Night Art

Clark Street below St. Joseph Boulevard In the lane between St. Laurent and Clark, near Mount Royal

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Street Party for Spain

This morning, my friends—all of them Spain supporters, except for one, who kept quiet—decided to watch today’s Euro Cup final between Spain and Germany at the Club Español de Quebec, the unofficial hub of Montreal’s Spanish immigrant community. We arrived early, at noon, to secure a table and have lunch, but it was already packed. […]

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The Bowery

I’m not sure what I was expecting. The Bowery is one of those New York streets that have been mythologized and made famous by American pop culture; although it is less well-known than some other Manhattan arteries, its name still evokes sleazy bars, flophouses and the kind of grit and disorder that was associated with […]

Tiny Temple

Small temple on Peel Street, Central

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Hong Kong Doorways: Houseboats

For all the glitz of its office towers and the sheer triumph of its gargantuan housing estates, Hong Kong is still inextricably linked to the ocean that surrounds it. Fresh fish is a staple of Cantonese cuisine and, throughout Hong Kong, dozens of villages and neighbourhoods still rely on the fishery. The Aberdeen Harbour is […]

“It’s Not Just Fabric on a Stick”

It wasn’t hard for Tristan Verboven to decide which country to support in the 2008 Euro Cup soccer championship. “Both my parents are Dutch and I’m a Dutch citizen, too,” the Montrealer said last week while sipping juice in a Park Ave. café. “I guess the idea of nationalism is kind of stupid because you […]

Morning Coffee: Coffee on Cuba

Midnight Espresso Cafe on Cuba Street in Wellington, New Zealand Wellington has more cafes per capita than Manhattan. At least that is what I was told numerous times by New Zealanders when I mentioned my impending trip to their nation’s capital. Upon arriving in late April, I discovered that the coffee houses of Wellington are […]

Saint Roch Contemporary

New buildings in Saint Roch, Quebec City

Posted in: Architecture, Canada by Patrick Donovan 2 Comments

The Isles of Montreal

Today, Montreal Island tends to exist in opposition to everything around it. “On-island” is code for diversity, cosmopolitanism, multilingualism, urbanity. “Off-island” means suburban, homogeneous, unilingual. Those are gross stereotypes, obviously, and while there is a grain of truth to them, they ignore the more complicated reality of metropolitan Montreal. They also ignore just how vast […]

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Montreal’s Missing Beaches

Beach in Cartierville, on the Rivière des Prairies, around 1910 Nathalie Collard has a column in today’s La Presse lamenting the lack of access Montrealers have to their waterways. “Les Montréalais habitent une île, mais n’ont pratiquement pas accès à l’eau. C’est aberrant,” she writes. It’s true: despite being surrounded by water, including a variety […]

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Lisbon is an unexpectedly quiet place. It is unexpected because, stereotypically at least, large Latin cities are supposed to be brash, chaotic and teeming with life. Rome certainly has perfected the art of chaos and Madrid is nothing if not lively, but Lisbon is comparatively reserved, almost secretive. As you wander up and down its […]

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The Case for Greektown

Mayor Gérald Tremblay’s attempt to rename Park Avenue two years ago was a turning point in the street’s history. When that controversy emerged, a number of the street’s Greek merchants were already asking the city to create a Hellenic Quarter similar to Little Italy or Chinatown. The city spent $15,000 on a feasibility study that […]