Montreal in a Minute

When it first launched, Urbania magazine had a pretty useless Flash-based website that replicated selected content from its print magazine. I’m glad to see it has embraced the full potential of the web. 14 “channels” of video, images and text add a new, more dynamic aspect to the quarterly magazine. One of my favourite features is the Urbania Minutes series of videos: one-minute vignettes of Montreal life.

Above is L’exil, rue Sainte-Catherine Est, a brief portrait of a Chinese dépanneur deliveryman in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Despite the annoying synopsis, which exoticizes Chinese immigrants (“En quête d’une vie meilleure, désireux d’offrir un avenir à leurs enfants, les ressortissants de l’Empire du milieu sont prêts à trimer dur pour réaliser leur rêve. Travailler 18 heures par jour dans une buanderie ou un dépanneur, ce n’est qu’une manière d’acheter sa liberté”), it’s a worthwhile glimpse into both immigrant life and the peculiar tradition of dep delivery, which has disappeared from other parts of the city.

Le métro de Montréal s’éveille, below, is one of those always-interesting behind-the-scenes looks at something we take for granted. We see the metro come to life in all of its antiquated glory, a 1960s flashback that begs to be seen as an old episode of Batman or something.

This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Monday May 25 2009at 11:05 pm , filed under Canada, Public Space, Society and Culture, Transportation, Video and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

2 Responses to “Montreal in a Minute”

  • Carrie Bell says:

    I was in Montreal the other day. What an energetic beautiful city. Unfortunately I won’t be back until next year. I caught a glimpse of the streetside bicycle vending systems just recently put in place. This looks very interesting. Can anyone tell me about them where and when you got them? The name of them? Anything would be appreciated. I am looking at getting some installed in my community. Need some information.


  • Hi Carrie,

    It’s called Bixi. You can find more about it here: