More Parking… For Bikes

Increasingly, parking your bike in busy areas like the Plateau is almost as hard as parking a car. This summer, though, the Plateau Mont-Royal borough will be leading the way in giving cyclists more places to rest their two-wheelers. By the time autumn arrives later this year, the Plateau’s 1,500 parking spots will have doubled […]

The Studio

I had never noticed this small Ste. Famille St. apartment building until today. In fact, it was my girlfriend who pointed it out to me. According to the city’s property records, it was built in 1937, which seems about right given the Art Deco verve of its name and design details. It’s probably occupied mostly […]

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A Gangster and the Main

Walking around this weekend I noticed a procession of odd posters around the Main: “Québécois et Québécoises ! Montréalais-Montréalaises ! Prenez part à un mouvement HISTORIQUE !” they declared rather excitedly. “Le mouvement boulevard Lucien-Rivard propose de rébaptiser le boulevard Saint-Laurent à Montréal : boulevard Lucien-Rivard.” Above was what appeared to be a mugshot, a […]

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Tung Tau Estate

North Americans and Europeans have an almost natural aversion to Modernist housing projects. They’re very much maligned in our popular culture, often for good reason: generations of official neglect and social marginalization have left many of them in a desperate state. In Hong Kong, though, a large chunk of the population lives in housing estates, […]

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New Signs in Old Montreal

For all that I’ve written about Montreal’s street signs, I haven’t mentioned much about the signs found in Old Montreal, the city’s birthplace and one of its most important tourist attractions. Although the signs here are meant to reflect the red-and-beige colour scheme of the city’s first street signs, they are actually a recent invention, […]

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Welcome to Hampstead

Writers and journalists looking for a quick and easy symbol of Montreal’s political and linguistic divide usually find one in the city’s downtown west end. There, in the shadow of the Montreal Children’s Hospital, René Lévesque Boulevard turns into Dorchester Avenue as it crosses Atwater and passes from Montreal into Westmount, a remnant of the […]

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Il tombe des peaux de lièvre sur Montréal

[youtube]NO0-1GKXZEA[/youtube] “Les peaux de lièvres” is quintessential Tricot Machine. Deliberately innocent but twinged with melancholy, it revels in the simple pleasures of life, like wandering through a snowy, nighttime Montreal. I have to be honest when I say that I probably wouldn’t have remembered it if it weren’t for this music video, which is probably […]

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Films de Mars

The Champ de Mars is one of Montreal’s most storied places. It derives its name from the French colonial era, when it was a military parade ground, but in the eighteenth century it was the site of the city’s northern wall. After the wall was torn down in the early nineteenth century, the Champ was […]

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Taxi Ads

For some reason, I’d never really considered how and where Hong Kong’s taxicabs are plastered with advertising, so I was somewhat amused to wander into a group of guys doing just that in an out-of-the-way part of the North Point waterfront.

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Dusk on High Street

High Street isn’t much of a high street. It’s actually a narrow sidestreet in the Hong Kong neighbourhood of Sai Ying Pun, which was first established in the mid-nineteenth century, shortly after the British took control of Hong Kong Island. Despite the steep hillside location, streets here were laid out in a tight grid, with […]

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Westmount’s Little Streets

Westmount is probably the most heavily stereotyped municipality in Quebec. It is the epitome of anglophone privilege and WASP snobbery, a posh district best represented by the “elderly women in pink suits” on Greene Avenue. While there is a grain of truth to that, as with any stereotype, Westmount is far more interesting than its […]

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Greene Avenue

Whenever I walk through Westmount I am reminded of Julie Brock’s poem, “Greene Ave.,” from her 1999 book The End of Travel. Montreal’s blazing in tufts of acid green and crapapple pink. Clouds mass at dusk behind Mount Royal like additional summits, as my father noted yesterday from his favourite chair, pleased as he should […]

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The Antlerheads Come to Montreal

Earlier this week, while walking to a friend’s place on Coloniale Street on the Plateau, I came across an unusual piece of street art. Pasted on an abandoned mattress that was leaning against the side of a building, it depicted the body of a skinny-jeaned, cardiganed hipster topped by the head of a motorized scooter. […]

3711 3709

Doorway on Basset Street near Pine Avenue, Montreal

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