A Saint On Your Doorstep

You can almost always tell when an apartment in Montreal is home to a Portuguese family: there’s usually a small tile mosaic depicting a saint next to the door. On some blocks in Montreal’s old Portuguese neighbourhood, which includes much of the western Plateau and eastern Mile End, especially the areas around Duluth, Rachel and […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada by Christopher DeWolf 3 Comments , ,

Scaling an Abandoned Silo

Next to the Redpath Lofts, on the Lachine Canal, is an abandoned sugar silo. Somehow, we ended up at the top.

Losing More Than Just a Clock Tower

Last year, a huge fuss was raised over the future of Hong Kong’s Star Ferry pier. Built in 1957, the stout, white building, topped by a boxy clock tower, was one of Hong Kong’s last civic structures remaining from the postwar era. Thousands of people passed through it every day as they travelled across the […]

Signs on the Fringes of Little Italy

Kate McDonnell, who is the editor of the Montreal City Weblog and an occasional contributor here at Urbanphoto, has a keen eye for the city’s details. Some of the most recent images in her Flickr photostream depict a rusted heating vent in an apartment building lobby, patent medicine boxes at a Chinese herbalist on the […]

Posted in: Canada by Christopher DeWolf 4 Comments ,

A Streetcorner From the Second Floor

Climbing up one of Montreal’s many outdoor staircases to a second-floor balcony is a great way to get a new perspective on the street. It’s high enough to feel removed from the action but still low enough to observe it. This is especially true at intersections, like that of Park Avenue and Bernard Street in […]

Posted in: Uncategorized by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on A Streetcorner From the Second Floor

Will the United Nations Move to Montreal?

Last week, La Presse reported quite breathlessly that the federal government, which owns the Port of Montreal and much of the land along its waterfront, has been lobbying the United Nations to move its headquarters from New York to Montreal. The rationale, apparently, is that the UN’s current headquarters, housed in an iconic complex built […]

Posted in: Architecture, Canada, Politics by Christopher DeWolf 5 Comments , ,

Place Monseigneur Charbonneau

Montreal’s office district, running between Dorchester Square in the northwest and Victoria Square in the southeast, is not terribly exciting. Compared to Midtown Manhattan, or even Bay Street, it lacks a certain high-stakes punch, the relentless energy of money being made in vast amounts, of high-stress streetlife scurrying from one meeting to the next. It […]

Posted in: Canada, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Place Monseigneur Charbonneau ,

Shanghai Bicycles

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Transportation by Andrew Rochfort 1 Comment , ,

Shish Taouk and the Happy Tooth

Not too long ago I wrote about the standard bat-shaped neon sign used by Hong Kong pawnshops. Well, Montreal has its own ubiquitous neon symbols, what I like to call Shish Taouk and the Happy Tooth. The first sign is found on just about every Lebanese fast-food joint in town. Their menus are always identical […]

VI. Windows

[Partly translated by Arthur.] It hits me like a shot of heroin, and I don’t know why. Light through rain through the bus window, slamming and diving at my reflection, a blur dissolving into the painted world outside. Like in Fallen Angels. I straighten my tank top. Rain droplets wash through and over, sanding away […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Fiction by Matt Mucci Comments Off on VI. Windows , , ,

The Concrete Charm of Joyce Station

It was a dull, overcast day when I decided to take the SkyTrain a few extra stops east to Joyce Station, in the East Vancouver neighbourhood of Collingwood. I’m not sure what I expected, but I wasn’t entirely disappointed. I emerged from the station onto Joyce Street’s commercial strip, dominated almost entirely by Chinese and […]

Place Falun Gong

Place Sun Yat Sen, a small square in the heart of Montreal’s Chinatown, is almost perenially occupied by members of Falun Gong, a psuedo-religious spiritual movement that originated in 1992 in China. Banned seven years later by the Chinese government, which insisted that it was a cult and devoted itself rather heavy-handedly to crushing it, […]

Xujiahui After the Rain

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Andrew Rochfort Comments Off on Xujiahui After the Rain ,

In Tokyo, New Clothes Let You Wear the City

Today’s New York Times includes an article on the efforts of Aya Tsukioka, an “experimental fashion designer,” to allay Japan’s growing fears about street crime by creating a new line of clothes and accessories that double as urban camouflage. In a moment of panic, you can transform your dress into a vending machine, your backpack […]