left for our trip to Hong Kong, my girlfriend told me about the world’s oldest graffiti artist. “He’s eighty-five years old and he calls himself the King of Kowloon,” she explained. I had trouble reconciling the image of a frail old man with that of a typical paint-wielding street artist, especially after seeing […]

The Strawberries Come from California

Most years, in late March, it is strawberry season in California. You might think this would have no bearing on life in Montreal, a nearly 5,000-kilometre drive from the Central Valley, but it does. These California strawberries, as cartoonishly big and underwhelming in flavour as they might be, are the first taste of cheap spring […]

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

Filling Tokyo Space with Tiny Houses

When he wrote earlier this year about the “two faces” of Tokyo, our contributor Siqi Zhu noted that, in Japan’s capital, “weak eminent domain laws have resulted in years of piecemeal development and an incredibly fine-grained urban fabric.” This is unlike many other cities in the developed world where government agencies eagerly expropriate land for […]

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White Night

Rue Jeanne Mance after a heavy snowfall. Corner Villeneuve and Jeanne Mance. Seven hours post-lunar eclipse, two hours pre-sunrise.

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Natural Street Art

The streets are filled with the detritus of everyday human activity. Occasionally, however, those remnants are left behind in such a fashion that they seem extraordinary—almost artistic. In Vancouver, on Keefer Street, I came across several feathers stuck into the cracks of a wooden hydro pole. Nearby, orange peels had been delicately placed on a […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment , ,